Artificial Intelligence

The future of retail: how AI can help customers and businesses

Since the past five years, there have been significant advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) throughout a variety of different industries, retail and otherwise.

While these exciting and innovative advancements may not necessarily be known to the end consumer, there are a couple of considerable AI implementations that have been made in the retail sector.

Sure, these implementations have not been made by most small retailers due to high integration costs, accessibility complications, and proprietary systems. However, more prominent brand names in retail have successfully integrated different AI technologies.

With the launch of AI technologies as well as their popularity, machine learning in general businesses is about taking a drastic turn for the better. For example, conversational artificial intelligence has streamlined the communication element in retail businesses, making it more fluid for end-users and customers, as well as other businesses. Conversational AI provides consumers immediate results while at the same time, making it simple for businesses to give due attention to every consumer that needs it.

According to Dish Network, it has been identified that artificial intelligence can seamlessly navigate the communication landscape in business. As per research posted by the Harvard Business Review, many customers rate AI interactions the same as, and in some cases, even better than conversations with actual human customer representatives.

How artificial intelligence significantly enhances your retail business

With the advent of streamlined AI, it is no longer a wise decision for retail companies and entrepreneurs to watch the show from the sidelines, waiting for more improvements in AI technologies. You have to become more proactive. In light of this, mentioned below are some unique ways artificial intelligence can propel your business into the future, keeping you two steps ahead of your competitors.

AI will help you fetch immediate responses

The good majority of customers considerably value customer representation that offers quick and relevant responses. According to insightful research posted by HubSpot, it was determined that 90% of end-users and consumers rated quick and immediate responses as being exceptionally important. On the other hand, the same report identifies that 80% of customers had similar feelings about marketing inquiries and sales.

For a considerable amount of time, immediate replies and responses were, justifiably, very difficult to achieve. Delivering answers to customer queries and questions is a highly daunting task for social customer support units.

However, with artificial intelligence, this complication has been robustly solved. The automation of customer support has made answering common customer questions easy and accurate. The most significant advantage here is the fact that customer representatives can focus on answering more detailed and complicated queries while leaving the rest to AI. For example, if you run an online leather store, you can leave common questions such as types of materials, delivery times, follow-ups, etc. to automated bots, and answer questions pertaining to how you can customize each order for your client.

AI helps garner and paint the picture of how a customer feels

As per the analysis presented by Gartner, customer support, and relationship management comprises of investments made on organizational and enterprise software. There is no question that cloud technologies and sales software are costly. But the price is justified because an exceptionally responsive customer support team is the bedrock of a successful business enterprise.

On the other hand, you have to understand that it is equally important to harness the most out of the investments you make on customer support. Sure, extracting credible sales data, analysis, and data on customer behavior and information is vital, but it is not enough. However, with artificial intelligence, you can strike two sticks with one stone, you will be able to gather all the necessary data and be able to implement it in real-time. This will help you get a realistic picture of your sales objectives.

Moreover, you will also be able to update your goals and objectives in real-time as well. With AI, it is quite practical to see how your customers feel at different levels throughout their journey with your brand, providing you an aggregate perspective.

You can very well say that AI provides sentiment analysis, enabling you to keep your customers up to date, keep them happy and satisfied. You can even convert a dissatisfied customer into a loyal user by understanding what he exactly needs and how you will be able to cater to his needs.

Surpassing barriers in communication and language

One of the most expensive barriers of communication for any business is, of course, language. This is especially true for startups. But not anymore. Artificial intelligence incorporates highly innovative and powerful features that can quite seamlessly eliminate this hurdle for you.

For example, refer to this 2014 analysis posted by MIT. As per the research, when eBay integrated artificial intelligence into streamlining its translated listing in 2014, they were able to increase their total sales output by 10.9%.

The reason why this increase in sales is so significant is for the fact that eBay did have a translation tool embedded in the years before 2014. However, what they did not have was AI to run it accurately.

For corporations and businesses both big and small, the capabilities to transcend borders can effectively and positively alter the overall trajectory of user perception and adoption.  You would be surprised to know that there are tech companies like DeepL that in some cases, magnificently outperform tech giants such as Google. Thanks to machine learning and AI implementation, all types, and sizes of businesses have the power to communicate with people all over the world!

AI helps enhance your product layout capabilities

Retail businesses can also benefit from AI when it comes to physical product placement. It is common knowledge that placing products in a specific way tends to drive more sales, enticing customers to buy more products. While you may think there is some genuine formula in place here, in actuality, there is no formula that drives sales just because of how you place your inventory.

Even if two same retail stores have the same product placements in different locations, the customer trigger can be vastly different. Fortunately, AI can help change this. By harnessing customer behavior and accurate data, AI can help identify different buying patterns, determining certain customer preferences, and reveal what types of products customers more commonly buy together.

And because the changes AI makes is based on real and accurate data, which is provided by real customers, you will get to know what triggers customer preferences and buying behavior.

So there you go – everything you need to know about how AI can effectively help boost your operational efficiency and drive more sales, especially if you are a retail business.

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