20 November 2016

Sparkle, the virtual concierge uses AI to understand CapitaLand's customers

Sample conversations with Sparklet on the CapitaStar app. The chatbot on the CAPITASTAR app will assist CapitaLand Mall shoppers on frequently asked questions, and even help book a taxi ride to their preferred mall
Sample conversations with Sparklet on the CapitaStar app. The chatbot on the CAPITASTAR app will assist CapitaLand Mall shoppers on frequently asked questions, and even help book a taxi ride to their preferred mall

Powerupcloud Technologies has partnered Microsoft to develop Sparkle, CapitaLand’s virtual concierge, on IRA.AI, its artificial intelligence (AI) platform.

Through Sparkle, a chatbot aimed at transforming the shopper’s journey, CapitaLand customers can hail rides, book restaurants, and browse retailer offerings by simply chatting to Sparkle on the app for CapitaStar, CapitaLand’s rewards programme for its customers.

“In our journey to innovate with new, cutting-edge technologies that help our customers better engage with their stakeholders, we are happy to develop CapitaLand’s Sparkle which is powered by our IRA.AI engine. Sparkle is a milestone for the team as the bot had to pick up over 2,500 nouns unique to CapitaLand, while ensuring its responses to end-users made sense,” said Siva S, Founder and CEO, Powerupcloud Technologies. “We were able to deliver this highly intuitive solution within three months, and we are certain that Sparkle will help CapitaLand in achieving its goal of transforming the retail journey through conversational commerce.”

Sparkle is able to understand shoppers’ queries and respond accordingly via short message exchanges within the CapitaStar app. In addition, Sparkle is designed to decipher localised linguistic cues while understanding and remembering context. The engine also learns automatically through intelligent feedback scoring algorithms, making conversations smarter along the way.

Unlike most scripted chatbots, Sparkle is able to respond accordingly to shoppers’ queries by gaining context even without their inputs within the app. For example, if a shopper was originally looking for fast food outlets in Bedok Mall and later asked a similar question for another CapitaLand mall, Sparkle is able to recognise this switch and respond accordingly without an additional question prompt. This makes the conversation between the shopper and Sparkle closer to interacting with a human.

“CapitaLand was among the first in the retail industry to embrace online-to-offline and offline-to-online (O2O). With the launch of Sparkle, we are leading the way into the next era of consumerism, defined by convergent offline-and-online (O&O) experiences,” said Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO, CapitaLand. “This is a first for an Asian real estate developer, and we invite our customers to join us to co-create Sparkle by interacting with it and making it smarter. This way, Sparkle will be a chatbot trained by customers, for customers.”

Today, Sparkle is able to deliver the following information and services to CapitaLand mall shoppers via CapitaStar app through a chat-like service:
  • Listing of all CapitaLand malls in Singapore
  • Directions to CapitaLand malls
  • Queries on stores within the malls
  • Book Grab rides to users’ preferred CapitaLand malls
  • Make reservations via Chope for any restaurant located in a CapitaLand mall
  • View the latest products of retailers such as Charles & Keith and Capitol Optical

“As everything around us becomes more digitised, we are seeing our customers and partners tap on Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform to deliver innovative solutions that drive digital transformation in every industry. Particularly, we are seeing forward-looking enterprises apply conversations-as-a-platform, a new shift that applies the understanding of human language to computer and computing, to transform the way they are engaging with their customers,” said Jessica Tan, MD, Microsoft Singapore.

“We are very pleased to have the IRA.AI team of Powerupcloud Technologies and CapitaLand choose Azure as the platform for Sparkle, a showcase piece for how the retail industry can leverage intelligent technologies to reimagine engagement with customers, and in turn create new business models and generate revenue.”


The refreshed CapitaStar app is now available for download for iOS and Android users