Upgrading functionality and customer experience with AI
Businesses must work harder than ever to maintain excellence in the experience for their customers. With the resurgence of brick and mortar stores, retailers are challenged with providing a streamlined and personalized customer experience that consumers have come to expect. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) enters the picture. No longer just a “behind the curtain” data analyst, AI has been refined and developed to emerge as a tool that retailers should leverage, in-store and online.
However, when integrating AI technologies into your business, there isn’t a clear path for best use. Different retailers require different solutions, and with all that AI has to offer in the way of enhancing your business operations and customer experiences, it’s essential to know how AI can be implemented and how it can improve upon your current solutions.
How AI can affect your retail space
Consistency and bolstered reputation. Businesses that incorporate AI can ensure their customers always have a high-quality experience with them. Nothing relieves consumers more than knowing that the brands and businesses they love maintain the same convenient experience time and time again. This gives your business’s reputation a positive boost.
Create a single customer view. Unfortunately, businesses have more customer data than they know what to do with or even how to access. The traditional process of unifying data on customer interactions is slow and painstaking, often leading to unused data in unreachable data silos. On top of that, the information once located, has often become outdated.
AI helps retailers integrate all customer touchpoints and mine contextual data in real time. This allows you to take data from your customers to create a single customer view, enabling you to understand the preferences of your customers as well as their history with you. Obtaining that single customer view is key for creating the personalized and predictive experience that consumers have come to expect.
Enhanced buying decisions. AI’s unmatched capabilities of collecting and analyzing data improves a retailers ability to forecast their customer’s needs and create strategies to meet those needs. Utilizing real-time insights and contextual data based on factors like sales and weather, retailers can gain a better understanding of product demand, thus cutting costs and increasing supply chain efficiency.
Drive up conversion rates. AI is being used to improve conversion rates for retailers both in-store and online. By analyzing customer behaviors and foot traffic, AI can optimize store layouts to increase sales or use facial recognition and emotional analysis to know when a customer needs assistance before they even ask.
Online, AI gathers and uses customer data to provide predictive and personalized recommendations. This decreases the time customers spend finding the item they want and increases the likelihood of an online shopper making a purchase before they get bored or distracted and don’t make that purchase.
How AI improves the customer experience
Streamline customer service. Consumers want their needs to be understood and solved quickly. However, a customer service representative can’t be expected to understand the needs of every customer without first understanding their history with your business.
The introduction of AI, in the form of chatbots and virtual assistants, streamlines customer service interactions. Customers can communicate with an AI representative who, with human-like conversational skills, can provide an experience customized to their preferences and needs while also gathering useful data for future interactions.
Personalization. With the use of AI in retail, shopping experiences for customers are becoming more and more customized. AI gathers data about customers to offer limitless opportunities for creating personalized customer experiences. AI can read a customer’s style and taste as well as mood and emotional reaction. These insights about a customer, combined with their purchase history, enables your AI software to know what to recommend and when.
Imagine AI driven customer experience in your business
Let’s walk you through what AI could look like for your retail space. A customer downloads your business’s new app with its AI features and capabilities. The customer discovers Ally, your AI chatbot charged with engaging them conversationally while learning their preferences and style.
The customer expresses an interest in going on a hiking trip this fall in the Great Smoky Mountains and would like to be outfitted accordingly. Throughout this quick and seamless conversation, Ally has been using cognitive computing technology to make suggestions based on the style, season, and activity. Before the customer is even finished explaining what it is they’re looking for, Ally has located several light coats perfect for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, in the time of year the customer is going and according to their own personal taste.
This is only one small example of how AI technology can be used to enhance a customer’s experience and drive change in a retail space. The world’s foremost brands have recognized the power and potential AI can bring when it comes to creating the best customer experiences.
Discover how Sophelle can help you best utilize AI
From more personalized customer service to enhanced functionality in your store, the introduction of AI into your company’s retail space provides endless opportunities for optimization. The key is finding your best use for technology.
At Sophelle, we are experts in retail system selection. We know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and we will help retailers locate the best technologies for their needs. Contact us and let our team help you innovate your retail strategy.