Personalisation is transforming the customer journey that forces retailers to keep pace

Joshua Kaiser
13 February, 23

Advanced AI personalisation for online retail is proven to increase customer conversion and repeat orders. Today’s consumers have grown accustomed to personalised experiences, it is something they expect when they show loyalty to a brand or retailer.

More and more retailers and brands are raising their personalisation game when selling and delivering their products or services by incorporating advanced conversational, chatbot and voice AI tech into their ecosystems. This  ‘advanced AI’ operates using machine-based learning algorithms, as opposed to its lesser linear-based cousin. It is a critical ingredient in creating a seamless omnichannel experience that optimises and personalises the stage-by-stage, end-to-end customer journey. 

When executed well, such experiences enable businesses to differentiate themselves and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. Moreover, personalised experiences drive up both customer loyalty and the top line.

Meeting customers’ expectations for a personalised experience

The importance of meeting customers’ expectations has forced retailers to ramp up personalisation, which was once limited mainly to targeted offers, and now extends to the entire customer experience. Recognising the incremental value personalisation can bring, M&S recently acquired the IP of fashion personalisation website Thread after it plunged into administration, to allow M&S to recommend clothes based on style, size and budget as well as take personalisation to the next level.

This acquisition is implemented correctly into the M&S purchase experience and combined with some other AI tooling such as a chat or voice bot, is akin to giving every M&S potential and existing customer their own personal shopper that understands their individual needs, by looking at what their peers are buying and making recommendations that have a greater chance of leading to a purchase. M&S is not alone in this quest and many other retailers are realising the benefits to increase loyalty and reduce churn.

Understanding how personalisation pays off

Given customers’ expectations, retailers must respond to the demand for personalised experiences not only to differentiate themselves but also to survive. When done right, though, personalisation allows retailers to do more than merely survive: it enables them to thrive.

Applying the right conversational AI technology should allow businesses to increase the individual relevance of their mass marketing campaigns, where email offers have a greater level of personalisation to each individual customer. In the competitive world of the retail industry where customers encounter a great level of marketing spam, it is crucial that retailer sends out meaningful, relevant, and personalised offers to maximise purchase conversion or at least, lead customers to engage with the brand.

Identifying common challenges for retailers

Most retailers are still in the early stages of their personalisation efforts. It is hard to do right as it requires large amounts of structured data to be effective in what recommendations it dishes out. Retailers seem to be facing four main tactical challenges such as data management, data analytics, the alignment of retail organisations across functions and the lack of the right tools and technology enablement, in getting personalisation off the ground.

The retailers that will be successful in their pursuit of personalisation are those that have their data pipelines in order and are able to leverage such data to effectively train what can be rather simple machine learning models.

At Tovie AI, we work with a variety of retailers that seek to leverage our conversational AI technology to facilitate personalised shopping experiences across their hybrid, “bricks and clicks” strategy. Chat/voice bots can interact with individual customers, gleam their tastes/requirements and interface with recommendation engines, to provide customers with meaningful information and or recommendations that ultimately drive higher purchase conversion.

To understand more about the Tovie AI offer in this space please visit Tovie AI.

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