Woolworths has quietly unveiled a global first by surfacing the availability of products and the aisle they can be found in through chats initiated by a customer in either Google Search or Maps.
The retailer was quietly outed as an early user of Google Business Messages accessed via Maps and Search.
Under changes made to Business Messages functionality late last month, Google now allows organisations to “integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms”.
“To improve connections with customers, we’ve [also] recently introduced new smart replies, visual product carousels, and unique welcome messages,” Google said in a blog post on June 25.
When Googling a business on a smartphone, users are shown a listing at the top of the search results, as well as icons to call, message or get directions to the store.
Now, if the user searches a specific Woolworths store, tapping ‘Message’ brings up a chat window overlay of Woolworths’ own Olive conversational AI platform.
Woolworths is the first in Australia to get this up and running, voice & AI product owner Luke Hymann said in a brief LinkedIn post.
Additionally, Woolworths is the “first globally to integrate local product inventory searching,” Hymann said.
“Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket, allows customers to search for products and see availability and aisle information at their local store, plus get details about hours and COVID-19 related updates to make shopping easier,” the company noted in the Google blog post.
A screenshot shows the carousel of options embedded within the Olive chat window.