Zowie, an AI powered chatbot built to support sales for e-commerce brands, has raised 14 million dollars in a Series A funding round.
Automating customer service is a sizeable challenge for brands and retailers, especially larger companies dealing with high levels of queries. Chatbots are one of the most popular choices for companies looking to automate, but not everyone is a fan.
According to Zowie, fashion and cosmetics brands like Victoria’s Secret, Estée Lauder, and Sephora, which target younger women, all feature virtual assistants on their home pages. Women and younger audiences are more likely to engage with chatbots than an older male demographic, research shows.
Zowie estimates 70 percent of online retail enquiries can be automated, such as answering questions about packages and shipping, connecting customer service teams to shoppers that could use personalised product recommendations or non-automated help. A 2020 report led by Juniper Research estimates consumer retail spending through chatbots will reach 142 billion dollars by 2024.
In a blog post Zowie CEO Maja Schaefer said: “We all know by now how beneficial it is for brands to build valuable, lifetime relationships with their customers. Our focus at Zowie is: how can we create more opportunities for brands to actually do that – and boost sales at the same time?”