CapitaLand unveils Asia’s first AI chatbot concierge for shoppers at Future Cities: Asia Forum
Announces Grab as Strategic Mobility Partner to bring together Offline-AND-Online (O&O) across ‘live, work, play’
Singapore, 21 October 2016 – CapitaLand customers will soon get to enjoy a slew of virtual concierge services that allows them to hail rides, book restaurants, and browse retailer offerings by simply chatting with Sparkle – the Group’s fully automated artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot – the first chatbot piloted by a real estate developer in Asia. Unveiled at CapitaLand’s Future Cities: Asia Forum this evening, Sparkle is among a series of new features released on CapitaStar, Singapore’s largest multi-mall, multi-store cardless rewards programme. Members may start chatting with Sparkle from 1 November 2016 when the refreshed CapitaStar app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said: “CapitaLand was among the first in our industry to embrace online-to-offline and offline-to-online (O2O). With the launch of Sparkle and partnerships with tech stalwarts and well-loved retail brands, we are now leading the way into the next era of consumerism, defined by convergent offline-ANDonline (O&O) experiences. This is a first for an Asian real estate developer, and we want to 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. Ultimately, we want to create an exceptional customer experience that offers the best of both offline and online. As a market leader with scale and depth across the entire real estate value chain, CapitaLand is in a good position to optimise our customer touch points and harness meaningful data points to map out holistic customer journeys.”
Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing app company, has signed on as a launch partner, which will see integration of ride-hailing functionalities with Sparkle. This collaboration is part of an exclusive comprehensive tie-up with Grab announced as CapitaLand’s Strategic Mobility Partner to bring ‘live, work, play’ mobility across its diverse real estate portfolio to the Group’s customers in Singapore. Whether it’s a journey from home to work or a trip from a serviced residence to a shopping mall, shoppers, guests, tenants and residents in CapitaLand properties taking Grab rides to or from one of its properties in Singapore will get to enjoy perks ranging from special discounts to STAR$® rewards in CapitaLand’s CapitaStar loyalty programme, and priority bookings, in phases from 1 November 2016 onwards.
Mr Lim Ming Yan and Mr Anthony Tan, CEO & Co-founder of Grab, inaugurated the partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Future Cities: Asia Forum. The MOU signing was witnessed by Guest-of-Honour and keynote speaker Dr Vivian
Balakrishnan, Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Programme Office.
Mr Lim said: “CapitaLand’s partnership with Grab shows how the lines are blurring between what is online and offline. Our properties are social spaces where people and communities flourish and connect; and mobility solutions such as Grab are very much the venous systems that connect people with one another, and to the built environment. There is great synergy in this O&O integration. CapitaLand’s physical buildings have helped to incubate many successful Singapore companies and brands over the years. Moving forward, we look to partner more new-economy companies, to help bridge their services to our network of customers.”
The Future Cities: Asia Forum brought together a panel of change-makers from the government, real estate and technology sectors to discuss what it takes to be the builder of future cities and the catalysts for change as Asia’s bustling metropolises evolve into smart cities.
During the Future Cities: Asia Forum, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan shared his insights into Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, the lessons learnt as a forerunner in this future-forward drive, and what is next as the city-state engages with global innovators for continued growth. Also on the panel were Mr Lim Ming Yan; Mr Hubert Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer of Hitachi Data Systems; and Mr Ming Maa, President of Grab.
The new CapitaStar: upgraded with new functionalities and AI chatbot concierge
CapitaStar is getting a boost with new functions to link up members and retailers with O&O convenience. The refreshed app comes with a simple digital-first STAR$ ® redemption mechanism that brings unrivalled convenience to both customers and retailers with simpler and faster processes. Customers can look forward to redeeming great deals with their STAR$® , which will be easily authenticated at the point of sale with a simple merchant app. The app also comes with an enhanced machine-learning receipt scanning system to help shoppers get their STAR$ ® credited faster than before.
Another key feature of the new CapitaStar app is the pilot Sparkle virtual concierge chatbot. It is CapitaLand’s first endeavour into conversational commerce to connect CapitaStar members with other lifestyle services and forward-thinking retailers. Sparkle is designed to decipher localised linguistic cues while understanding and remembering context. The engine also learns automatically through intelligent feedback scoring algorithms, making the conversation smarter along the way.
As part of CapitaLand’s O&O initiative, CapitaStar is partnering new economy players Grab and Chope to bring ride-sharing and restaurant-booking services respectively to Sparkle. Retailers CHARLES & KEITH and Capitol Optical will also have their latest products showcased on a chatbot for the first time. There are also plans to bring Challenger and brands under the Spa Esprit Group onto Sparkle.
The enhanced CapitaStar app will be available for download from 1 November 2016 on the App Store and Google Play. Existing users need only to upgrade their current app.
Quotes from launch partners
“We are excited to partner with a progressive real-estate developer like CapitaLand and extend our mobile technologies to CapitaLand’s significant numbers of shoppers, residents and tenants. Singapore consumers’ readiness to embrace technologies, as well as the country’s robust network infrastructure, have enabled new areas of digital collaboration between online and offline players. This partnership represents our shared commitment to building innovative services for the cities of tomorrow, and is a step forward in the evolution of Southeast Asia’s mobile ecosystem.”
Mr Anthony Tan, CEO and Co-founder, Grab
“We are delighted to be one of the first companies to work with CapitaLand on conversational commerce, where users can be directed to make a restaurant booking via Chope whilst using the Sparkle chatbot on the CapitaStar app. With this partnership with CapitaLand, we hope to provide a hassle-free shopping and dining experience for all.”
Mr Arrif Ziaudeen, Chief Executive Officer, The Chope Group
CHARLES & KEITH
“Sparkle will allow us to foster a closer connection with our shoppers by facilitating the O2O intersection of online fashion and in-store services. We look forward to discover new consumer insights and service offerings opportunities in this innovative collaboration. “
Ms Emmanuelle Mace, Executive Director, CHARLES & KEITH
"The partnership with CapitaLand on Sparkle is a step forward for us in integrating online and offline shopping with the aid of artificial intelligence. This will provide an enhanced shopping experience which allows sophisticated shoppers to interact, engage and eventually finalise their purchases with us. We look forward to embracing this innovative solution that would draw customers closer to us even in the online world. "