- Kik Interactive, a division of the chat and messaging app, has launched a new fashion and beauty bot category for the app, according to a release by the company.
- The bots will make fashion recommendations, offer makeup tips and suggest celebrity style inspiration for Kik users. The category includes three types of bots: branded bots, concierge bots that are brand-agnostic and influencer bots that are partnered with a number of YouTube creators.
- "Shopping is a social experience, and our new fashion and beauty category will allow our users to experience all the elements of the shopping journey — discovery, research, and sharing — with their friends," said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik, in the release. "This provides a more direct way for brands to connect with teens in their native environment and demonstrates how services continue to evolve in chat."
Kik’s new bot category underscores the growing importance of conversational e-commerce for brands, as messaging apps continue to branch beyond user-to-user interface in attempts to replicate a one-stop, brick-and-mortar retail experience online.
Bots in the fashion and beauty category can also now interact with each thanks to new chat funcationality, enabling users to browse and shop together within their chats.
Kik already has bots for brands like CNN and Victoria’s Secret PINK, which have received high engagement rates from its young-skewing audience with more than 2 billion messages exchanged so far.
The decision to expand Kik's e-commerce options into a separate category follows naturally from the success of competitors like Facebook Messenger, which is now host to some 11,000 branded bots, including Domino’s Pizza, which released a bot that allows Messenger users to order food in-app earlier this month.
Brands — and especially retail brands — that haven't dipped their toes in the bot development space should do so now, as users spend 80% of their mobile experience in just three apps, with their favorite messaging app usually ranking among that top tier, per a ComScore report.