How Orion Mall Used an AI Chatbot to Attract More Visitors 

How Orion Mall Used an AI Chatbot to Attract More Visitors 

Times are tough for shopping malls! As e-commerce is growing and entertainment options are abundant, it’s difficult for shopping centers to maintain a constant flux of visitors. That’s why Orion Mall, Bangalore’s third-largest mall, decided to use a WhatsApp chatbot to attract more shoppers. Read, how the AI chatbot was a huge success for the retailer, and even helped increase revenue.

There were times when offering an engaging shopping experience was enough for malls to attract visitors on a regular basis. Nowadays, however, shopping malls not only have to compete with the growing number of e-commerce businesses, but people also have more choices when it comes to what they can do in their free time.

At the same time, it’s not easy for malls to gather information about what customers are looking for or missing from their shopping experience.

So, how can malls attract visitors and offer them a great time? The Orion Mall at the Brigade Gateway Enclave in Bangalore, India, has found an answer to both—by implementing an AI-based WhatsApp chatbot, designed by Chatlayer by Sinch. In a WUMMM Weekly interview, Rahul Malhotra, Head of Marketing at Brigade Group, explains how the mall was able to attract more shoppers, and increase revenue with the bot.

In this article, you will read:

Orion Mall's approach: customers first

The key to Orion Mall’s success has always been to put their customers first. After all, the shopping center is India’s number one mall when it comes to marketing initiatives and has received several awards for their customer experience.

When people go to the Orion Mall, they can not only find many retailers, but also various restaurants, from pizza to fine dining, or watch movies. The shopping center also regularly organizes events.

Orion Mall was therefore looking for a way to better inform visitors about the ongoing entertainment options at the mall. They also wanted to make sure that their customer communication offered the same high quality as the shopping experience.

In the past, the mall used SMS, e-mail, or social media channels to inform their customers about their offers. “These technologies seemed obsolete,” says Rahul Malhotra.

"Instead of broadcasting information, without knowing if people were interested in it, we wanted to send users what they really wanted."
Rahul Malhotra Orion Mall Brigade Group
Rahul Malhotra
Brigade Group

That’s how Orion Mall came up with the idea of “Orion Genie”, a WhatsApp chatbot for the mall that, like the genie in the bottle, could anticipate and answer most of the customer’s questions.

Orion Genie chatbot, Orion Mall

How does Orion Genie work?

When Orion Mall launched Orion Genie in January of 2022, they had several goals. They wanted to:

  • offer their customers information 24/7
  • answer their customer’s most frequently asked questions
  • personalize the customer experience
  • attract more visitors to the mall

For the shopping center, this was quite a challenge because the mall offers so many different shops and entertainment options. So, it wasn’t enough for the bot to just answer questions about restaurants or only about movie screenings. The bot had to cover the entire portfolio of the mall.

In addition, Orion Mall also wanted the bot to be able to address follow-up questions. For example, if a customer at the mall asked about pizza restaurants, the bot should be able to first point out available food options, but also be ready to answer which pizza restaurants currently offered special deals.

Together with the conversation design experts at Chatlayer by Sinch, Orion Mall tackled the process of adding all this information to the bot, while keeping the user experience easy and simple. Currently, there are 15,000 data points integrated in the bot!

WhatsApp Chatbot Orion Mall
WhatsApp Chatbot Orion Mall
WhatsApp Chatbot Orion Mall

And the process is ongoing! The two teams still work together to constantly optimize the bot. If, for example, Orion Mall notices that users are asking questions that the bot doesn’t answer yet, they inform the Chatlayer team, which then adds new conversational flows to the bot.

“The synergy between our team and the team at Chatlayer by Sinch is great!”
Rahul Malhotra Orion Mall Brigade Group
Rahul Malhotra
Brigade Group

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The advantage of WhatsApp chatbots for retail in India

The chatbot technology from Chatlayer by Sinch works on virtually any channel. However, Orion Mall specifically wanted to launch the bot on WhatsApp. Why? Because, with 487.5 million users, WhatsApp is India’s favorite messaging app.

So instead of trying to attract users to a different app, Orion Mall decided to interact with their customers on the channel they were already using: WhatsApp.

The combination of WhatsApp and conversational AI chatbot is perfect for improving the customer experience, says Rahul Malhotra.

“A WhatsApp chatbot is the best way to send users the information they really want.”
Rahul Malhotra Orion Mall Brigade Group
Rahul Malhotra
Brigade Group

Since Orion Genie launched, the bot has been interacting with more than 2,000 active users and has been handling over 3,500 conversations per month.

Restults: Using an AI chatbot in retail increases revenue

Orion Genie has been a great success! As the numbers of active users and conversations show, customers love to interact with the bot. They get the information they need, in an easier and more convenient way.

“The experience with the chatbot is really good. Customers can get information with just a few clicks.”
Rahul Malhotra Orion Mall Brigade Group
Rahul Malhotra
Brigade Group

At the same time, users receive information about the mall faster. This has greatly helped Orion Mall to increase the number of visitors at the mall.

As people usually spend their whole day at the shopping center to enjoy the different entertainment offers, they typically have to plan their visits ahead of time. Being able to see sooner what is happening at the Orion Mall, makes planning a trip to the mall easier. This has helped increase the number of visitors, and with it the revenue for the mall.

In the future, the mall wants to add feedback options to the bot and improve the customer experience even more.

Curious how to improve your customer communication and grow your business with an AI chatbot? Get in touch! Our experts will guide you through our product and answer all your questions.

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