PWA in practise: 11 case studies
05 Feb 2019 / 4min
Customers want experiences, not products: Conclusions from NRF 2019
How does AI fit into retail?
What does Artificial Intelligence mean in the context of retail? The go-to response is “personalization”, which has become basically standard (91% of customers are more eager to make a purchase in a store where they are recognised and where they can receive relevant recommendations). But AI can do more for retailers.
Today, complete business models are being based on AI and the data-driven approach. Large pools of user behaviour data allow companies to design predictive mechanisms that provide real-time recommendations to customers and, at the same time, dynamically model prices. This can boost profit and can grow sales volumes (in sales promotions where margins are slashed) or increase the margin (for so-called “long-tail” products).
Thanks to Machine Learning and the continual monitoring of a product’s sales, prices can be optimised on an ongoing basis. Of course, this requires a storage solution for all this data, which is usually Cloud-based – but that’s another article. Suffice it to say that, for many businesses, Cloud storage is the only realistic data storage solution.
Is voice commerce the next big thing?
According to ComScore, voice searches will account for 50% of all questions asked to browsers in 2020. Are we looking at the rise of voice commerce?
Voice commerce is an alternative to using a keyboard/mouse to make online purchases – customers search and order using voice commands given to virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa. It is a very convenient solution from a customer perspective; one can shop in any situation – while jogging, driving a car, or even taking a shower. Moreover, voice requests, unlike traditional searches, use natural language. This is close to customers’ everyday speech, which makes voice search user-friendly and comfortable. The process is also faster than searching a product and ordering it from a website or through an application.
Voice commerce does raise some doubt. Customers are mostly visual: they want to see a product before they purchase it. However, voice commerce also offers many new opportunities and may make shopping more convenient and less burdensome, particularly for things like groceries or other staples.
The way forward for e-commerce
Technology is changing the face of retail: in pursuit of offering the best customer experience, companies are relying more on data, applying Artificial Intelligence, optimizing logistics, and automating various processes. But creating the store of the future requires much more than just technology: it requires retailers to become obsessively client-focused, to understand the customer journey, and to cater to customer needs and experiences. Building a brand is necessary, but it’s the emotions we evoke and the relationships we build that are of paramount importance.