Integrating AI to instil customer loyalty: From business use cases to bottom line

Personalisation is a key part of the customer experience. If done correctly, creating a journey that is unique to each person’s needs can influence a buyer to make a purchase and even to return again. However, those brands that fail to get this right, run the risk off turning their potential customers off.

The fact is, shoppers have come to expect higher levels of personalisation, with 69% of consumers saying they want an individualised customer experience. The bar has risen accordingly, meaning some of the tried and tested techniques of the past such as referring to people by their first name, don’t quite cut it anymore. 

Whilst appetite is high amongst shoppers, companies are still failing to provide the sophisticated experience they crave, with only 40% of brands possessing the capabilities to achieve true personalisation.

The pressure is on for brands to implement AI into the marketing mix

Lacking an understanding of the technology required to create more personalisation strategies is a common roadblock for brands. Whilst AI is certainly a hot industry topic, businesses have varying levels of knowledge relating to Artificial Intelligence, which isn’t surprising considering the relatively short period of time it has been used to help innovative the retail industry specifically.

With 81% of marketers expecting the majority of their decisions to be data-driven by 2020, according to recent Gartner research, the pressure is on for companies to get up to speed on what it takes to succeed in this arena. By embedding AI/machine learning into the marketing mix, businesses can target their audience with increased accuracy and efficiency, adding value to their business. Alternatively, failing to recognise the benefits of AI, could leave marketers feeling exhausted by their data, trying to manually keep up with their customers’ shopping habits.

But how can AI actually benefit businesses?

It’s worth noting that Hitachi Capital’s recent research reveals that whilst 70% of retailers now consider investment in technologies such as AI a priority, more than a third admit they don’t understand how these areas could add value to their business. For any company looking to ensure their future sustainability, it is crucial they wake up to its potential.

For example, AI enables marketers to understand whether a customer is returning, and use that insight to inform future interactions with them. If they’ve shopped with your brand before, it’s logically they will be seeking new and interesting content, so why show them material they’ve already come into contact with?

Instead of focusing on previous historical behaviours as is often the case, it’s crucial they wake up to the value of analysing "in session" behaviour - i.e. what the visitor is doing right now. AI allows businesses access into all of these insights and establishes patterns from the data that the human eye might miss. AI empowers marketers to make informed decisions, and order and prioritise content based on concrete evidence.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to benefit from AI

When it comes to personalisation, retailers often worry they don’t have the right kinds of data or a high enough volume at their fingertips.

Many may be surprised to know that in fact, some of the simplest data sources can garner valuable insights, and could already be in your peripheral vision.  Purchase history, location, recently viewed products or the type of devices being used, all tell insightful stories about a buyer’s intentions, interests and needs.

Influencing the bottom line

According to our recent Personalisation Development Study, for companies that exceeded ROI goals in 2018, there was a direct correlation between their willingness to invest in personalisation and an embedded technology and expertise within its organisational structure and culture.

The study also found that 86% of companies achieving high ROI reported that personalisation made up 21% or more of their marketing budget. Moreover, 74% of businesses that exceeded revenue goals in 2018 have a dedicated budget for personalisation.

By allowing AI to do the hard work, to test and optimise, segment and target, businesses can reduce the time they currently spend attempting to decode information manually.

And the beauty of it all? Your customers will actually thank you for it.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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