My overall opinion was that it offers a fairly standard booking system via Facebook Messenger – nothing fancy, but practical enough.
One issue I failed to mention is that the brand doesn’t appear to be doing much to promote it. Which is odd, as how are people meant to use it if they don’t know it exists in the first place?
Here’s a bit more info on this issue and how brands can combat it.
In order to access the Pizza Express chatbot, I typed @PizzaExpress in the recipient search bar in Facebook Messenger. Easy enough, as it immediately appeared in the drop-down menu.However, I was already aware that the bot existed, and it’s likely that most existing users don’t.
So, where else is it promoted?
Looking at the brand’s main Facebook page, I discovered that it can also be accessed via the ‘book now’ or ‘message’ buttons, which take you straight to Messenger.
Although, it does seem like this would be very easy to miss, even for existing fans of the Facebook page. Most people find and access content directly from their news feed, so how likely is it that anyone will see this?
Upon further inspection, I spotted that the brand has actively promoted the feature in a recent post, highlighting it in conjunction with a current Valentine’s Day special offer and urging users to book it via the chatbot.
But, while fans might see it, what about people who occasionally (or even regularly) eat in a Pizza Express restaurant, but haven’t liked the brand’s Facebook page?
Personally, I’ve enjoyed the odd Padana Romana in my time. I’d even go as far as saying Pizza Express is my emergency high street restaurant chain of choice, but I’d honestly never think to hit that ‘like’ button. In that case, I’d miss the chatbot entirely.
And Pizza Express might miss out on my data and the subsequent opportunity for retargeting.
It’s also worth mentioning that anyone without Facebook Messenger installed on their smartphone will be left frustrated if they happen to click ‘book now’ on the Facebook page.