How AI Will Impact the Holiday Shopping Experience
The holiday season is always marked by a shopping spree. The challenge retailers face with this surge is making shopping experiences exceptional despite the chaos. Even with all of the variety of ways consumers shop, retailers must be able to understand what they seek and prefer. This is where advanced technologies like artificial intelligence come in.
With AI solutions such as those collecting customer feedback or providing personalized offers for shoppers, retailers can gain unique insights into what happened during their customers’ in-store visits or online purchases. With this insight, they can fix areas in which things haven't gone so well by filling gaps that exist. This data allows retailers to better align their experiences for customers' personal preferences. Furthermore, they gain foresights from past data and behavior to fix potential future issues in a similar way to Tom Cruise’s "Minority Report."
How AI is Growing in the Retail Space
AI is becoming more popular among businesses in the retail sector. This is because building efficiency through systems and AI can mean significant efficiency improvements. In addition, AI can also convert data into useful information that can be used in decision making to enhance shopping experiences for an individual or larger demographic.
AI in retail is here to stay and will only grow; the figures prove it. For now, only 40 percent of retailers employ AI in their operations, as revealed by a recent IBM study. However, that same study forecasts that this number will double over the next three years.
From suggesting personalized offers to tracking feedback based on demography, there’s an answer to virtually all problems faced by retailers today. This range of opportunities that AI solutions offer has caused more retailers to implement some form of the technology in their operations.
Understanding Customer Behavior During the Holiday Season
During holiday seasons, knowing the behavior of customers is equivalent to having superpowers for retailers. Through AI, businesses can understand past buying habits as well as identify future trends, thus enabling them to stock the right products while developing marketing strategies that will suit their customers' needs.
But there’s more than that. Most importantly, AI manages customer satisfaction scores on key areas visited within a store and identifies bottlenecks at any stage throughout the buyer’s journey. There's no better time for that than during the holiday season, when increased foot traffic means more data points and the opportunity to increase sales. And the upside, or the downside risk, is massive during that time. The holidays are the perfect time to invest in AI-driven operations.
What is AI Data Analytics and How Does it Work?
AI goes through vast amounts of data without the slightest hint of exhaustion. The technology is like a crystal ball that enables retailers to benefit from data points by tracking online clicks and observing in-store foot traffic.
It's not only about retailers, however. Using a data-driven approach gives customers better shopping experiences that are more personal. This can result in increased customer loyalty, revenue growth and lifetime value.
Retailers need AI not as a technological accessory but because it's necessary for their future success. In fact, gaining insights, knowing shopper behavior, and offering personalized experiences can differentiate your business in a crowded market.
For retailers seeking to win loyal customers over the final weeks of the holiday shopping season, adopt available technological advances, including AI, and use them properly to improve customer experiences and drive sales.
Mike Bradford is the head of operations, Americas for HappyOrNot, a customer feedback management company.