My Adventures in Chat Commerce (Part 2)

Last month, I wrote about my successful shopping experience with Hamlet, where I discovered and bought a table lamp via text. Around the same time, I needed to book a flight so I downloaded the Mezi app.

Like Hamlet, Mezi is messaging-based. But unlike Hamlet, it requires an app download. I told Mezi where and when I wanted to travel. Because Mezi came back with just two options, I felt I had to do a more exhaustive search on Kayak, at which point it was easier just to book myself. Additionally, I knew from prior research that the airline in one of Mezi's options had various fare classes with different restrictions. Mezi didn't tell me upfront there was more than one option if I chose that flight. When I asked which class their price was quoting, it told me I'd have to select a flight to get that info. The communication was in stilted bot-talk, whereas there was doubt I was conversing with a human at Hamlet.

Knowing that Mezi can handle shopping in addition to travel, I went back to it and said I needed to build an "exposed closet". (If you Google this, you'll see it's a collection of shelves and rods that can look visually appealing in a closet-starved bedroom.)

The type of solution recommended by Mezi (this one from Amazon)

The type of solution recommended by Mezi (this one from Amazon)

When Mezi came back with utilitarian interior closet kits (like the one above), I provided photo examples of what I actually had in mind (below is one of them). I got more of the same basics. This tells me Mezi's falling short on both image and text artificial intelligence.

Pinterest inspiration I screenshot for Mezi

Pinterest inspiration I screenshot for Mezi

My last attempt was a search for a table lamp, which I requested from Mezi at the same time I was shopping with Hamlet. I stated the room type, style, and budget. After 30+ minutes, I got three recommendations that seemed random. One was okay style-wise. But the price was 20% of my budget, leaving me worried about quality. I asked about the material and construction and Mezi said it would get back to me in another 30 minutes.

The answer: "...[lamp] is sold by a reputable vendor and gets very high reviews! Here are a few great reviews of the product:" There was a screenshot of five 4-5 star reviews and one 1 star review. None addressed quality. They also never mentioned what wattage the lamp can accommodate. I passed.

I've heard good things about Mezi, specifically for travel, so I've kept the app and plan to give it another try for flight or hotel research. Please share your experience below if there's a better way for me to be using it or there are others in the chat commerce space you recommend.