In simple words, it is a synergy of technologies and cutting–edge tools to automate all processes that can be automated.
It has Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as its core with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) layer. For this reason, it is also called RPAAI or “non–assisted RPA.” The RPA market is predicted to reach $2.9 billion in 2021, while companies are estimated to spend almost $100 billion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2023.
The idea is not to overtake human workers but to free them from low–value repetitive tasks and equip them with the tools to dramatically improve business results.
With the acceleration of digitalization in the last two years; Our world is now interconnected through seamless, highly personalized experiences.
While most people still ignore the digital reflection of our lives; Many social media companies are producing a virtual copy of us with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Our lives are filled with seamless, customized moments and experiences, which has led to changing expectations and communication processes between customers and retailers.
In a way, while retail continues to recover cautiously through 2022, today’s state of digitalization is making technology adoption imperative for many.
Digitalization in retail covers all core operations: Orders, Logistics, Procurement, Procurement, etc. In addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables dynamic pricing through real–time analysis of competitor websites and other factors such as user sentiment and social media trends.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)–based chatbots are becoming a viable alternative to customer support teams. The next generation of chatbots analyzes response satisfaction rates and user behavior on the website to provide more relevant information rather than just giving predefined queries. The system behind it also automatically generates intelligent analytics. It can also perform tasks such as finding data and automatically tracking leads.
Here are three essential items to help retailers better navigate these new expectations.
Digitize User Interaction
The global transformation experienced in recent years is not limited to commercial activities or consumer demands. Everything is now connected, from the platforms used to the brand experience to analyzed data.
Currently, customers use any convenient platform for the—internet, physical store, or phone. This means it’s up to retail leaders to determine how the business can integrate its non–linear footprint into a seamless, omnichannel experience. The primary outcome should ensure that customer data and records are replicated across all communication channels.
Otherwise, retailers lose the benefit of potentially powerful data, and risk lost revenue and reduced customer lifetime value.
Why Artificial Intelligence (AI) Matters
Previously, retailers could handle a lot, perhaps with corporate bias and intuitive decision–making.
Today, besides the need for information about what customers want, how they choose to interact, and what pain points they experience, existing economic uncertainty, heightened emotions, and unpredictable volumes of inquiry also need to be considered. Currently, face–to–face contact with the client must be consistently aligned with the client’s needs while at the same time combining context and relevance.
By integrating empathy into their marketing efforts, retailers can better connect with their customers across platforms, at scale, in a fully automated and data–driven way.
With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation, businesses can make more informed decisions based on other factors such as audience or economic trends that affect their data collection, analysis, and marketing efforts. Insights leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automation, and Data will help businesses meet customer preferences and directly address the growing need for a more personalized experience.
Expand Deep Personalization
The world is now on the cusp of personalized experiences at a time when a refrigerator is smart enough to remind you of grocery shopping when the milk runs out. However, if retailers continue to rely only on generic emails and SMS in their databases, they will drown in a pile of digital noise, or worse, be flagged as spammers.
The ubiquity of chatbots in omnichannel experiences has helped retailers “digitize” lives and reduce reliance on human labor.
But how ready is this shiny new chatbot to deliver a personalized experience? However, in studies with customers, we have observed that customers will not talk to a chatbot.
If a chatbot kicks in, users want to get to the endpoint quickly rather than clicking through a maze of options.
Retailers looking to renew their capabilities should look to the next section, raising the standards of digitized customer engagement to adopt advanced humanized technology.
The next step in customization will be for companies to find a way to make their customers feel like they’re not talking to machines.
Look Forward To Not Be Left Behind
To take advantage of digitalization opportunities, retailers must focus more on their customers and their unique needs. Rather than blindly copying other retailers’ solutions, retailers should customize target customers’ shopping journeys or sales communication.
For example, if the customer prefers to shop online but goes to the store to pick up the product (for example, fresh food or takeout), a good click and collect solution is required. On the other hand, if customers want to experience the look and feel of products (e.g., consumer electronics, fashion) in–store but have their products delivered to their home, this process is not about “click & collect”; An effective home delivery process is needed. In addition, pioneer retailers should invite specific customers to shopping events rather than a communications approach that involves hundreds of customer newsletters. Finally, specially arranged shopping services; Makes sense if customers want to make a purchase and be a part of a community – but it doesn’t do any good when shopping for soap and dishwashing liquid. Digitalization practices sound in these situations are applications such as purchase buttons or automatic shopping reminders.
As consumers move more and more of their daily routine activities online, there is no doubt that they spend more of their lives on websites, mobile apps, or on–demand services. Therefore, the journey does not end after one purchase. This is just the beginning of the trip. Immediately after, it is necessary to maintain the relationship established with the customer. That’s why the bond formed lasts a lifetime and keeps people coming back as strong, loyal customers.
The Importance of Digitization
Unlike the traditional retail industry, retail banking is more advanced in digitalization. They work hard to interact with their clients online. They have begun to revamp their login screens using this space to offer new products such as additional savings accounts, trading accounts for stock options, and pension funds. The portfolio is entertainingly shown to the customer in these companies, using behavioral economics.
For example, customers complete the “cart” puzzle and start collecting points within a loyalty program. This method, known as gamification, can also be used by retailers. In addition to customer–specific shopping carts and themes, it is also necessary to define customized communication touchpoints. Many retailers already have loyalty programs that generate vast amounts of data – they need to use it wisely and combine it with other digital possibilities.
There is no one–size–fits–all solution for optimizing the digital customer experience for retail companies.
Instead, there are three critical steps every company should follow:
- Don’t just do what’s technically feasible; Instead, adopt commercially meaningful practices. This is especially true for new developments and devices: Smart mirrors, drive–through, and automatic payment systems may look great on paper, but they are expensive and do not provide the required return on investment without a viable monetization strategy in the market.
- Focus all your decisions on your customers’ needs and preferences. Recognize that your customers may differ from those of other companies. Methods that are effective improve your offering to your customers.
- Don’t use too much data, don’t be dependent on data. Without a well–thought–out strategy and goals, even Big Data Analytics follow the “garbage in, garbage out” logic.