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Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail.

Gone are the days when a consumer casually pops into a store and walks the aisles until she finds a product that suits her. Life is more hectic now, technology is more accessible, and consumers are becoming more purposeful in how they shop. Learn tips for reaching the omnichannel consumer—and methods to track your success.

Last year, Monetate studied the personalization practices of leading brands, most of which were at the point of starting to seriously ramp up their personalization journey. Almost a year later, the company is finding that businesses have made significant progress in their search for personalization effectiveness, but there's still a great deal of room for growth. In October 2017, Monetate partnered with research experts WBR Insights to learn how far brands have come, and what they've yet to achieve when it comes to turning personalization goals into measurable business impact. The findings are outlined in this report, which describes the lessons learned from studying the practices of more than 500 North American and United Kingdom-based senior marketers.

When it comes to sales, consumers are accustomed to online shopping. However, when it comes to customer service, brands today still force consumers to either call an 800 number or visit a store. Sure, brands today have incorporated chatbots into their online strategy, but most are poorly designed, don’t use natural language and aren’t capable of learning over time. What’s worse, even though today’s customers are completely accustomed to using search engines when researching queries, brands don’t take this approach with their websites by empowering consumers to research their own customer service issues online. This paper will address the current state of customer service, discuss the journey customers take in present day in trying to get answers to their own questions, and explore the role chatbots are increasingly taking in this journey.

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