February 24, 2022
Ad Tech

The Future of Retail: How A.I. Can Drive Personalization

Sean Turner

Personalization offers an innovative, tailored shopping experience for every individual shopper. Whether this means being guided around the store to their favorite products or shown recommendations based on past purchases, customers rely on digital personalization to get their shopping done efficiently.

And this digital personalization comes from AI. While AI took a dip in 2020, it is once again rising in popularity due to its powerful ability to forecast future behaviors and identify impactful solutions for retailers. According to CB Insights, retail AI funding reached a record breaking high in 2021 of over $100 million, with one of the listed priorities for future strategizing being first party data analytics. And in 2022 it doesn't look like it is slowing down any time soon.

But how exactly can these technologies sharpen the accuracy of what customers might want in the present, while also optimizing for their shopping needs in the future? As we strive for a cookie-less future, how can brick-and-mortar retailers use data differently—and have an advantage over their online competitors?

Let’s take a look.

In Store Experience

With access to scanning and QR technology, shoppers can now easily find the products they need or can find relevant coupons, exclusive promotion details, and customer reviews that allow them to make more informed purchasing decisions. On top of that, they can also read about key product benefits and learn about the items in their shopping cart before spending money at checkout.  

As customers make more conscious decisions about their purchases, AI can take their search history and real-time activity to further accommodate their future shopping habits—both in-store and online.

Personalized Shopping Journeys

Everyone’s shopping journey is unique. One person might be on a strictly KETO diet, while another might love cookie dough ice cream. It can feel like an impossible feat to anticipate the shopping habits of every individual shopper. But with AI-powered retail platforms that have the power to accurately map out the customer’s shopping journey, it’s not such a far-fetched reality.

As retailers utilize data in a way that efficiently narrows down what their customers need, when they need it, they set themselves apart in a competitive economy. With a connected digital platform powered by Swiftly, retailers can utilize first party data to collect measurable insights about customers without invading or violating their privacy. First party data relies on the data that comes directly from your shoppers, and not from third-party sources—allowing for a safer, more effective way for you to meet customers’ present and future needs.

AI Driven Notifications and Repurchasing Features

The retail space is oversaturated with choice; it’s easy for shoppers to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of available products, leading them to abandon their in-store searches or digital shopping carts.

One of the best things about AI? The more interactions it has with the shopper, the more familiar it gets with their recurring behaviors. As it memorizes human habits, its algorithm becomes better at combing through the details to make more targeted product suggestions or send curated ads through push-notifications, emails, and more.  

As we kick off 2022, your ability to know and understand your shoppers will be a big factor in deciding your success. Whether it’s tracking recurring behavior, identifying favorite products, or tailoring other important aspects of the shopping experience, AI and data pave a path for brick-and-mortar retail technology to thrive—allowing you to boost revenue and build loyalty in the process.