Most retail businesses are not using AI yet, according to The ScaleFactor State of SMB Finance report. Are they losing opportunities? Yes, since the retail e-commerce sales in the US ae predicted to grow from 365.2 billion US dollars in 2019 to almost 600 billion in 2024.
In this article, we will explore how AI can improve the customer experience, increase the revenue for your retail company, and why your business needs an app.
Get insights from Big Data
Using technology is an excellent chance for you to get to know your customers better. Simple cookies will help you analyze and expand your target audience. By learning the age, sex, residence, and social status of your clients, you will be able to offer them more relevant products and services.
Getting data can benefit both you and your users since it will help you to fulfill their desires, and they will pay for it. While you will be keeping up with clients, they will keep up with your product.
Personalize your shopping service
Introducing Artificial Intelligence to your service won’t alienate customers, but vice versa. Segmentation and targeting based on insights you get from technology are two keys to more personalized marketing. Such an approach does not only show a client that you care about their interests but also brings an efficiency rise to your business.
AI for customer support improvement
Everyone hates that hold music in call centers, and actually, you do not need to have it anymore. 70% percent of clients prefer texting to voice communication. Artificial Intelligence helps companies improve the speed or quality of their customer support.
Now, you can have a virtual assistant that works 24/7, does not need to eat, sleep, get paid, or have medical insurance. Moreover, it will probably be more effective than your current support. For instance, Autodesk created a virtual agent that cut average resolution time from 1.5 days to 5.4 minutes.
Chatbots might be useful for both support and sales reasons. They vary from a simple bot that works according to a scenario by answering specific inquiries to an NLP-powered system with an inbuilt semantic analysis. You can use chatbots in different places: a website, an app, Facebook, or other channels.
H&M gives us a great example of a sales-oriented chatbot. This dialogue system does not only answer questions but helps the user choose clothes according to their style. So, a chatbot is a mechanism to shape the customer journey and to cater to users’ needs before they are even articulated.
Visual search is an ML-powered instrument that allows customers to find an item by a photo or a picture. It is especially useful for big retailers of clothes or household goods with a wide variety of similar products.
Such a tool would speed up the process of search and increase the customer’s loyalty. Visual search is not quite developed yet, but it will likely become widespread among big retailers. Another dimension of visual is Augmented Reality, which is a technology that helps you understand how a thing looks within some space. IKEA released an app that allows users to see if an item fits in the room and suits it due to AR.
Why an app
So, we agreed on what to do, but the question “how?” is still in place. Companies usually use multiple marketing channels: websites, social media, apps. However, the only thing that can integrate all of the above benefits is a retail app. Here are some more arguments in favor of an app.
People spend more and more time on their smart-phones. They use these devices to find routes, work, shop, watch videos, and communicate. Why not laptops or tablets? Because smart-phones are mobile, you can have them with you 24/7. Give your user an app, and your brand will be with them wherever they go.
Mobility takes us to comfort: usually, the apps are way more intuitive and good-looking than the mobile site versions due to UX. So, people are more likely to use smart-phones, than computers, and tend to like apps more than mobile versions of websites. Contemporary technologies also allow us to pay with a fingerprint, which can only be done through the phone.
Camera usage is another benefit of an app compared to web-version. If one needs to send a picture to a company or take a picture of an item to find through visual search, they would probably not want to switch between devices. Furthermore, the apps usually have a shorter loading or even can be used in offline mode.
More channels bring more chances. Acquiring an app for your retail business allows you to start using push-notifications and get structured data about your customers from one place. It also makes your brand more visible and open opportunities for loyalty programs.
Implementing AI solutions might become a turning point for your business by bringing revenue and customer loyalty to a new level. It is a chance for a company to start learning more about its customers, personalize their experience, and provide customers with better and faster support.
New tools such as chatbots, visual search, and apps can attract users with their convenience and efficiency. So, keeping up with your customers’ demands from you to keep up with the world, embrace the technology, and use it for good.
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Editor’s note: This article reflects the personal opinions of our guest author.
About the guest author
Anzhela Sychyk is a Market Researcher and Technical Writer at TheAppSolutions. I like to learn new things about modern technologies and share knowledge through value-added content, helping entrepreneurs build businesses in a more effective way.