Shopping has significantly changed since the early 2000s, with most retail shopping now happening online. The Statista Digital Market Outlook predicts that by 2027, online retail revenue in the U.S. will exceed 1.7 trillion dollars, indicating a growing number of people shopping online and the need to enhance their experience. Despite some hesitation towards change and new technology, 90% of retail business leaders believe their employees are prepared for AI adoption.
The market has grown progressively competitive now that there are over 4.95 billion digital consumers worldwide and a larger number of people who are tech literate. Adding global consumerism to the mix makes it easier for brands to make money/ boost revenue etc. However, it takes more than having an online store to sell things and make money.
As more businesses move online and competition stiffens, creating a seamless online customer experience will become increasingly important.
As of recently, many companies have introduced platforms, products and software that aim to improve the online customer experience for shoppers. For instance, Kore.ai and mParticle aim to provide an NLP-based search engine and intelligent chatbots to personalize shopping experiences for retail customers.
Say Hello to Your New Shopping Assistant: Conversational AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is booming in the retail industry, and here are some reasons why conversational AI has become the perfect shopping assistant:
In today's digital world, location, geography and time zones are no longer an issue when looking for customer support, as it is available 24/7. Consumers can seek and expect customer support at all hours and in all parts of the world, since conversational AI-powered chatbots can assist consumers round the clock. Conversational AI chatbots for retail businesses provide seamless conversations, are easily maintained and implemented, and continuously learn from all the data collected.
Automation of Redundant Tasks
AI excels in automating repetitive tasks, such as tracking packages or processing refunds. By automating these tasks, customer service agents can focus on more complex customer demands that require human attention. In fact, some studies show that agents spend up to three hours each day performing tasks that could be automated. Implementing a conversational AI chatbot can quickly help with common tasks such as ticket labeling and routing and answering frequently asked questions.
Automating ticket routing can be especially helpful in avoiding delays for support teams. With the help of AI, companies can train models to label and route customer inquiries based on past data, freeing up valuable time for agents to focus on higher-level customer issues.
Time & Money Saver
Conversational AI is valuable for retail businesses because it saves significant money and time. Using chatbots, businesses can save more than $11 billion annually and redirect agent interactions to more productive tasks. When support teams are equipped with effective AI tools, they feel empowered to provide better customer service, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction and a positive customer experience. Additionally, this creates a positive work environment for support agents who feel supported and valued in their day-to-day activities.
Data collection for Better Decision Making
Side effects of conversational AI-powered chatbots are not just satisfied customers. One of the primary advantages of using AI is the ability to enhance data collection efforts. Data is crucial for AI to learn and improve, so having access to more data allows AI to adapt more effectively. By collecting and analyzing customer data, businesses can gain insights into customer needs, identify areas for improvement, and evaluate their overall performance. With this information, AI can support better decision-making and help businesses pivot strategically when needed. Therefore, conversational AI can be crucial in supporting businesses in making informed decisions.
Emotion AI technology enables businesses to offer personalized experiences to customers by collecting and analyzing user data. This technology helps retailers understand consumer preferences and behavior, allowing in-store prices, offers, and discounts to be customized. With AI, retailers can also predict customer choices by analyzing various data points such as demographics, location, social media comments, and reviews. This personalized approach to retail shopping can help increase both online and offline sales and improve the overall customer experience.
Employee Productivity booster
A common issue across industries is a lack of employee productivity caused by employee burnout and routine tasks. This leaves them with limited time and energy to focus on essential tasks. Conversational AI can help by taking over routine tasks like customer service inquiries or human resources management, allowing employees to concentrate on more critical and strategic responsibilities. For example, AI bots can handle onboarding, form filling, and training, while support teams can use AI to clear ticket backlogs and respond to customer requests in real-time. AI enables employees to be more productive, and their time can be better utilized to drive the business's success.
Another example of businesses leveraging AI is Walmart Commerce Technologies and Walmart GoLocal, which recently partnered partnering with Salesforce to offer retailers technologies and solutions that provide shoppers with seamless local pickup and real-time order visibility.
The expansion of online retail has led to growing competition, making it important for businesses to create a seamless online customer experience. Conversational AI-powered chatbots have come to the rescue and are becoming the perfect shopping assistant, offering various benefits. By leveraging AI, businesses can collect and analyze data to make informed decisions and offer a personalized approach to retail shopping that can increase sales and improve the overall customer experience.