Digitisation has already transformed retail and e-commerce in unprecedented ways. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tools, for example, boost customer experiences through personalisation, supply chain efficiency, and virtual support for dedicated experiences. In fact, AI in retail is currently valued at USD 6 billion globally, which is predicted to have a 30% CAGR between 2023 and 2032.

As retail rapidly evolves, costs continue to grow, and customer’s wallets continue to tighten, retailers must consider how AI solutions and automation keep customers satisfied and loyal while increasing the bottom line. More so than ever, the pressure is on to stay competitive in a rapidly transforming marketplace.

Personalisation to deliver on the CX promise

Customer expectations in retail are higher than ever––and your customer experience is the crucial way to stand out amongst a sea of competitors. Customers don’t just enjoy personalisation, they expect it. Research has shown that 74% of customers are frustrated if a website’s content lacks personalisation, and personalised shopping cart recommendations influence the purchasing decisions of 92% of shoppers online.

AI-driven systems analyse customer behaviour and data––including purchase history, browsing behaviour, demographics, and preferences––to understand your customers and offer relevant products that they are much more likely to buy. Product recommendations, dynamic pricing, customised marketing, and tailored website experiences all make customers feel as though the experience is crafted truly for them.

Real-time support to enhance retail CX

“Why should I have to negotiate with a chatbot to try and get it to understand my issue when you know where I was on the website, what I was doing and what went wrong?” It’s important to understand that customer support isn’t just about automating a conversation, although that remains a growing and critical aspect in a cost sensitive world. Successful support is about pre-empting issues, knowing where in a journey a customer is and being able to provide relevant in-the-moment support based on all the data available.

Travis Mason (Khoros).

Customers are more impatient than ever before. 83% of customers agree they feel more loyal to brands that respond to them and resolve their challenges. This includes social media, where over 65% of users expect brands to engage with them, regardless of whether the initial outreach from the consumer was via private message or public post.

To deliver the best experience for your customers, retailers are increasingly adopting virtual shopping assistants. These AI-powered chatbots help customers as they shop, and enhance the shopping experience through real-time interactions. Shopping assistants offer recommendations, answer questions, and facilitate buyer through the buying journey. It’s a tool that reduces personpower: resources that can be reallocated to more complex issues for increased customer satisfaction, and boost sales.

The power of chat assistants shouldn’t be overlooked––a report by Juniper Research found that AI-driven bots will lead to $112 billion in sales by 2023.

AI strategy for enhanced retail 

As more and more retailers adopt these powerful tools, the marketplace is becoming even more competitive. Meaning, retailers who don’t lean into AI and automation will get left behind.

To get started, slow scaling is critical. AI and automation both learn and improve over time. It is best to start with minor changes, test with customers, learn, gain feedback, and then optimise before onboarding an entire AI solution. This ensures customer-centricity is continually considered as every change is made––keeping customers satisfied and loyal.

Successful AI solutions are best delivered with the right partner who understands your needs and shares your vision. At Khoros, our Khoros Bot helps retailers and e-commerce businesses power up with the full potential of AI and automation. With advanced insights, analytics, personalised digital broadcasting, and multi-channel automation, retailers gain the leading edge. Samsung, for example, invested in their Conversational AI capabilities with Khoros which resulted in their smart digital assistants meeting a +44 Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES) 90%.

Technological advancements and increased digitalisation are rapidly changing retail and customer demand. To stay relevant, retailers must unlock the potential of AI to drive sales, boost customer-centricity, and increase the bottom line.

Travis Mason is vice president and general manager for APAC at Khoros.