Does AI sound like it’s all hype? For the retail sector, it turns out that AI can have many applications. Similarly, it can help you integrate processes across the value chain.
Why AI for Retail?
84% of customers say that experience is as important as products or services themselves. Furthermore, customer expectations are at an all-time high. Besides, these expectations are true for all touchpoints that your brand interacts with them on.
In order to deliver great customer experience, you have to be everywhere they are. Furthermore, you have to anticipate where they will be next. For instance, when retailers realized that Instagram was a great platform for sales, they improvised and found ways to sell even before the platform released its official feature.
The Future of Retail
Platforms are getting more fragmented. As a result, there are more new channels for customers to interact with you every day. This means that the competitive advantage you enjoy as a brand must translate to every touchpoint. Here are some retail statistics that give you an indication of where the future is headed:
- 55% of all orders are now on mobile
- There is an almost 70% increase in orders through social media
- 26% of revenue comes from AI-driven product recommendations
Now that we understand where retail is headed in the near future, let’s look at how AI fits into the picture.
AI can help you in every step of the customer journey, right from your value chain to pre and post-purchase stages.
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AI for the Retail Value Chain
- Efficient Order Management: From the time a customer places an order, your automated system can take all the steps to ensure that the fulfillment center has all the information they need in a matter of seconds.
- Better Inventory Planning: AI can help you automate your inventory planning. This means it can check, fulfill and restock goods so that you save time and money.
- AI for Retail Marketing: Programmatic advertising can save you time and make your ad budget more efficient. The automated system can also optimize bids for your campaigns within micro-seconds.
- Loyalty Programs: AI can help you collect, store and analyze vast amounts of data that stems from your loyalty programs. This means that you can automate customer upgrades, reward redemptions and more.
- AI-Powered Email Marketing: AI can help you refine your email marketing over time. As a result, you can enjoy increased open rates and engagement on emails.
Storefront or Purchase Stage
- Data-Driven Personalization: Data generated through AI-powered retail systems can help you drive personalization. AI systems can hence process several data points on the fly and offer an experience that is tailored to the shopper’s interests.
- Real-Time Customization: Customer experience can be tailored in real-time through API. For example, as soon as a customer visits your website, you can show them products based on their browsing history. Furthermore, you can show them products in price ranges based on their wealth signals, etc.
- Increased Cross & Upselling: AI for retail recommendation engines can make a significant difference to the cart value of your customers. Making useful recommendations in a relevant and timely manner increases the possibility of upselling and cross-selling.
- 24/7 Customer Service: With AI for retail customer support, it is possible to take care of clients’ needs round the clock. Chatbots, automated phone, and email service take the pressure off of customer support teams. Further, they help reduce costs by answering common queries. Hence, you can only direct more complex needs to a representative.
- Better Insights for Continuous Improvement: With AI integrating into your CRM, your loyalty programs and customer support channels, you can get integrated data. Moreover, this data can deliver actionable insights that can help you refine the customer experience across every touchpoint.
Supercharge Your Retail Process Now
Interested in learning more about how technology can help you scale personalization?
Catch a recap of Accenture’s talk Making it Personal at WE Prosper Summit 2019.