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Domino’s has some new competition when it comes to artificial intelligence and pizza cravings.
Pizza Hut — the largest pizza chain in the world, based on orders and deliveries — today announced a new chatbot that works within Facebook Messenger and on Twitter. It’s part of a massive roll-out the company is calling “social media ordering,” and it’s run mostly by bots.
Baron Concors, chief digital officer at Pizza Hut, demonstrated the chatbot at MobileBeat 2016 during a session on chatbot innovations. The new bot can handle pizza and other food delivery orders from customers who have Pizza Hut accounts, streamlining the process, improving accuracy, and eliminating wait-times.
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“The new Pizza Hut social ordering platform is another example of making it easy for our customer to order their favorites from Pizza Hut,” said Concors. “We are constantly pursuing ways to simplify our ordering experience. This platform allows our consumers to quickly order or get information where they are already spending a great deal of their time.”
Customers can also ask questions about their order and inquire about deals and promotions. Concors says the chatbot fulfills a desire to be more user-focused and provides an extra layer of customization and personalization to all orders. There is no extra cost, and the chatbot will offer specialized menu options relevant to the local store. After an order, an email confirmation will let the customer know that everything was handled correctly.
This chatbot is part of a strategy known as “conversational commerce,” something that’s even more viable now that Facebook has announced end-to-end encryption for Messenger. Advances in this area will help usher in the age of chatbots that can even handle complex banking, retail, and customer service transactions. It’s also a sign of how chat is starting to replace the clicking and swiping we do with apps.
Conversable, the company behind the chatbot technology for Pizza Hut, has developed a platform that works within text messaging apps and by voice on Facebook and Twitter. The new chatbots will debut on Facebook Messenger and Twitter in August.
Pizza Hut will be competing against Domino’s, which already lets you order pizza using the Amazon Echo and by text message, among other means.
Stay abreast of the latest news on bots, messaging, and A.I. from MobileBeat 2016. Read our coverage here.
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