Levi’s has launched an online virtual stylist chatbot to help shoppers make decisions around clothing fit and style.

The jeanswear brand says the service – which is available on its website and Facebook Messenger – combines the fashion knowledge of its in-store staff and artificial intelligence.

First available to customers last Thursday, the chatbot poses questions such as “How would you like your jeans to fit through your hips and thighs?”, which helps the company to understand specific shopper preferences on leg shape, rise and stretch. It then integrates sizing information from tech provider TrueFit to offer personalised recommendations.

Consumers will also be able to crowdsource their shopping decisions using a “share” function that lets them send product options to their friends who can vote for their favourite items and comment on products.

Image recognition technology is utilised in Levi’s “See It Styled” function to generate a gallery of user-generated photos that showcase how other Levi’s customers have styled their clothing.

Marc Rosen, executive vice president and president of global eCommerce at Levi’s, said: “We are on the leading edge of a challenge that all retail companies face today – how to create a seamless and personalised shopping experience for consumers, and new technologies like our virtual stylist are integral to that evolution.”

The chatbot is powered by mode.ai, and is part of a wider push to use innovative technologies to improve the Levi’s consumer shopping experience and drive the retailer’s sales.

Levi’s executive vice president and president of global retail, Carrie Ask, spoke at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York earlier this year, highlighting how the fashion brand is using technology to improve inventory management, for example.

She said the company was working alongside Intel and various other partners to address inaccurate inventories – something she described as the company’s “Achilles Heel”.

In the past retailers could get away with out of stocks by offering alternative products, Ask noted, but today’s consumers have so much shopping choice that lack of shelf-level inventory can quickly turn them away to a competitor.

"Consumers don't have to settle anymore," she warned, as she emphasised the need to make very customer interaction count.