The world economy has seen better days. The World Economic Outlook forecasts growth to fall from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.8 percent in 2023. Inflation isn’t expected to fall to its target before 2025. The rise in central bank policy rates to curb inflation continues to weigh heavily on economic activity and burden both businesses and households. In our latest guest post, Dan Wagner, CEO of Rezolve, delves into why retailers must adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in order to build resilience within the economy:
“Retailers are in a precarious position, as they face the challenge of trying to keep prices competitive whilst simultaneously optimising margins to stay afloat. There is only one solution to combat this trying economic period – and that is to embrace new technology and innovation. By implementing technology and embracing recent advances in AI, retailers can stay ahead of the curve, optimising efficiencies, enhancing customer experiences and fuelling business growth. By leveraging the power of technology and innovation, retailers can optimse supply chains, answer customer queries more quickly, and build out loyalty.
Generative AI – retail’s future
Customer expectations have rapidly changed over the past few years and, with stubborn inflation, they now expect more from their experiences and interactions with retailers. Ecommerce has elevated the importance of effective consumer interactions, and so businesses have had to rethink strategies and embrace a customer-centric model.
AI is the secret ingredient which has enabled retailers to react to this shift rapidly. With its ability to provide immediate and personalised responses to complex customer inquiries, AI can be used as a tool to re-engage customers who are reducing their spending.
However, if retailers wish to keep pace with the continuously shifting expectations of customers, they need to take things one step further. To meet the concerns of economic instability, retailers are now adopting generative AI-powered personal shoppers, who work smarter and faster.
Utilising cutting-edge AI and GPT models, these personal shoppers are accelerating the process of product search, discovery and purchase. This next generation of search acts as a mirror – becoming a personal, conversational, and efficient shopping assistant.
By harnessing proprietary sophisticated algorithms, advanced machine learning, and natural language processing, generative AI can behave as a highly knowledgeable sales assistants, armed with unparalleled product information and insights. Its ability to process natural language means that many retail processes can be automated, so that retail staff can focus on more complex enquires and value-add tasks.
Certainty in seamlessness
In a digitally saturated world, there is no room for error when it comes to ecommerce – websites need to be sleek and easy to navigate if retailers want to ensure customers follow through with their orders. Shoppers will take their custom elsewhere at even a minor inconvenience.
To keep hold of customers, retailers need to invest in generative AI to optimise their on-site search engines. By having a highly functional search which can give customers the results they want easily, staff won’t need to spend as much time helping customers and can redirect their time to other tasks. In fact, Generative AI could enable labour productivity growth of 0.1 to 0.6 percent annually through 2040, depending on the rate of technology adoption and redeployment of worker time into other activities.
By adopting a highly skilled GPT assistant to optimise search engines, ecommerce businesses will transform customer experiences. Customers can simply ask their personal shopper a question through voice or keyboard, and the AI will deal with the rest – quickly helping customers find what they want, and armed with advanced product knowledge. By improving the quality and effectiveness of interactions via automated channels, generative AI can help retailers keep customers engaged, ensuring they follow through with their purchases.
The need for hyper-personalisation
Customers searching for an item using AI will get more than a list of product results, they will be given detailed recommendations. For example, say you are looking for a new mobile phone for your daughter. You can ask the AI, and give details on what she would be using it for, and the type of phone she is after. The platform will provide customers with personalised suggestions. Additionally, customers can compare products, and request more specific information as and when they need it. This will assist the buyer in making an informed decision and boost sales.
Generative AI can take this personalisation even further. Every time a customer searches, the AI engine collects and processes the data and browsing history. Customer behaviour can be monitored to produce insights and analytics, creating a personal profile based on each individual customer’s preferences and spending habits. Through this valuable data, retailers can create a personalised experience, forming specific algorithms tailored to each person, so that the products they are most likely to need come up first on their shopping feed.
Generative AI can also provide customer sentiment analysis. AI algorithms can analyse customer feedback, reviews and social media posts, and if a customer is unhappy, they can be offered an exclusive discount or offer. This will help to boost customer retention and maintain a loyal base – something that will be essential to ensure business resilience.
A new age for retail
The world of retail is morphing into something entirely new. As consumer behaviours evolve and competition intensifies, remaining resilient requires innovation and adaptability. Through embracing the power of generative AI, and prioritising seamless interactions and personalisation, retailers will drive business growth during a challenging economic time. Generative AI is more than just a product; they are a catalyst for a new era of business efficiency, empowering organisations to harness data and deliver superior customer experiences.