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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Things are getting deeply personal in commerce, and there are enough reasons to it

Armed with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, companies that can cater to the exact likes and desires of a customer by providing a delightful shopping experience can increase their business multifold and hold an edge over competition.

It has always been about you. All the way. Personalization is the icing on the cake that the modern customer just cannot do without. Every customer facing endeavour from a business has upped the focus on personalization. Only customer centric business models succeed in a world where choice is endless, location is irrelevant, and even price has ceased to be a determining factor in commerce.

A study by PwC reveals that 12 percent of consumers choose their favourite brands based on personalised offers. Another study by Infosys states that as much as 59 percent of shoppers said personalised experiences influenced their purchase significantly. Armed with the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, companies that can cater to the exact likes and desires of a customer by providing a delightful shopping experience can increase their business multifold and hold an edge over competition. It could be the latest playlist on a music streaming site, or an over-the-top (OTT) video service, or a grocery delivery chain, personalised recommendations and suggestions backed by scientific methods would win.

So here’s the secret ingredient

Artificial intelligence is the secret ingredient that makes a successful recipe for effective digital marketing of any product or service. Deep knowledge garnered by powerful artificial intelligence systems help in tailoring the best shopping experience by constant learning and consistent engagements. AI and ML are already making great inroads into personalized marketing, enabled by systematic tracking and listening to customers’ activities.

There is no broad customer segment anymore. Each pair of eyeballs are unique, and knowing where they travel, what they are buying and have bought etc. is extremely important for a business to know. ‘Heat maps’ of scrolls, touchscreen actions, clicks, and time spent on each category is an important parameter to study, which offers enormous insights into the mind of the customer. Armed with this knowledge, AI can tweak the offerings to fit the table in the best possible manner.

AI not only helps place products and tailor suggestions and recommendations, it also helps tweak the marketing language, and even the pitch and tone of the messages. Creating hyper-personalized messages that reaches the customer in the right time, and is presented in the right language and tone is most likely to be grabbed. From personalized email campaigns to crafting the right message content to selecting the right notification messages, images and chatbot greetings, AI helps a company maximize its chances of being favourably received by each individual customer.

Reaching the audience of one

Marketing is not about having more data, but to reduce the clutter and zoom in on the most important bits of data that your customer truly values. When data on the information highway is bursting at its seams, it is continuing challenge for companies to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to maximise shopping experience by orchestrating a unified customer view.

As consumer get used to having things their way, personalised experiences have started to become the norm. Retailers who act quickly and stay ahead of the personalisation game have a better chance of sticking out amongst the crowd. By combining personalised recommendation engines, and launching effectively personalised communication campaigns, any business can achieve a significant leap in its performance.

For all the massive strides, personalized marketing is still evolving, and the future is exciting as well as challenging. While AI and ML will enable the best sync between a customer’s needs and the company’s work, it will also open up a wide variety of challenges, especially in terms of security and privacy. Legislation such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union will make companies comply, and require them to be extremely sensitive and respectful to customers’ right to privacy. In such a scenario, it would be a tightrope walk for any company to find the right balance of tools and techniques to personalize products and services to the discerning and aware customer.

Saarthak Puri, Product Lead, AI powered products, Capillary Technologies

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