Generative AI (such as ChatGPT) has caused a bit of a storm in the marketing world but its power to transform is being embraced by other industries to significant advantage. In this blog I am looking specifically at the retail industry and how it is adopting GenAI to help shape the future of customer experience whilst also reducing costs.
Creating memorable customer experiences
The retail sector has been focused on delivering the most powerful and memorable customer experiences, be that online or in store. In order to give a brand additional value, customers need to be buying more than just a product – they need to buy into a brand ethos and this needs to be replicated with the experience they have when they interact with the products. GenAI can help with this. The key in creating a great customer experience is to be able to respond to changes in the market quickly. For a brand, any customer experience needs to deliver measurable results. GenAI can help brands to see where the crossroads are – where a great customer experience can be delivered to the customer quickly but which also delivers great value to the brand.
Online shopping is plagued by unfulfilled baskets. Consumers select the items that they want, add them to a basket but never actually checkout. GenAI can help to prompt the final action by driving cheaper deals online. Offering customers a ‘don’t leave now’ discount can help to promote the final sale of products.
GenAI can also be used in customer service to provide predicted answers to customer challenges or issues, improving customer retention and securing reputation management.
The key to a successful promotion is to make it personal and meaningful to a specific customer. GenAI can be used to create and deploy optimised real time promotions that are designed to prompt proactive responses from customers. An example of this would be using GenAI to analyse shopping baskets and quickly develop a promotion for complimentary products at point of checkout with the aim of increasing spend for that individual customer.
Managing the last mile
GenAI is perhaps at its most powerful when combined with other types of information. Working alongside machine learning which can analyse large volumes of historical data, GenAI can analyse real time information including traffic and weather forecasts, then optimise route planning for delivery schedules, creating the most efficient and effective route for drivers.
Try before you buy
Returns are said to exceed 25% in the world of online retail. GenAI can be used to improve size and fit of virtual try on platforms, increasing customer confidence in this new ‘try before you buy’ technique. This results in reduced returns and increased customer buying confidence, boosting sales and profitability for online retailers.
What is clear is that GenAI is here to stay and retailers and brands who are adopting its power are already seeing the transformative qualities that it can offer to the whole retail process from design through to fulfilment. GenAI shouldn’t always be eyed with the suspicion that ChatGPT has received – sometimes it’s a force for good marrying together traditional retail with the latest in AI technology putting the customer at the centre of the process whilst also delivering return on investment for the brands.
To find out how we can help to support your retail marketing challenges visit our retail page here