AI empowers product discovery and inspiration
As a society we’ve been through seismic shifts in how we shop and interact with brands.
Ecommerce has quickly accelerated to an almost heroic position of offering convenience and a safe, easy place to buy. The clinical “Amazon experience” is often held up as a benchmark for ecommerce success.
However, depending on the need of a shopper, being transactional and precise is not enough, and ecommerce needs to become more about responding to human behaviour in a way that understands the context of why a shopper is on your site, and what their goals are for being there.
This can vary greatly from one visit to another, and as shopper journeys interweave across different channels, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to keep consumer attention.
Discovering and buying a product can trigger a series of emotions and needs, in the same way shopping in-store does. Which is why as product discoverability changes across channels, savvy brands know that individual moments matter when a shopper is on their site.
Each moment needs to deliver an experience that motivates the consumer to stay with you, to progress on their journey, from one moment to the next, until they make a decision to buy. In reality, these are the lessons successful in-store marketing, merchandising and sales teams have been putting into action for generations. Yet, as retailers rush to create these rich and personalised experiences online, many don’t seem to be able to achieve this effectively.
Based on the consumer research in this report, clearly shoppers feel this. It’s not enough to simply personalise the experience by presenting the products and offers which are seen to be most relevant. Today’s retailers need to be able to identify and predict the actual needs of the shopper and to customise the experience to the precise reason why they are there. This requires a data-led understanding of behaviour and intent.
Combined with the right investment in AI technology, this plays a fundamental role in the future of personalising ecommerce experiences, guiding product discovery, as well as unifying ecommerce teams around common goals, systems and KPIs. We know AI is not a silver bullet. Be sceptical of the hype.
But recognise that it forms an important part of an evolving toolkit to solve real ecommerce problems. With this in mind, AI technology will create new heroes in ecommerce, with new benchmarks for ecommerce success being set. Ones that are about creating a wealth of varied and enjoyable brand experiences across entire shopper journeys, ones that keep bringing shoppers back again and again.