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How Will Generative AI Streamline Omnichannel Commerce?

How Will Generative AI Streamline Omnichannel Commerce?
While a smooth omnichannel buyer journey was once a nice-to-have, it’s now a prerequisite for success. (Adobe Stock)

Discover how generative AI will change omnichannel commerce and simplify experiences for the modern consumer. Find out more.

The use of generative AI is growing, helping organisations revolutionise processes and enhance experiences. Find out how generative AI is transforming omnichannel commerce and driving productivity for the organisations using it.

When you go to buy a new pair of shoes, how do you do it? Online, in-store, via an app? If there’s an issue, how do you contact customer services? Do you call them, send an email, or use an online chat system?

As customers today, we want to be able to shop how we want, when we want, and where we want, as part of an omnichannel journey. So much so that 74% of customers globally expect to be able to do anything online that they can do in person or by phone. While a smooth omnichannel buyer journey was once a nice-to-have, it’s now a prerequisite for success.

But how do you ensure this smooth omnichannel buyer journey? With generative AI.

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An omnichannel commerce experience

Omnichannel commerce is about customers interacting with your brand on any platform of their choice. Indeed, 79% of customers worldwide expect consistent interactions across various departments. Consequently, it’s crucial to establish a seamless experience and consolidate all your data into a single view.

When implemented effectively, the benefits of omnichannel commerce can bring high returns on investment. Some key benefits include:

  1. Personalised Interactions: By analysing customer data, you can enhance relevancy and engagement, creating a sense of understanding and fostering an emotional connection with consumers.
  2. Seamless On-the-Go Purchases: Customers can make purchases via multiple touchpoints, facilitating spontaneous buying decisions and accommodating busy lifestyles, thus increasing convenience and accessibility.
  3. Consistent Brand Experience: With omnichannel commerce, customers receive a cohesive brand journey across all touchpoints, fostering trust and recognition. This strengthens brand loyalty and identity, contributing to a positive buyer journey and repeat business.

That said, effective omnichannel commerce is not without its challenges — it can require a significant influx of talent and capital expense (CapEx) investment to implement.

One of the most common challenges comes in collating and analysing vast amounts of data along the buyer journey. Without this knowledge, you don’t have a clear view of your customer and many aspects of omnichannel become impossible. How can you recommend products and services if you don’t know their preferences? How can you anticipate needs if you don’t know their history?

Alongside this is the challenge of time. Completing processes manually takes up much of your sales and customer service reps’ workloads, meaning they don’t have the time to dedicate support to customers or sell products as quickly. We all know how painstakingly slow manually inputting data from spreadsheets can be, and it’s undoubtedly an error-prone process.

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To overcome these challenges and for omnichannel commerce to work effectively, all points across the customer journey (social media, e-commerce, and in-store) and supply chain (warehousing, delivery, and returns) must be integrated and connected. This requires the right digital technology to connect, process, and analyse large amounts of data.

And here’s where generative AI comes in — giving fresh insights to power new omnichannel strategies and generating content to drive engagement and facilitate purchases.

How generative AI drives productivity within omnichannel experiences

Generative AI is driving significant change within the current commerce landscape. In fact, 84% of salespeople using generative AI say it increases sales at their organisation by enhancing and speeding up customer interactions. How would you like to be capable of not just meeting, but predicting and exceeding customer needs with automated solutions and pre-generated content? Here are three ways generative AI omnichannel experiences allow you to do just that.

1. Automation

Salesforce research found e-commerce professionals using AI estimate an average saving of 6.4 hours per week. By automatically unifying data across all platforms and providing a comprehensive view of the entire buyer journey, AI can quickly analyse customer and product data. This analysis can help predict the channels that customers are more likely to convert on, among other insights. Can you do that? Absolutely. AI workflow software makes it easy to automate repetitive, time-consuming processes — such as identifying contacts and adding them to your database. This allows your team to allocate more time towards enhancing customer satisfaction.

2. Creating content

Think of generative AI as your content and editorial sidekick. Grounded by your CRM data, you can brainstorm and create on-brand copy to scale personalisation, while safeguarding trust. With the ability to understand and mimic human writing, generative AI can produce content that’s not just keyword-rich but also contextually relevant and engaging for consumers. A Content Builder consolidates images, documents, and content into a single location to auto-generate copy. It also takes an existing copy and creates new, tailored variations for your audiences.

3. Personalising content

65% of customers worldwide expect companies to adapt to their changing needs and preferences. By activating real-time data collected across every touchpoint, you can meet these expectations by providing deeper, more impactful personalisation. For example, AI chatbots provide 24/7 communication and generate tailored responses grounded in CRM data, enabling instant replies.

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The AI tools transforming omnichannel commerce

From personalisation to productivity, generative AI is changing the game of omnichannel commerce. Yet, shockingly, 77% of business leaders globally worry their company is missing out on the benefits of generative AI. 

But you needn’t worry. With so many user-friendly AI solutions available, everyone can elevate their omnichannel commerce.

Tools such as Commerce Cloud make it easy to personalise and improve the shopper journey with AI-infused e-commerce software. Headless commerce with AI adapts to changing shopper needs, while seamless integrations fit your business so you can optimise order management, active social commerce, or develop self-service options — superior e-commerce for all.

Or if you want to supercharge your customer service, tools like Service Cloud allow you to personalise support and build loyalty with each customer at every interaction. With AI customer service software automating and streamlining support, you can scale productivity from your call centre to field service. These AI tools are becoming increasingly easy to use and are often integrated into the platforms you already use — so every business can start delivering better omnichannel experiences.

Ready to take the next step with generative AI in omnichannel commerce?For more information on how Salesforce can help you get the most from your AI, see here.

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