While much of the mainstream market remains largely unaware of the potential impact of that new technology thing called artificial intelligence (less than 20% of consumers feel that they know a lot about AI), marketers can’t contain their excitement. Marketers believe the possibilities are endless. This transformative technology holds the power to elevate the memorability of an engagement with brands and retailers. Case in point: Starbucks is building a Siri-like virtual assistant for its app called My Starbucks Barista. How does it work? Just click the button and watch/talk to the virtual barista--sparking conversational commerce. Or take North Face’s Fluid Expert Personal Shopper powered by IBM Watson, which makes its search tool even more intuitive. After answering a series of questions, the machine will spit back a customized recommendation suited to consumers' exact needs. But as this momentum continues to grow, what’s the implication for marketers? Data.
The amount of data marketers have access to today is unprecedented. But with AI, all the disjointed algorithms powering this big data can be organized into limitless offers based on personal preferences. Looking at the bigger picture, this will enable marketers and companies to provide truly customized merchandising recommendations. And, to some consumers, it might feel more comforting to give that information up to a machine vs. a person. In fact, 57% of consumers agreed that they would “happily exchange messages with an ecommerce merchants chatbot online.” This means the next foray into building omnichannel strategies will require a keen focus on crafting messaging strategies that deliver a seamless commerce experience.
(Image Source: TheNorthFace.com)