This year, Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach a record-high $23.6 billion according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Mother’s Day survey. Shoppers are predicted to spend an average of $186.39 each on a wide range of gifts, including jewelry, special outings, and experiences.
As the retail world becomes increasingly digital, retailers have a unique opportunity to help their customers answer the question, “What should I get mom for Mother’s Day?” by leveraging data to provide highly personalized recommendations exactly when and where the consumer is ready to purchase.
In 2017 and beyond, it’s predicted that machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to help retailers create one-of-a-kind, personalized, relevant experiences that build trust and loyalty with customers and generate higher-value transactions. This evolving technology can scan social media and reviews, filtering spam and irrelevant material, to help companies offer higher quality content and personalized product offerings.
“When we use AI and machine learning to analyze customer experiences outside of our industries, we gather new insights, which can lead to innovation across the entire customer journey and in the creation of new touch points,” says Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter, a Prophet company, in The Executive’s Handbook to Digital Commerce. “This helps in the development of new processes, services, or products that we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. But success depends upon how data scientists process and analyze data, and whether leadership prioritizes fundamentally changing course based on insights.”
The trick is utilizing data and artificial intelligence effectively to not only provide the perfect recommendation, but to create a seamless experience that allows the customer to purchase at the exact place and time of their choosing.
As discussed by Katrina Gosek and Alistair Galbraith at this year’s Modern Customer Experience conference in Las Vegas, modern customers no longer complete transactions in one place – they use mobile to check product availability or shipment status, voice to search for products, go into a physical store to take a closer look, consult a trusted friend or chatbot for advice, and more.
The key is tracking the customer throughout the journey to provide the most relevant recommendations, and using the data collected to tweak, adjust, and test experiences and interactions. Cloud technology lowers the cost of this continuous testing, trying, failing, and trying again – with the aim of achieving a successful interaction, as explained by Nikki Baird, Managing Partner at Retail Systems Research, in her story about a tea seller’s website. Through AI, the tea seller’s website was able to determine that “zen” is a descriptor that specifically appeals to a particular shopper, and in turn was able to create and recommend a “zen teapot” product category to the shopper.
Let's apply the same concept to searching for a Mother's Day gift. Imagine the descriptor is your mom’s favorite pastime, restaurant, color, vacation destination, or all of the above. Through AI, a retailer can use this information to create a set of highly personalized gift ideas that mom is sure to love – with an easy return or exchange process as a backup.
Find out how to create more convenient, personalized shopping experiences for your customers. Demo Oracle Commerce Cloud today.