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From browsing online to seeing an Instagram ad to shopping at a local store, consumers have so many possible steps and micro-moments during the buyer journey. On top of that, many shoppers want ease, efficiency, and speed in every experience.

Retailers, then, are constantly challenged to identify and analyze every possible touchpoint to enhance personalization in retail experiences. Using AI for personalization is one way to provide relevant messages to individuals as they browse, buy, and move beyond their initial purchase. According to our Connected Shoppers Report, 65% of shoppers say their loyalty is influenced by companies sending personalized or exclusive offers/discounts.

In a recent webinar, How Retail Brands Make Every Message Matter with AI Powered Recommendations, we discussed this topic in detail. Below is a look at some of our main takeaways.

 

AI drives revenue.

Based on information from more than 150 million shoppers, Salesforce’s Personalization in Shopping report uncovered a startling statistic: “Visits where the shopper clicked a recommendation [on a retailer’s website] comprise just 7% of visits, but create 24% of orders and 26% of revenue.”

That small percentage of shoppers who click a personalized product recommendation can pay dividends for retailers — five times more, in fact.


Source: Personalization in Shopping report

 

Consumers who click on personalized, recommended products not only spend five times more money than consumers who don’t, but they’re also 4.5 times more likely to create a shopping cart and 4.5 times more likely to complete their purchase.

During all of these clicks and interactions, consumers are spending valuable time engaging with retail brands.

 

AI sparks engagement.

While retailers want to increase their bottom line, purchases only touch on one part of the full consumer experience. It’s just as important, if not more so, to ensure consumers have smooth, relevant interactions with brands again and again after the first purchase. AI plays a big role in urging consumers to explore other pages.


 

Source: Personalization in Shopping report

 

On top of time spent on the site, AI-powered recommendations can keep consumers coming back for more after their first visit. A whopping 37% of shoppers who clicked a personalized recommendation during their first visit came back, compared to only 19% of shoppers who didn’t click a recommendation.

 

What does AI mean for marketers?

The big takeaway for marketers is to truly study consumer behaviors and implement personalized content recommendations. The fact is, marketers don’t need to do a complete overhaul of their content creation processes or journey mapping to get started with AI. They simply have to define the places where AI will have the most impact on consumer experiences and kick off a manageable, step-by-step strategy.

First, marketers need to ensure their web, email and mobile channels are ready to handle personalized content. Consider how messages are being built. Are they using content blocks that can be easily manipulated or is someone custom coding each message? Utilizing powerful tools, like Content Builder in the Marketing Cloud, allow for  personalization at scale.

Next, think about the moments that matter for the shopper and identify the places where personalized recommendations will have the most impact. Many retailers first focus on including recommended products in their promotional, abandon browse & cart, and post purchase messaging.

 

Finally, lean on artificial intelligence to eliminate manual merchandising and let AI power individualized product recommendations. This will boost the team’s productivity and drive increasingly personalized shopping experiences in the process.

As marketers get used to having AI as a key part of their engagement strategies, they’ll be able to collect, organize, and use consumer data more efficiently than ever. Not only will marketers be able to maximize value for each consumer, but they’ll also be able to allocate internal team resources more effectively to manage AI-related tactics.

View our recent webinar, How Retail Brands Make Every Message Matter with AI Powered Recommendations, and register for the next webinar in the series, How Stonewall Kitchen Maximizes Online Conversions (and Sales) with AI to learn more about how you can’t spell retail without AI.