Navigating the Future: AI's Unprecedented Role in On-Premise Personalization
Imagine entering a store for the first time and encountering screens instantly customized to your preferences. As you browse the aisles, you receive tailored product recommendations precisely aligned with your tastes and needs. This scenario depicts the imminent future of on-premise personalization — where artificial intelligence lifts customer journeys to unprecedented levels. Nevertheless, the human element remains vital in delivering a genuinely exceptional customer experience.
Blending Physical and Digital Retail
In-store digital experiences are evolving rapidly to meet the needs of hybrid shoppers. According to Mood Media's In-Store Shopping Trends report, more than a third of shoppers desire real-time recommendations and incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences to navigate stores and delve into product lines.
In addition to VR and AR, AI — including machine learning (ML) algorithms, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and beacon technology — breaks the barriers between digital and physical retail. As retailers work to normalize a more educational and interactive product discovery process, they bring online experiences directly into the aisles. This approach is especially vital as a 1WorldSync report found consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices for in-store research. By connecting online data and content to physical products in real time, AI-powered immersive technologies facilitate ultra-personalized journeys where every visit feels like an exceptional adventure.
For instance, AI can suggest the perfect accessory to pair with selected apparel or curate an individualized shopping experience resonating with personal style. When consumers scan a product QR code, AI algorithms can analyze purchase history and online browsing behavior to determine which types of content — videos, reviews, visual guides — shoppers would find most relevant and helpful for a given product.
AI guides each shopper's journey using real-time and historical data to deliver next-level convenient and spot-on recommendations, while immersive in-store experiences enrich journeys by supplying on-demand resources right on the shelves. With hybrid models emerging across industries, retailers now have a distinctive opportunity for growth. This involves bridging their online capabilities with tangible brick-and-mortar interactions powered by data-driven, customized recommendations and in-aisle digital tools that create deeper engagement.
The Indispensable Human Touch
However, amidst this technological transformation, the human element remains irreplaceable. AI enhances efficiency and customization, but human interaction fosters emotional connections. Tomorrow’s retail winners will harness AI while preserving the engagement that builds rapport and trust.
The synergy between advanced analytics and "high touch" customer service leads to greater brand loyalty and investment. Although AI offers accuracy and scale, empathy creates lasting impressions. Combining both gives retailers an unparalleled opportunity to boost satisfaction.
AI-driven personalization will undoubtedly shape the future of on-premise retail. IoT and predictive modeling, as innovative as they are, can't excel without the human component. Brands recognizing and balancing AI's capabilities with genuine connections will rise above the competition.
Jaime Bettencourt is senior vice president of North American sales and brand strategy at Mood Media, an in-store media solutions company dedicated to elevating the customer experience.
Jaime Bettencourt, Senior Vice President of North American Sales and Brand Strategy at Mood Media, is an accomplished senior-level sales and marketing leader with a proven ability to achieve double-digit revenue growth, recognized for designing world-class customer experiences for leading lifestyle and retail brands. She has a robust track record for leading teams and leveraging custom, complex in-store marketing, media, and technology solutions for Fortune 500 clients in the retail space. Throughout Jaime’s 20 years at Mood Media, she’s been in various marketing, branding and sales leadership roles and has worked with global organizations to enhance in-store experiences through targeted brand initiatives and marketing strategies supported by customer insights and analytics.