- The musical "Wicked" partnered with Broadw.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform for Broadway shows, to boost ROI by 700% and sell tickets for 20% higher than their weekly average, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. Broadw.ai handled more than 90,000 requests, including ticket sales, through the show's website and Facebook Messenger since rolling out in early 2019.
- Broadw.ai, created in partnership with Satisfi Labs, aims to provide a seamless customer purchasing journey by answering complex questions about food recommendations, parking and shopping. An integration with Ticketmaster lets Broadw.ai users buy show tickets directly within a chat session.
- Broadw.ai's partnership with "Wicked" follows its work with other Broadway shows such as "Anastasia," "Come From Away" and "King Kong." Responses from Broadw.ai's platform are completely autonomous based on data feeds of Broadway information and customer interactions, per its announcement.
"Wicked" has seen positive results from its work with Broadw.ai, indicating that theatergoers may be growing more comfortable with the idea of relying on a virtual assistant to handle complex ticketing requests in an automated chat session.
A Juniper Research study from last year suggested that AI-powered chatbots can provide benefits that include both cost savings and sales generation, including a projected $112 billion in e-commerce transactions by 2023. But chatbot usage is still somewhat limited. A survey from Voxpro found that 68% of consumers still haven't used chatbots to contact a brand, and that 56% haven't used chat or automated features because they prefer communicating with real people.
Broadway shows are among the entertainment providers that are expanding their use of chats with customers who prefer to interact by mobile messaging. The National Hockey League in May unveiled a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to give fans news, game previews and notifications about the Stanley Cup. The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team this year tested a program to let fans in designated sections of the stadium order beer or water using Apple Business Chat, which mostly connects users with live agents instead of generating automated responses.
Many brands, including 1-800-Flowers, Ray-Ban, Gap and Renault, have incorporated AI-powered chatbots that work on popular platforms like Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant into their customer service mix. The growing popularity of smart speakers like Amazon's Echo devices that rely on AI and natural-language processing technologies to handle chats is helping to familiarize millions of people with conversational commerce. Meanwhile, Facebook is developing a voice-powered virtual assistant to compete with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Siri.