We all have that one friend who willingly stands outside the trial room, with a cartful of outfits in assorted sizes, handing you different options till you choose the perfectly fitting outfit. They're a huge part of the shopping process and these ego-boosting shopping partners are the one thing you miss out on while shopping online.
Well, not anymore. Not if you're shopping on Abof, Aditya Birla's online fashion store. A first-of-its-kind fashion chatbot, Abof's AISHA, offers the comfort of having a virtual shopping companion offering you the perfect size to choose, even when you're shopping online.
AISHA was initially built as a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, recommending products based on shoppers' style preferences. It was so well accepted by the brand's customer base that Abof decided to expand AISHA's capabilities in time for Diwali, the peak holiday shopping season in India. The idea was to expand AISHA's recommendations from a somewhat external experience on Facebook Messenger, to the point of sale itself — Abof's mobile site. AISHA would also witness an upgrade in terms of its capabilities since it was to move from making style and product recommendations (based on shoppers' preferences) to offering size and fit suggestions as well.
What made this especially exciting for the Pixibo team was the 10-week lead time to build, integrate, and launch the fully functional app for Abof's Menswear category.
What followed was two months of hectic albeit challenging work to ship the new capabilities ahead of the Diwali shopping season. We decided to build AISHA on Abof's m-commerce site mimicking WhatsApp, a popular messaging platform in India, since the brand's user base was already accustomed to WhatsApp. The widget would resemble WhatsApp's feature functionality but retain Abof's look and feel. With AISHA, customers on Abof's mobile site get a personal fit advisor to guide their purchase decisions every step of the way. The widget uses commonly-known information such as the shopper's height, weight, and age data, coupled with Pixibo's fit algorithm and each SKU's size dimensions, to recommend the right size to shoppers.
Customers were driven towards trying out AISHA's hyper-personalization prowess by placing it in a visible and user-friendly position on every product page. A lot of thought went into identifying the right place for the feature since we wanted it to be non-obstructive yet available at the exact point when the shopper looks for sizing advice. AISHA's asks the shopper for their information (height, weight, age) the first time they land on the site. Subsequently, the experience automatically kicks in every time the shopper returns to the site. Each product viewed by the shopper, across different categories, comes with the appropriate size recommendation for the shopper based on the uniqueness of that particular product.
Uncertainty around size and fit are biggest deterrents to shopping online. With AISHA, shoppers needn't worry about whether they're choosing the right size — all they need to focus on is to keep it stylish.
Missing your trusty friend while shopping online? Just head to Abof's mobile site and you'll never know the difference.
Kyu Lim is the Design and UX lead at Pixibo. She is often found empathising with users and creating digital experiences that don't involve big flashing buttons.