Thought leadership

Aspect Software has announced a partnership with the UK’s fastest growing retailer, Lidl UK, to deliver a fully automated, AI-powered, Facebook Messenger chatbot, which will help UK customers easily select the best wine for their meal or moment. Lidl’s new chatbot – named Margot – will become Lidl shoppers’ virtual wine consultant at the tap of a screen.

 Founded in 1930s Germany, the first Lidl opened in the UK in 1994, and now has 690 stores throughout the country. The supermarket provides high quality groceries at low prices and is now the UK’s seventh biggest grocer. Lidl’s wine range has gone from strength to strength, garnering multiple award wins including Supermarket of the Year at this year’s Drinks Retailing Award. With this reputation for excellent quality wine, Lidl chose to work with Aspect to roll out an AI-driven chat service to help Lidl UK customers make more informed wine purchasing decisions.

 Margot is powered by Aspect® CXP and deployed on Facebook Messenger which has over one billion active users worldwide. The chatbot has a light-hearted and informal persona; a true wine enthusiast but definitely not snooty, loves food and good company. Margot will provide a truly conversational experience for customers, answering questions as such as “which red wines from Chile under £6 do you sell”, “what goes well with grilled salmon”, or “what makes a wine sweet.” Margot has additional features, such as an interactive wine quiz to encourage further brand engagement and to interact with customers in a fun, intuitive, and light-hearted manner.

Only 12 weeks after initial conception Lidl and Aspect had completed the wine chatbot. The implementation incorporates Aspect’s Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology, versatile multi-interface architecture, and a robust suite of tools for the complete application ecosystem management of Lidl’s chatbot. Aspect’s conversational user interface technology means that the foundation of the ‘winebot’ can be rolled out across other touchpoints, creating the basis for a truly customer-centric experience for Lidl shoppers.

 Tobias Goebel, Aspect’s Senior Director of Emerging Technologies in charge of Aspect’s global chatbot program, adds: “The chatbot solution we offer boasts a breadth of knowledge whilst also letting customers ask questions in plain English vs. pressing buttons or sending scripted commands. This innovative technology will make a real improvement to Lidl customers’ experience.”

 Alex Murray, Digital Director at Lidl UK, commented: “At Lidl we have built a reputation for providing fantastic quality wines at highly competitive prices for our customers. Margot will ensure choosing the right wine is never a daunting process, and we hope this service – along with the existing in-store and online information we already provide – encourages customers to discover the perfect wine for any given meal or moment.”

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