High AI adoption was seen in the high tech and telecoms, automotive and assembly, and financial services industries, while retail, media, and entertainment experienced medium AI adoption. – Source: McKinsey report
Whether you are a big retailer or a small-sized business struggling to make optimal use of big data, you need to implement AI to make your customers feel special as well as to drive sales at scale. Beyond basic personalisation and product recommendations like “customers who bought this item also bought…” – AI is making a big impact on marketing, helping online retailers to enhance every step of the customer journey.
From AI-powered personal assistants for customer service to tailored product recommendations, replenishment reminders, and automatic inventory management, AI can automate when a customer receives communication personalised based on interests, preferences and past purchases.
Here are a few ways AI can offer real value to your customers:
1. AI for enhanced customer experience
The modern day marketing is all about reaching out to a customer at the right time with the right context. There are a number of ways to facilitate customer intelligence using AI.
- AI-driven intelligence can help marketers to send messages that are personalised, contextual, relevant, and timely. Machine learning algorithms can predict the best time to reach out to a customer by analysing his past behavior – what time of the day the customer is active and is most likely to open your messages.
- Dynamic content is another powerful way to reach out to customers at the right time with the right context. For example, a push notification or an email will feature different recommendations depending on the demographics of the customer. E-commerce brands use dynamic content for weather-focused promotions to make the messaging experience more personalised, relevant and of-the-moment. The other factors that influence dynamic content include things such as price-sensitive offers, the day of the week, time of day, and the marketing medium.
2. AI-powered personalisation to improve the customer journey
Real-time marketing involves a greater level of personalisation throughout the customer lifecycle. In order to offer a seamless, personalised experience, retailers need to center their marketing on the user personas that are updated in real-time. Single customer view powers the customer intelligence based on key data insights like previous purchases, browsing history, age, and location.
Another example is AI-driven product recommendations tailored to each customer. Instead of the one-size-fits-all solution, Amazon is known for, artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms leverage techniques like lifetime value models, advanced segmentation models to fuel personalised recommendations.
3. Getting granular is the key to prescriptive insights
Artificial intelligence starts with data granularity. Marketing automation platforms like Betaout analyses key metric drivers and millions of possible data outcomes in minutes to suggest actionable insights that aren’t otherwise possible for marketers to unearth on their own.
Unlike manual data analysis data scientists are known for, AI-powered prescriptive intelligence comes with great accuracy and fast analysis. For instance, artificial intelligence bots can prescribe the most profitable marketing channel for business, most profitable segment, or the right offer. Prescriptive insights like these are the ones that truly matter.
4. A proper analytical framework is the building block of AI
Artificial intelligence isn’t crystal-ball magic but is driven by big-data analytics. When it comes to deriving data-driven insights, it’s important to have an analytical framework in place. Your data-driven algorithms that feed the AI-system are as effective as asking the right questions and chasing the right metrics. Analytical dashboards are the key to implement AI successfully – from descriptive dashboards that are designed to offer data drill-downs at a more granular level to making predictions based on this historic data; analytics & AI combined are the keys to offer enhanced customer experience.
AI-wizardry for retail isn’t limited to the above. There are a lot of other areas where AI is making a big impact like in increasing sales, engaging customers, product discovery and customer service. For instance, retail brands like Neiman Marcus, Asos, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters are using AI to improve the online shopping experience.
Top brands like Uber, Burberry, and 1-800-Flowers have been successfully engaging and acquiring new customers with one-to-one chat experience using chatbots. AI is constantly helping organisations connect with their customers in new and meaningful ways.