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Start Improving Your Retail Customer Experience with AI

When trying to gain a competitive edge online, a focus on improving the retail customer experience should be your go-to, find out how with AI.

retail customer experience

Retail customers are getting ever more demanding when it comes to the services they expect your company to offer and how well you serve every single person.

Due to the ease at which manufacturers and retailers can sell products and services online, competition to gain an edge in this space has dramatically increased. That means that overseas companies are your competitors as well as domestic ones, in many instances making your own workforce compete with those in countries with different labor standards contributing to different levels of production capability.

A major instance of such penetration into foreign markets globally comes in the form of multinational companies like Nike, Alibaba, and Uber.

According to NewVoiceMedia,

US businesses are losing $75 billion per year through poor customer service.

This can be explained by a lack of Artificial Intelligence algorithms at their online shops. Chatbots, planners and digital assistants are not constrained by salary volume, holidays or weather conditions, as is the case with their human employees.

What is more, according to IBM research,

94% of retail office executives support the trend of AI popularization and are willing to invest in it.

Here are some cases that illustrate how AI can improve your retail customer experience expeditiously.

 

Shopping Without Distractions.

Thanks to the development of face recognition technology and new algorithms of computer vision, the retail-shopping industry has experienced exponential growth and innovation.

For example, Amazon has recently introduced a shop where no cashiers are on site. Furthermore, there is no staff or assistants at all.

Customers simply download an Amazon app and scan a barcode that appears on the screen of their smartphones. And that`s all!

The artificial intelligence system, which is integrated into Amazon’s software automatically detects when a person enters the store by a series of cameras, and follows his/her actions while on the store premise.

Sure it’s a little creepy, but on the flip side…

If a shopper picks up a piece of clothing, the system automatically adds the price of the item to your basket.

It can also detect other actions, like if the customer has changed his/her mind and put clothes back on the shelf, the system subtracts the item’s cost from the basket total. The subtotal automatically changes each time you place something in your basket or return it to the shelf.

However, no charges will be made until you actively go to the checkout function of the app and verify each item before completing your purchase.

Going forward, AI can be used in ways that are even more feasible and easy to access.

Retail stores already use cameras in order to monitor ordinary consumer behavior and observe retail customer experience for marketing strategy.

This is very useful data.

AI can predict the future route of every single customer and compose a scheme of shop shelves with goods in a more advantageous and lucrative sequence.

 

Chatbots as Tireless, Ever-Ready Assistants.

chatbots

Chatbots are a very significant part of artificial intelligence and retail customer experience.

Clients do not typically use the search option, and even half of those who do press the “search” button tend to write a product`s name with spelling mistakes.

Here is where chatbots come in.

They use natural language processing and identify a correspondence between customer requests and available goods. What’s more, they can help clients find other useful options, such as shipping methods or payment procedure.

Last but not least, chatbots offer reliably unbroken continuity.

The main advantage of this technology is an absence of delays or holidays in working hours.

The more a bot chats with real people, the more intelligent it becomes.

For example, a chatbot can learn customers’ preferences in color, size and style, thus, being able to offer him/her accurate personal recommendations.

 

Cognitive Computing Applications.

cognitive computing

This is a very new and innovative trend in artificial intelligence for the retail customer experience.

The main idea is to collect information from a variety of different sources and make it as user-friendly and accessible as possible.

Let’s look at how it works:

First, an application collects data from other websites, the user’s geolocation, his/her previous purchases, preferences, the time he/she gets up every day etc. Then it sends all the data to an online database.

During the second stage, an application sifts out useful information from the useless, or, in other words, it tries to make optimal combinations.

For example, yesterday it was cold and rainy, and a user of the app bought a cup of hot tea.

Thus, the program makes a connection between a demand for hot drinks and cold weather.

To put a finer point on it, here is another instance:

a foreign student in Australia Googles tips on how to write essays for Australian universities. In this case, the AI system may offer him or her college essay helper online or essay writing service.

Finally, this app combines all received information, offering the customer the goods he/she are most likely to need in the current situation.

The milestone of this method is offering a particular product when a given customer requires it the most, exactly at the time and place perfectly that corresponds to his/her willingness to make a purchase.

 

Conclusion.

To conclude, AI customer service is a lucrative extension for retail customer service.

However, in order to augment your retail facility properly, you need to investigate and predict the results of such implementation in advance, which involves training people who can work with AI customer service devices as well as finding AI customer service devices that can work with people.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Roman Chuprina

    Nice article there, thank you for posting it. Definitely, customer experience is one of those areas that could be significantly improved by the implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. Leveraging Natural Language Processing there are already chat bots installed in the stores, which can be often more informative than some employees. I am also big believer in cashier-free stores, I think with Artificial Intelligence they will be soon operating all over the world.

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