2024 Predictions: AI Gets Personal While Cloud Providers Get Niche
2023 was a tumultuous economic year. As brands finalize their 2024 budgets, it’s clear that every dollar must be invested wisely. Decision-makers have a difficult choice: Where should those dollars go to get the most return on investment?
For brands looking to get the most out of their 2024 budget, we predict two key digital areas will have the most impact: artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services.
AI to Personalize Customer Experiences
AI has been on everyone’s radar, partially because of its capabilities but also because of its complexity and the unfamiliarity it brings. What we do know about AI is that it can be used extremely effectively for personalization, strengthening customer experiences and satisfaction.
Brands already on composable commerce platforms are better prepared to incorporate AI and machine learning algorithms to offer more personalized shopping experiences. Those that implemented a customer data platform (CDP) during their 2023 digital investments can now use their robust customer data to make the most of AI.
Data points, such as types of purchases, price points, and conversion paths, can be used to personalize a customer’s storefront products, the prices they see, and the ads they’re served. When you know more about your customers, you’re more likely to experience revenue growth and gain market share as you increase conversions, products per transaction, and loyalty through more targeted outreach.
Brands can also use AI to get ahead of changing market and customer trends. Many commerce leaders use dynamic pricing to automate their prices according to demand, time of day, and customer segments. Use data to your advantage and stay competitive against retailers with similar products.
Cloud Services to Support Composable Commerce
While AI is an area of potential, some brands aren’t yet ready to implement the technology due to a lack of internal capacity or a lack of data infrastructure. These brands should focus on another impactful category — cloud services.
Retailers must keep up with rapidly changing markets and consumer trend cycles. There’s increasing pressure on brands to keep pace. Legacy monolith platforms present a challenge here, with teams dedicating both time and resources to make frequent updates and maintain infrastructure. Rolling out new features can be cumbersome and slow, resulting in missed opportunities and, potentially, customer churn.
There’s an undeniable element of speed that comes with cloud services. As brands shift to composable commerce, they can use best-in-breed solutions from cloud service providers (CSPs) to stay up-to-date. Brands looking for quicker time to market and an omnichannel, headless architecture leverage CSP integrations for proven agility and success.
As the cloud services space continues to mature and specialize, leaders such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud will continue to develop services and tools that support what composable and MACH-based commerce brands are looking for. These can be niche solutions such as Algolia’s search and discovery API that enables advanced search functions to help consumers find products on a site. Or a solution like commercetools, a cloud-based platform designed specifically for customizable and scalable commerce which can form the backbone of your entire e-commerce operation. Sometimes in these cases, the path forward with a cloud service may require more customization. That’s where systems integrators can step in and work with the brand and service provider to create solutions and leverage what composable commerce has to offer.
Create an Impact With AI and Cloud Services
Customers expect more from interactions with brands. Harnessing AI effectively will enable you to serve unique customer needs, instead of treating every consumer as one. Cloud services will help you launch and maintain up-to-date offerings, helping you keep pace with the market instead of constantly playing catch up.
It’s impossible to predict the future of the economy and where technology will take us with 100 percent accuracy, but we can identify what’s most likely: brands that put their budget behind AI and cloud services will experience impactful growth in 2024 and be better prepared for the future than their counterparts.
Becky Parisotto is the vice president of digital programs at Orium, a composable commerce consultancy and systems integrator.
Related story: Key Digital Investments for Retailers in 2023