The rate at which consumers are generating intent data vastly outpaces our current technological ability to act on it. Truly harnessing large volumes of data quickly and accurately enough to permanently affect your online revenue through acquisition, conversion, and retention of consumers, is a complex and expensive endeavor, often available only to the largest of companies.
AI holds a ton of promise to allow marketers an easier and smarter path to revenue generation.
Meanwhile, Predictive Personalization is being touted as the next major wave of innovation. AI points to a future in which machines can learn from past interactions and data, allowing marketers to help consumers not only with what they say they want but to anticipate their future needs — by connecting the various disconnected interactions a consumer has with a brand, into one consistent stream of messaging that transitions with them as they move from device to device.
Marketing departments face an imperative to integrate predictive marketing solutions into the fabric of their campaigns, in order to remain on par with consumer expectations.
Innovations are training consumers to expect more from online businesses, and they are creating a new standard of expectation where marketers must anticipate consumer needs.
AI-driven predictive marketing makes this possible by analyzing historical data and applying what is learned to move a consumer toward the desired interaction.
Because there are many products marketers can choose from, I recommend checking 4 core competencies when choosing your next AI product that boosts conversion.
Does the tool allow you to operate independently as a marketer?
Silo-ed data sources limit companies’ ability to properly leverage their visitor profile. Now, cloud computing has made AI more accessible and affordable. An effective AI platform keeps marketing in the hands of marketers and not in the hands of CMS and Analytics teams.
Does it connect data?
Marketing data often resides within a mix of cloud and on-premise systems. All of that data has to be connected to create a single view of each consumer and leverage predictive marketing opportunity.
Does it focus on the visitor?
For many businesses, AI may seem not only out of reach but also overly complicated. AI for marketing needs to be pared down to visitor journeys and predictive notifications.
Is it predictive?
Beyond collecting high volumes of data, companies must have the tools and expertise to analyze and act on it. Advances in AI-based predictive marketing tools make it possible for marketers to work without requiring an army of data scientists, so should your next AI platform.
Most analytics tools require you to “pull” information out of them, run repeated cohort analysis (such as AB Testing); while the most intelligent predictive tools analyze data and “push” notifications to your consumers, anticipating what they need. With machine learning, an intelligent software platform can take this customer data in its entirety and build predictive models on it, operating not just on what’s been programmed in rules, but also adapting to visitor behavior on the fly, based on what has been learned. Intent builds this precise platform.
Smart businesses know that AI can improve a lot of areas of the e-commerce experience, some of which are:
- Virtual buying
From browsing through products to the final act of the purchase, customers of e-commerce stores go through various processes of comparing and evaluating. AI is extremely helpful in these situations where customers need and crave information to justify their purchase. AI powers virtual assistants, or bots and apps that provide customers information to help them during the buying process.
- Customer conversation
A meaningful conversation is crucial to making a strong connection with any customer. With a large number of people being entertained by your reps, it’s hard to expect them to always be on top of their game. Fortunately, AI exists to help them do better. Voice recognition, natural language processing, and chatbots are AI innovations in customer experience that can help companies ensure that every conversation is relevant and responsive to the client’s needs.
- Targeted marketing
Wonder why every ad that pops on your device seems connected to the websites you visited this week? Or why do you get emails about things you looked up on the internet? AI is the answer. AI knows where you’ve been, and where you’ve been looking, and it’s customizing what you see to suit your interests and follow your patterns. If businesses can read their customers’ minds, then they must have AI in their system.
All these technologies powered by AI contribute to making the e-commerce experience more fruitful for both the customer and your company.
Here are a few ways AI can offer real value to your customers:
- AI-driven intelligence can help marketers to send messages that are personalized, contextual, relevant, and timely. Machine learning algorithms can predict the best time to reach out to a customer by analyzing his past behavior.
- Visual search has taken the customer experience to a whole new level. The American department store Neiman Marcus uses visual search feature allows customers to take pictures of anything they like to help them find similar items from the store’s inventory.
- Top brands like Uber, Burberry, and 1-800-Flowers are using chatbots for improving customer experience, to offer recommendations and services, and to automate the purchase process.
- AI- algorithms offer the highest level of personalization to customers by providing suggestions based on customer intent, behavior and activity in real time.