Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most talked about technologies in the retail sector. Why? Because AI helps retailers understand customer preferences, provide tailored content that meets each customer’s unique interests, and make informed decisions about where to spend their valuable marketing dollars. Using AI technology enables retailers to create more personalized digital experiences that turn potential customers into loyal customers.
The term AI was coined in 1956 and, for this discussion, we’re looking at how AI can help retailers provide targeted information to customers in order to facilitate purchases and influence marketing decisions. How important is AI to retailers? In 2019, IDC stated that 40% of digital transformation initiatives as well as 100% of IoT initiatives will be AI supported.
Here are five ways in which AI helps retailers get a holistic view of their customers and create exceptional digital experiences.
Deliver highly personalized website experiences
AI helps retailers create better online experiences for customers. Using AI to personalize a customer’s online experience helps target each customer’s specific interests, lets marketers build microsites and landing pages for specific campaigns, and reduces the time it takes to manage all of your online content. Here are five areas where AI-driven personalization can help improve the customer experience:
- Improve purchasing recommendations based on customer preferences.
- Share targeted content in real-time based on website traffic.
- Increase online conversion rates.
- Provide personalized experiences based on hundreds of data points.
- Deliver the right content to the right person at the right time on the right channel.
Extend the customer journey via digital signage
AI has changed the way products are purchased. Real-time monitoring while a customer is in the store can impact how certain items are priced and which promotional strategies are used. With margins being so small in retail, AI-powered digital signage offers a true competitive advantage.
For example, when a sports fan goes into a brick-and-mortar store, their personal data can be used to offer discounts on their favorite team’s jersey or the store can promote specific items that need to be moved. In addition, advertisements can be targeted to meet specific customer interests.
Optimize for a mobile world
While adoption of mobile technologies continues to grow, a majority of the information that retailers push to customers was originally designed to be displayed on websites, not on mobile devices. Content that is optimized for mobile devices helps differentiate your offerings from your competitors. In addition, delivering product recommendations and promotions in real-time goes a long way to improving the odds of having a customer make purchases. Here are five ways that AI-powered content can help increase customer purchases:
- Chatbots improve communication with customers and help facilitate purchasing products.
- AI-powered personalization helps organizations unify data from multiple sources to provide a single view of the customer which helps lead customers to take action.
- Analyzing customer data helps uncover trends and micro-segments such as user behavior, device type, and geo-location.
- Recommendations based on each customer’s unique interests helps improve the odds of making a sale.
- Driving clicks by using automated mobile app A/B testing helps you continuously optimize performance of app content.
Generate better results with paid advertising
AI algorithms help analyze data on ad performance and can reveal patterns that will help improve how your ads are used. In addition, ads can be changed instantly to meet specific customer interests. Previously, the marketing manager would have to analyze this type of data and make blanket decisions about which paid ads to use. Here are three ways that AI applications help improve paid advertising:
- Deliver more relevant display ad content and bid for ads in real-time for greater efficiency.
- Share highly targeted content and offer and display ads on digital signage.
- Improve ad performance with more targeted media buys based on data received from multiple channels, devices and apps.
Leverage the Internet of Things (IoT)
The growth of the IoT has changed the way that people connect which means that retailers can gather vast amounts of information to improve how they make decisions. AI-powered smart devices, such as home appliances and wearable technologies, influence what content is shared with customers. Tapping into the information from customers helps retailers increase customer interaction and strengthen the connection to your company’s brand.
AI is the competitive differentiator
The beauty of AI is that it helps retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, share personalized content in real-time that helps facilitate purchasing. Tapping into the power of AI helps retailers establish a connection with customers, helps separate your company from your competitors and provides your company with valuable customer data that helps power your sales and marketing activities.