Retailer spending on artificial intelligence will reach $7.3 billion per year by 2022, according to Juniper Research. The battle to outmaneuver the competition with data will heat up as retailers hunt for ways to improve the consumer buying experience.
Sellers increasingly rely on the information provided by AI-powered demand forecasting. It’s critical for preparing for key shopping holidays such as Black Friday.
Today, Amazon’s success has set the bar for many retailers. Providing proprietary AI resources to global retailers that have enabled that success is a sizable part of Amazon’s scope of business. These solutions include AI-powered pricing, discounting and demand forecasting.
To compete in an information-driven marketplace, retailers must embrace AI, as have so many global enterprises. The following are seven ways that global eCommerce retailers are leveraging artificial intelligence to improve customer experience.
- Increased Personalization
Over the last ten years, the retail sector has grown increasingly digitized. Top retailers collect and analyze information about every consumer. This data store has empowered retailers to personalize the buyer journey.
For today’s retailers, information analysis is about more than the overarching scope of big data. It’s about understanding the granular details of each consumer’s behavior. This information empowers retailers to deliver a personalized shopping experience for each potential buyer.
- More Efficient Customer Service
An omnichannel strategy is now the norm in retail. With so many different touch points for brands, there’s a massive increase in data.
One increasingly popular technology, chatbots, allows retailers to optimize the flow of high-level consumer engagement. When used effectively, chatbots can route consumers directly to the resources that they desire. On the first try, chatbots can answer basic consumer questions or route callers to the correct customer service representative.
- Natural Language Processing (NLP)
A growing number of consumers are using digital personal assistants, such as Go Google and Siri. Now is the time to seize on this trend by investing in voice-powered technology.
Research shows that 29-percent of consumers who own digital personal assistants have used their device to shop online. Furthermore, 41-percent of consumers who haven’t used a digital personal assistant for shopping will soon.
Retailers can’t forget about the mobile experience just yet. There’s still strong consumer demand for mobile engagement with brands. Soon, however, digital personal assistants will capture more audience attention.
- Increased Buyer Journey Transparency
One of the most significant ways that AI has impacted eCommerce is that it empowers retailers to track consumer behavior, from the research stage to final purchase. Retailers have the longest track record of using AI to analyze consumer behavior. Today’s digital resources enable enterprises to verify where consumers enter the sales funnel as well as their entire journey through it.
Before artificial intelligence, retailers relied on a blend of experience, strategy and luck to determine effective pricing. Now, however, they’re empowered to sift through massive amounts of data to pinpoint perfect price points.
- Next-Level Customer Service Capabilities
Contrary to widely held concern, artificial intelligence will augment human capability, rather than replace humans entirely. Alternatively, AI will make humans more relevant.
As business leaders suss out the ethics of AI automation, marketing experts recommend that enterprises relegate consumer-facing AI to simple tasks. Complex functions that require nuanced human communication should remain in the capable hands of humans.
- Enterprise-Wide Touchpoint Unification
Today, executives use artificial intelligence to monitor a treasure trove of omnichannel touchpoints. The technology empowers enterprises to build a complete picture of each consumer. Using this information, retailers can forecast the needs of buyers and take actions to promote customer loyalty.
- Predictive Analytics
AI technology is essential for evaluating the information that retailers collect across omnichannel touchpoints. Once amalgamated, they can analyze consumer behavior and market trends to develop a personalized strategy that serves each consumer’s needs. When executed correctly, consumers feel understood and valued, resulting in increased loyalty, retention and sales.
Amazon has retailing down to a science – literally. They’ve grown their proprietary data analysis platform into a global resource relied on by countless retailers around the world. As the data information field matures, information analysis is becoming increasingly accessible in cost and ease of deployment.
According to Juniper’s research, retailers must invest and artificial intelligence to remain competitive in low-profit margin sectors. Fortunately for retailers, reports Juniper, the cost of AI tools will drop 8-percent during the next four years.
As this occurs, retailers will increase their investment in artificial intelligence by 300-percent. In a retail environment where all the top players have AI in their toolkit, it’s no longer viable to conduct business in the marketplace by relying solely on experience and intuition.