BevMo! Tests In-Store, AI-Powered Chatbot To Help Shoppers Select The Perfect Whiskey

While in-home voice tech is becoming more commonplace, use of the technology in stores remains relatively rare. But rather than wait and see how these solutions develop, BevMo! is exploring the audible potential now, partnering with The Mars Agency to pilot AI-powered, voice-capable whiskey shopping experiences in five stores.

“We were certainly seeing a lot of press about how voice activated shopping is absolutely going to be a trend in the future — so why not get some early learnings from a category that clearly has a lot of customer interest in our stores?” said Tamara Pattison, Chief Marketing and Information Officer at BevMo! in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We chose the whiskey category, with the idea that we would be able to take over 50 bottles from all throughout our store and place them in a single location with some exciting creative engagement, and see if customers really wanted to do what a lot of people say is going to be this new trend.”

The displays utilize an Amazon Echo smart speaker, custom signage and the SmartAisle system from Mars Agency to power the experience. Shoppers who walk up to the display are guided through several basic questions about their whiskey preferences, including what event they’re shopping for, their taste profile and their price range. Then the AI-powered solution filters down the full assortment to three recommended bottles and highlights them with in-display lighting. The chatbot also can answer questions about a specific bottle or brand, recommend whiskeys with similar taste profiles and tell jokes.

Tech Drives A Relaxed But Efficient Experience

The kiosks are initially being focused on two common customer interactions: exploration and gifting. Customers who are…