Holiday Shopping 2022

How AI-guided sales create a customized customer experience.

Ed. Note: This article was previously posted on TouchPoints Retail.

With the holiday season on the horizon, brands are looking to gain competitive advantage in the industry. Considering many customers will buy some gifts for their holiday online, identifying ways to take advantage of the growing ecommerce demand can create or break an organization’s profit potential. As the state of retail technology evolves, companies are learning how to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide a more online shopping experience.

Kathy Kimple

Kathy Kimple

In any omnichannel approach to sales it is necessary to look at how to replicate the best part of the experience in an online store. Online retailers are always looking for ways to simulate referral sales – a process in which sales associates engage customers about their specific needs and guide them to the perfect product without having to search or research further. This simple tool for a website can be implemented even after code freezing, adding a responsive and engaging layer to the online shopping experience. Through the use of AI-powered technology, the introduced sales process can now be enhanced and streamlined through the power of automation.

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Beyond self-operation, guided sales provide brands with data that can lead to deeper insights and intuition to their users. Learning how customers respond to specific product recommendations enables brands to better understand what consumers are looking for and why. Real-time visibility allows them to build their offerings around what products are being bought more often, product upgrades, what’s most appealing, and what matters most in determining the final purchase decision. Customer back.

The fastest way to perfect product

Guided sales are an interactive way to help customers identify the right product for them. In industries such as clothing or electronics where specific sizes, brands and types make a difference, having the tools to reduce customer research time requires a smoother customer experience. For example, customers who purchase a Bluetooth or wireless speaker do not want to waste time on the corresponding reference size or specifications for every available product. Their purchasing decisions will be influenced by convenience and relevance.

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AI-led sales can be achieved in different ways. First, it requires the adoption of a dynamic e-commerce platform that engages customers in real time by asking questions related to the identification of the goods they are interested in. Organizations can organize a flow of questions that create each other to present personal product recommendations or lead customers to a single product that is best for them. The end result is a selection or series of choices that feel personal to the buyer. Buyers are likely to call everyone who looks appropriate, if there are only a few.

Benefits for both customers and companies

The benefits of guided sales are clear. Easier experience that leads to smarter buying decisions is a key driver of customer brand loyalty. Evidence shows that in the near future, high-quality customer experience will overtake product quality and price, which are the most important factors in differentiating brands. The implementation of AI-powered sales tools in e-commerce platforms enables brands to reduce the paralysis of options and the fatigue of shopping, leading to higher exchange rates and happier customers.

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In order for brands to stand out against their competition this holiday season, the focus must be on the customer experience. Guide sales will no longer be a pleasant option for brands to stand out in their field, but practice is essential to providing the best online service available. The Omnichannel 2022 Retail Sales Index shows that only 26% of retailers offer guided sales, thus allowing many retailers the opportunity to stand out this holiday season.

Kathy Kimple is the CEO of OSF Digital’s Strategy Group. She spends an additional 25 years in omnichannel retail, focusing on branding, digital strategy and store operations, market listing, technology selection and institutional design.

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