In their second guest article for WhichPLM, Sentient Technologies continues their exploration of Artificial Intelligence for fashion – this time, with regards to online personalisation. 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.
Picture this: you walk into a traditional brick-and-mortar store and you’re struck by the design and easy-to-navigate layout that beckoned you over the threshold – it’s almost as if you designed it yourself. Just then the chirpy sales representative sees you pause and comes to your aid to ask if there’s anything they can help you with? They’re not too pushy, nor too gushing, they even make you laugh – just the way you like it. But, as you look down, you find exactly what you want, where you’d want it to be,glowing in its victorious glory like the goose that laid the golden egg.
If only every shopping experience could make you feel like the world revolves around you. But in ecommerce that’s exactly what can happen. With an incredible 51% of Americans now choosing to shop from the comfort of their computer or mobile screen, ecommerce continues to grow at an incredible rate – a staggering 23% year-on-year according to a recent report from Big Commerce. And that creates a phenomenal opportunity for retailers who choose to take advantage of all that AI-powered solutions have to offer them. In the new world of AI-optimization in ecommerce, personalization is king.
Ecommerce before: One for all
In the olden days of ecommerce, your hands were tied. Every consumer who landed on your site had the exact same experience. Once you decided how your site was to look, where and in what order your products were to be displayed, as well as where advertisements would sit, that is where they would stay. This was until you chose to undertake the costly and time-consuming mission of rebuilding your site from scratch which would include doing market research and getting feedback from the people who actually use your site to see if your decisions resonated with them. Then came along this snazzy new technology called A/B testing.
A/B testing pushed the door ajar to new possibilities. Correction: one new possibility. The plan was that you’d test one idea against another and, for instance, only once you had a conclusive answer about whether that call-to-action button worked better in the top left or the top right, could you move on to see whether the button led to more conversions if it was in green or red. It was progress, albeit slow. But now AI-optimization busts open the door to a world of personalization with such force that it’s taken it off its hinges.
Ecommerce today: All for one
In this fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in, an easy-to-navigate site, fast shipping, and good customer service are all standard. But, with AI-optimization, retailers can now take into consideration a consumer’s name, gender, age, location, preference, and more. They can collect data and respond to customer needs in the blink of an eye.
By testing multiple options across one part or all parts of your site it allows you to not just tailor your site to a geographical region, but to each and every customer who visits your site within that region. That’s millions, if not billions, of personalized possibilities and no two have to ever be the same.
Here’s all the things you can personalize with AI-optimization in ecommerce:
Personalize your interface just how they like it
It’s the needle in the haystack you’ve been looking for. Based on a consumer’s past buying behavior, or on what they’ve been looking at since they landed on your site just now, you can tailor the way a page looks and what products your consumer sees. AI-optimization is a lightning-quick learning tool that is wicked smart and gives your consumer exactly what they want.
Keep consumers in-the-loop with personalized offers and products
Goodbye mass marketing, hello just that one special person. What your consumer has bought previously, what the weather is like outside, what time of year it is, and where your consumer is in the world can all feed into one neat little marketing message that is specifically tailored to that one consumer you’re emailing. So they’ll feel like you know them better than they know themselves.
Personalize search results to give consumers exactly what they’re looking for
A picture paints a thousand words. But, more importantly, a picture is more likely to get you exactly what you’re looking for than trying to describe the item to a baffled online search bar. Allowing your consumer to use an image to find what they want will keep them on your site, make them more likely to make that purchase, and keep them on team: your brand.
Offer a customer service that is both personal and instant
There’s nothing more annoying than slow customer service that gives you all the wrong answers that don’t even seem relevant to the question. Welcome the rise in the friendly chatbot. It offers you an invaluable extension of your brand that allows you to help customers at mass, with a personality that is on point and on brand. And chatbots speak to your customers not just on your site but through other very-familiar social media platforms, like Facebook Messenger, that are convenient and easy to engage with.
The results speak volumes
This new world of AI-optimization allows you to interact with your consumer base in a much more ‘real’ way. But it’s not just all talk, the results are showing a clear argument for why every retailer needs to up their AI game. According to The Boston Consulting Group, retailers who have already embraced AI technology have seen their revenue increase by an eye-watering 6-10%. By 2035, it’s predicted that AI could be responsible for increasing profitability by 59% in wholesale and retail.
And it’s not just revenue that’s affected by lack of personalization through AI-optimization: your conversion rate takes a bashing too. You could potentially lose up to 39% of customers who visit your site if they feel overwhelmed by the amount of products you’re presenting them with. That number increases to 75% if consumers feel you’re offering them products that don’t suit them at all.
So, with the results speaking for themselves, it’s time to jump on that AI bandwagon and give your every consumer the shopping experience of their dreams. So you, too, feel like you’ve got a golden egg, and not egg in your face.