Global tech provider Pitney Bowes has unveiled its newest tool for customers to improve customer engagement: its chatbot platform, EngageOne Converse. The release comes at a time that consumers are increasingly open to using newer technologies to inform their shopping experiences and dialogue with brands and retailers.

“Six of the 10 most used applications today are messaging applications. Consumers have spoken, and they have a preferred communication channel,” says Bob Guidotti, executive vice president and president for software solutions at Pitney Bowes. “Today’s empowered consumer expects businesses to meet them where they are. Businesses must recognize this and integrate technology capabilities that allow them to have immediate, data-driven conversations with their customers.”

As Millennials and Generation Z continue to commandeer the retail market, demand for an intersection between communication and commerce will continue to build, a Pitney Bowes spokesman suggested. But merchants are lagging in devising new methods to reach these shoppers.

“Consumers, especially Millennials, demand messaging options. Unfortunately, less than half of businesses are using messaging platforms to communicate with their customers,” the spokesman said.

EngageOne Converse integrates with platforms like Facebook Messenger and other online applications for transactional conversations, Pitney Bowes’ new platform allows businesses to automate conversations with consumers. “Similarly, conversational experiences can be enhanced by location data, demographic data and other Pitney Bowes data products,” the spokesman explained.

The platform also extends video functionality, which will especially resonate with Gen Z-ers. “In a billing use case, the chatbot may leverage EngageOne Video to provide the customer with an interactive, personalized video to explain a complex billing transaction,” said the spokesman.

Leveraging collected data to inform customer service will behoove retailers and brands that are encountering obstacles in moving the needle on customer engagement. By deploying chatbots that are able to crunch feedback in real-time, consumers will not only participate in a personalized shopping experience, merchants will have the opportunity to review trends in customer feedback that can inform future strategies.

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