US food and drug retailers Albertsons Companies has decided to implement Nuance’s AI-powered virtual assistant and live chat solutions.

Under the contract, the retailer will leverage Nuance’s Intelligent Engagement Platform to offer instant digital support to customers during online grocery shopping.

Albertsons has deployed the solution across its Vons stores. It will also deploy the AI-powered assistance across Safeway, Tom Thumb, Jewel Osco, Albertsons, Pavilions, and Randalls.

The solution will offer answers to customer inquiries regarding the delivery service, item availability, online order tracking status, and store locations and hours in real-time.

The deployment is in response to the increasing switch of customers to the web and mobile shopping apps due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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Albertsons Companies EVP and chief customer and digital officer Chris Rupp said: “Supporting our customers’ needs as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible is of utmost importance to us. We are pleased to offer shoppers multiple options when it comes to ordering online – from in-store pickup to contactless delivery.

“Our associates are fully committed to assisting our customers in the stores, and now we can extend that same Albertsons experience to our digital channels, ensuring our customers’ needs are met, however they choose to shop.”

The Albertsons Companies consists of more than 2,200 supermarkets and operate under 22 banners in 34 US states and the District of Columbia.

The retailer also offers home delivery services in 11 US markets.

Last June, Albertsons implemented Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions’ self-service checkout System 6 across its Jewel, ACME, Shaw’s, Safeway, Carrs, Tom Thumb, Randalls and Vons brands.