IBM's E.L.F. Chatbot Helps Consumers Navigate the Massive Mall of America

By: Joey Haar - Jan 18, 2017
References: satis.fi & baselinemag
The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, is the largest shopping complex in North America. With over 520 retailers, 50 restaurants, 14 movie theaters, two hotels, an indoor theme park, and a museum, the mall has enough square footage to fit nine Yankee Stadiums. In order to help consumers navigate this colossal space, Mall of America teamed up with IBM and Satisfi to create E.L.F., a chatbot that can design personalized itineraries.

E.L.F. is an acronym that stands for 'Experiential List Formulator.' Its goal is to help those at Mall of America find the right experience for them -- be it shopping, sightseeing, dining, or some combination of the three. The chatbot offers a simple interface, similar to what most consumers will be accustomed to through text messaging platforms. By selecting options or chatting, it will structure a guide for one's time at the mall.

E.L.F. is available via the Facebook Messenger app, a browser page, or kiosks in Mall of America.