DavidsTea developing an AI-powered chat tool

Part of a bigger digital transformation, the tea retailer is working with Heyday to launch the platform before the holidays.

heydaydavidsmainHeyday employees outside a DavidsTea store recently celebrating the new partnership. 

DavidsTea has brewed up a partnership with Heyday to create its own AI-powered chat platform, part of a larger digital transformation at the Montreal tea retailer.

Heyday is a company that provides AI-powered conversational commerce platforms for retailers in a range of categories, including auto brand Ford, food brand Danone and luxury-goods brand LVMH.

The two companies started working together earlier this year and the new platform is still being developed, with the goal of launching it in the lead-up to the crucial Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days that kick off the holiday shopping season.

Partnering with Heyday is part of a larger digital transformation the company is undergoing, says DavidsTea’s new vice president of ecommerce, Damon Sloane. He joined DavidsTea in April, having worked in a series of digital and marketing roles over the past decade.

Damon-Sloane“The company is making some pretty significant investments in the digital channel,” says Sloane (picturedright), adding that two things led to the Heyday partnership. “One was providing our customers with a great omnichannel experience, in the sense that… the walls between [digital and physical] channels has just gone away completely. The other was looking at our strategy for mobility as a whole. How can we communicate with our customers, knowing that mobile devices completely changed their habits. How can we be part of those micro-moments?”

The goal with the still-in-progress platform is to meet customers where they are at every stage of the consumer journey, answering everything from where the closest DavidsTea store is to order tracking, to information about cold-drink options available on a hot summer day, says Brad Wing, VP partnerships at Heyday AI.

While Black Friday (which is on Nov. 29 this year) may seem like it’s very far away, Sloane is busy at work ensuring the retailer’s ecommerce offerings are up-to-snuff for the holiday season, which can make or break retailers’ entire fiscal year.

“That season kind of kicks off the most important time for any retailer,” he says. “It’s just really important to us that we have a new tool that can help our customers throughout their entire experience and hopefully alleviate some of the frustrations that people have during that busy time of year and alleviating some of the issues with customer service.”