Multinational retail giant Walmart announced that it plans to acquire “select technology assets” of Botmock, a startup that has built an easy-to-use set of tools to design, prototype, test and deploy conversational applications across multiple platforms using a no-code platform.
By acquiring certain Botmock assets, Walmart plans to build natural voice and chat interfaces for its customers’ designers, customer service, merchants, and other non-technical teams to let them easily create voice, chat and intelligent assistant experiences.
“Our customers today are busier than ever, and they’re looking for simple ways to quickly connect with Walmart whenever they need us. We’re seeing one of the easiest and most natural ways for customers to do this is through voice and chat, which is why we’ve built and deployed multiple conversational experiences and have plans to introduce even more,” Cheryl Ainoa, SVP Core Retail Services & Emerging Technology at Walmart, said in a blog post.
Launched in 2016 and headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Botmock’s platform features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that automatically develops code in the background as conversation flows are generated.
“Building seamless interactions for voice or chat is a fairly difficult design problem that requires us to consider all possible conversational flows, which depend on customers’ unique situation and needs. For example, when a customer is building their weekly grocery cart using their voice, they might say, “add milk to my cart.” The right action and the response to the customer depends on various factors, including if the customer has bought milk in the past, what their preferred type of milk is (e.g., 2% or non-fat, etc.), do they already have some type of milk in their cart, and if so, should we ask whether they want to change the quantity or let them know they already have it in their cart.” Ainoa added.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, Botmock will be shutting down its application and will be providing transition support to existing customers in migrating their data off Botmock.