Members only retail giant Sam’s Club launched its Facebook Messenger bot today to help customers find gifts for friends and family.
Called the gift genie, the bot gives users the choice to shop by category (jewelry, tech, toys, etc.) or for the man, woman, child, or pet in your life.
The bot was made with help from Rockfish Interactive and Conversable.
“Through a combination of both natural language conversational exploration and random gift idea generation, Sam’s Club shoppers can quickly find the products they are looking for, as well as products they might not even know existed,” said cofounder Ben Lamm in an email statement shared with VentureBeat.
With the Messenger platform, Facebook has emphasized a focus on connecting consumers with businesses, and Sam’s Club is hardly the first large company to launch a Facebook Messenger bot to sell stuff this year.
In recent months, brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry have used Messenger to launch new fashion brands, while companies like Retale connect people with deals from local vendors.
Since its launch in June, Conversable has made bots for Whole Foods and Pizza Hut, and one for making reservations at TGI Friday’s. The Olo bot from Conversable can help you find lunch nearby on Kik, Messenger, or even Twitter.
Though Conversable focuses primarily on bots made for corporate, consumer-facing clients like Sam’s Club, the Austin-based company has also worked with security consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, and with Mindtree, to make customer service bots.