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How A National Grocer Gained a Smarter Chatbot to Exceed Customer Demands


A national grocery store chain, needed to quickly adapt to the digital-first customer needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. To do this, they built a base-level chatbot feature within Google Cloud Platform. This equipped the brand with a set of initial features such as providing users with store hours, details on if the store is open (a critical and heavily searched question in the early days of the pandemic), as well as a product search.

While this was a helpful start to jump into the chatbot world, the client needed to create more personal conversations with customers through the bot. The goal was to initiate seamless interactions with customers to make shopping easier and hassle-free.


Merkle was brought on to help the client’s product team take the chatbot to the next level. We started by understanding business needs and use cases, then created a roadmap to efficiently activate and expand on the capabilities. The first feature Merkle built enhanced the product search, giving customers the power to see a real-time inventory check. The next set of features include recipes and the ability to add items to customer’s shopping cart while engaged in a conversation with the bot. Together, our prime focus was to continually refined customer experiences by analyzing the logs to redesign conversation flows for improved and more seamless sessions.

Merkle also helped the grocery brand gain a better approach to measure the effectiveness of the chatbot through prominent KPIs. The product team tracked several important metrics including customer adoption of the feature, time spent in the conversation, and reduction in call volume to the contact center.



Increased customer acquisition of chatbot by 56%


16% increase of customer rating of the bot in only 3 weeks (30 to 46%)

Keys to success

  • We took a data-first approach to better understand the customer experience
  • Identified KPIs from client team as prominent guiding point
  • The product team was enthusiastic to innovate and push the envelope on the chatbot’s capabilities

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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