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Why AI is Every Brand’s Best Friend


In their first guest article for WhichPLM, Sentient Technologies explore the many benefits of adopting Artificial Intelligence – particularly in relation to today’s online fashion climate. Sentient has created the world’s largest and most powerful distributed AI platform by combining multiple AI disciplines, allowing them to create fully autonomous products.

Look out for Sentient’s next exclusive piece with us, coming to you next month.

Everyone knows diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but what many don’t know is that artificial intelligence will soon become every brand’s best friend – especially in today’s digitized world of ecommerce, where personalization and website optimization can make or break online retail revenue. It’s no secret that the future of retail lies in ecommerce. Forrester has predicted that online sales will reach $523 billion by 2020 in the U.S. And, according to a joint survey conducted by Square and Big Commerce, 67% of millennials and 56% of Gen X-ers prefer to search and purchase on ecommerce sites rather than in-store. With these statistics on hand, and the glaring reality of expensive brick-and-mortar stores shutting down by the dozens, brands are beginning to leverage AI-backed solutions to help them win in the ecommerce game.

Brands can use AI to personalize their product recommendations

Marketers of today and of the past both recognize that a brand is more successful when consumers can easily relate to it and identify with its messages. And, because more and more purchases are happening online, brands are putting a lot more emphasis on personalizing their websites to reach their customers. Personalization comes in many forms. In the world of online retail, website personalization is largely about knowing what the customer wants before they do – particularly in the realm of product recommendations. Several online retail sites have begun using AI-backed solutions to help them track their customers’ behaviors on their site, and, without having any historical data about who they are and what they’ve bought in the past, use that data to make smart product recommendations based on the user’s current context. After all, the here and now is a much better predictor of the future than the past. And now, with AI-backed solutions, brands can divine user intent purely from their current on-site behaviors and provide them a selection of recommended products that will make them think “Oh geez, how did they know I was looking for that?”. Nothing makes a customer feel closer to a brand than website personalization.

Brands can use AI-powered CRO solutions to boost the success of their websites

If brick-and-mortar stores are now giving way to online stores, then it’s fair to equate an online store’s web design to a real life store’s layout and product displays. Instead of having to move around mannequins and clothing racks each time a new customer comes in, web retailers have the advantage of using AI to shift and change their web design in a nanosecond to suit the desires and preferences of each customer. Why is this important? Ecommerce is a tough game -according to a 2016 study by the Baymard Institute, 68.63% of customers abandon their online shopping carts. Furthermore, a brand’s webpage is largely its public “face” on the interwebs by which it can communicate its brand message to its customers. Brands need all the help they can get to ramp up their websites and catch those online conversions, which in their case is online purchases. With the advanced technology of modern day web design and AI-backed conversion rate optimization solutions, brands can now optimize their web design for the highest rate of conversion – tailoring their layout, brand images, and even copy to suit the needs of each segment of their web traffic.

Brands can leverage AI solutions to retain customers

Brands understand the lifetime value of their loyal, long term customers, hence, brands use email marketing as a strategy to keep customers in the loop about upcoming sales and discounts. And now, with the power of AI, retailers can further personalize their messages to each customer demographic. This means knowing exactly what message to put in front of which customer when. This includes demographics such as gender, age range, location, and even which device they are visiting from. These efforts in message personalization increase conversion rates in email marketing and increase the likelihood of purchase and therefore online revenue. Luxury lingerie retailer Cosabella, for instance, used AI to boost their email marketing campaigns and saw a large lift in email open rates as well as online purchases. 

Brands can use AI chatbots to increase customer service

Nothing makes your customer feel more listened to and appreciated than having a live chatbot on your site to answer the questions they might have in real time. Which leads many to ask brands: have you gone chatbot yet? AI is already making huge headway in the realm of customer service. According to Servion, AI will power 95% of customer interactions by 2025, which means that brands in all industries will need to adopt AI-powered chatbots to stay competitive in customer service. The benefits are huge. AI-powered chatbots can answer commonly asked questions quickly, efficiently and at scale, therefore relieving pressure off of customer service operators. By automating the easy questions, AI will enable human customer service representatives to tackle the more complex issues, where human empathy and creative thinking are most needed. Not only does this make for a smoother and more satisfying experience for customers, it also increases job satisfaction for customer service professionals, especially younger ones. In a customer service survey conducted by Aspect Software and Conversion Research 50% of millennial agents felt a greater sense of commitment and satisfaction if they were given more complex questions to handle.

AI is the future and the future is now

Brand’s will need to adopt AI solutions to keep competitive in the market. They cannot afford to get left behind. Plus, using AI to automate routine marketing activities such as website optimization, product recommendation, email marketing, and chatbots, will allow brands to get back to more creative pursuits such as brand image creation and strategy. Furthermore, it will allow brands to scale their workflow and help them manage the dozens to hundreds of web properties they might have with limited human resources.

This is the way of the future – brands using marketing automation powered by AI to enhance human operations. Let the machines handle the grunt work and allow humans to get back to thinking outside the box!

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for eight years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like our PLM Project Pack, or our Annual Publications, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.