Automation of services has reached a tipping point, providing consumers with the much-needed capability to complete their daily chores. As customer purchasing patterns are being reshaped by AI-powered personalized retail, retailers have to take a hard look at their unified commerce and omnichannel strategies to offer the personalized experiences that customers want. Aside from customization, AI is assisting in the delivery of improved consumer experiences by providing better product recommendations, enabling speedier checkouts, and facilitating more convenient in-person shopping. In customer service, artificial intelligence aids in the understanding of client issues and the speeding up of associated procedures.

The evolution towards unified commerce for retailers is already taking shape, particularly in fashion and cosmetics. Stitch Fix, for example, uses machine learning algorithms and data analytics to learn about customers’ clothing preferences through online personal style profiles. Stitch Fix’s algorithm then makes recommendations to human stylists to assist them in making tailored selections for clients, while also leveraging input from the stylists to enhance its own ideas over time. Shiseido, for example, utilized machine learning and Treasure Data to customize its loyalty program by proposing different beauty items to clients as they progressed through different periods of their lives.

AI is being utilized not only to broaden the knowledge of individual consumers, but also to measure client interactions via web history, mail open history, website traffic, and other activities. Companies may now create more extensive personas by understanding exactly what the consumer wants owing to Data Analytics and Artificial intelligence. Not only can we use Machine learning and artificial intelligence to figure out which marketing tactics work best for each consumer, but we can also use algorithms to watch their interactions and activities to learn more about their unique requirements and goals.

An AI chatbot is one example of how AI may enhance customer experience. An AI chatbot may communicate with users via apps such as Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, email, and voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant. The biggest benefits of AI customer support chatbots, according to chatbot statistics, are as follows:

  • Eliminating wait times that were previously present with human-only support
  • Assisting customer service representatives in working more efficiently
  • Automating mundane tasks so employees can concentrate on complex issues.

As a result, consumers are happier and more likely to become long-term loyalists, and customer support expenses are also lowered.

58 percent of customers will use AI to save time, and 56 percent will use it to save money,” according to Gartner. The more time they save, the more likely they are to acquire stuff, and the more money they save, the more likely they are to return to your store and buy something more.

Some of the ways on how AI transforms Customer Experience:

1. Personalized search is made possible by AI customer experience-Artificial intelligence is being utilized to assist customers in finding the most relevant items and to improve the online user experience. This is due to the fact that 80 percent of customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers individualized services.

  • Amazon utilizes artificial intelligence to assist users with voice shopping and purchase recommendations, among other things. Face recognition, house price estimation, visual search, autonomous driving, and more applications leverage Amazon’s AI technology. Customers may now use Amazon Echo and its built-in AI assistant Alexa to conduct voice-activated payments. In addition, in Seattle, the business just opened its first checkout-free food shop.

 

  • Another example of customized search impacting the consumer experience is online purchasing. AI is being used by eCommerce firms to surface highly relevant goods from vast web catalogs. For example, Wayfair has 37,173 coffee cups. People will have a better user experience with AI-powered search since they won’t have to navigate through several pages to view the few goods, they might be interested in.

2. In-store assistance- Retailers also invest in technology that assists customers and store employees throughout the shopping experience. Kroger Edge technology has replaced paper price tags with smart shelf tags in their shops. On the screens, this technology also delivers video advertising, nutritional information, and promotions. Lowebot, a Lowe’s autonomous in-store robot, assists consumers in finding what they need in the shop in a variety of languages. At the same time, owing to real-time monitoring features, it aids inventory management.

 

3. Payments made easy– Shopping carts incorporating cameras, such as those developed by SmartCart, can automatically tally customer purchases, create an order, and accept payments by mobile device. For groceries,             basics, and meals, Amazon Go offers a comparable shopping experience. You may pick up products and ‘just-              walk out of Amazon Go shops, with the order being charged to your Amazon account. Reduced friction, no lines, and self-service checkouts will save customers time and improve their experience. It’s the pinnacle of  convenience

4. AI-assisted customer service predicts and prevents problems-Companies are also employing AI for proactive customer service, known as AI Customer Experience, which allows them to predict and resolve problems and difficulties before they become apparent to consumers. For example, notifying a customer when delivery may be delayed due to weather delays, providing early check-in to a client whose aircraft came early, or proactively teaching a person how to care for a product are all examples of proactive customer service.

  • For example, HP notifies customers when their printer ink is about to run out and offers a simple option to reorder compatible ink. This reduces user irritation, increasing the customer effort score, and removing the need for a consumer to contact a firm to address an issue.

5.Returns are no longer a problem for customers, thanks to artificial intelligence

Customer service in physical stores is essential, and returns are an important element of the online buying experience. Returns account for more than 30% of all internet transactions. Although merchants have worked hard in recent years to make the return procedure as painless as possible, returning an item is still a hassle. By predicting when a return is probable based on goods in a shopping cart or user behavior, AI may assist improve the customer experience.

  • If a person has various sizes of an item or has checked the size guide and return policy in the same session, it might suggest that they are confused about what size to purchase. To minimize irritating and costly returns, AI-powered chatbots intervene in advance to assist the client in making the best possible choice.
  • Customers will get 24/7 service across all channels owing to AI customer experience-

6.Customers expect to obtain customer service through an expanding variety of channels. Human-only agent teams are costly and difficult to employ to manage numerous channels, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. AI assists businesses in scaling customer service across email, chat, phone, messaging, SMS, and voice platforms. Customers may now obtain the help they need through their chosen channels. It would be prohibitively expensive to provide the true omnichannel assistance that customers demand, i.e., quick, customized, and meaningful, without AI.

 

The Bottom Line

AI provides a chance for businesses to improve their understanding of consumer goals and the paths they take to achieve them.

The problem is figuring out how to quickly establish the proper procedures and talent for gathering data—as well as constructing AI algorithms and models—in order to reap the rewards. Given the scarcity of data scientists, the reality that fragmented systems are not AI-ready, and the need to rapidly create new systems, applications, and capabilities, most organizations find it difficult, if not impossible, to do all those tasks on their own.

This is where a smart, AI-enabled customer journey analytics platform can assist in quickly and efficiently delivering high-impact customer experiences. It’s past time to stop thinking of AI as a nice-to-have and start seeing it as a significant competitive advantage. Artificial intelligence can and will improve every element of the consumer experience with a little ingenuity and application.

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Tapasya Bhattacharya