We’re all shoppers, and we’ve all visited hundreds of different stores, in person and online. Of course, the unacknowledged truth about shopping is that whenever you go to a store, the majority of the products you see aren’t actually the products you want. No matter which store you’re shopping in, you’ll likely need to sift through a ton of irrelevant items before you find what you really need.

That’s just what shopping has always been. But it’s not what shopping should be.

What if the first products you saw were exactly the products you needed? Even better, what if all the merchandise in the whole store was displayed and ordered according to how much it mattered to you?

That’s exactly what shopping should be — fast, simple, and personalized. Just a few years ago, that may have seemed impossible, but shopping is now rapidly evolving, both in the store and online. With the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, brands are finally able to tailor shopping experiences to customers’ interests, based on real-time web browsing habits and shopping data.

 
 

Personalized product recommendations drive revenue. Visits where the shopper clicked a recommendation comprise just 7% of all visits, but 24% of orders and 26% of revenue.”

Salesforce Research | Personalization In Shopping Report, January 2018
Through personalization, brands now have the power to turn every shopping interaction into a meaningful and rewarding experience. In fact, personalized shopping experiences are key to customer engagement, retention, and loyalty in today’s retail landscape. Personalization is also linked to higher conversion rates  and product sales, as AI creates seamless experiences that leave shoppers satisfied that they’ve made the right purchase, time and time again.
Only the most dedicated online shoppers would ever click through dozens of pages in hopes of finding the right item. Most customers, feeling immediately misunderstood, would leave the site after only a few clicks. Through AI-powered product recommendations and search optimization, it’s now possible for brands to guarantee relevant content and tailored search experiences that immediately meet customer needs.
 
 

52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them.”

Today’s connected customers also expect retail to update with increasing speed. In fact, 69% of shoppers expect to see new merchandise whenever they shop in person or online. Artificial intelligence can use browsing data to automatically present shoppers with new product selections whenever they visit an online store. This keeps customers from getting tired of seeing the same merchandise, and helps spark buying behavior in spontaneous moments, particularly on mobile devices.

While customers fill their online shopping carts, AI-powered customer insights can maximize conversions with relevant deals, product bundles, and advertising based on real-time cart analysis. What’s more, because AI continually learns from the way shoppers respond to this content, you can build increasingly personal and resonant marketing campaigns as time goes by and your customers are better understood.

Because 71% of customers use their mobile devices in stores, AI-powered personalization is now also key to in-person sales. Presented with personalized search results on mobile, shoppers can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for in the store. Customer data also empowers store associates to meaningfully upsell and cross-sell based on these personalized item recommendations.

 
 
Learn how to harness the power of AI to personalize customer journeys — no data scientist required!

Among marketers already using AI, 57% say that personalization technology is key to unlocking true 1-to-1 customer experiences across every touchpoint. In the midst of the digital disruption of the retail industry, meaningful customer relationships where shoppers feel understood and valued will define the future success of retail brands.

Many retail brands are transitioning to this new digital landscape by implementing artificial intelligence solutions like Commerce Cloud Einstein. Through Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Einstein’s unique intelligence and powerful personalization tools have helped dozens of leading brands meet the needs of today’s connected consumers.

 
 

Every customer is an individual. A huge factor for us was that the recommendations should be tailored for each customer and fit the product category and price segment.”

Kirstin Hesse, Director of Online Merchandising, engelhorn
German department store engelhorn boasts an enormous and diverse product catalog, featuring more than 35,000 products across 700 brands. It would be easy for any customer to get lost shopping engelhorn’s vast online selection of fashion, luxury, and sporting goods — and they certainly used to, until the brand brought in Einstein to help sort things out. Without increasing its online merchandising staff of three, engelhorn fully implemented Einstein within weeks and immediately streamlined customer journeys. Through Einstein Product Recommendations, engelhorn increased its online conversion rate by 2.5%, average order value by 1.5%, and revenue per visitor by almost 4%.
 
 

People want to be offered something that’s relevant to them. I know that’s what I’m looking for when I’m shopping.”

Brian Hoven, Global Head of Ecommerce, Icebreaker

Icebreaker was already using a product recommendation engine in an attempt to boost its ecommerce performance. But when Einstein was added to Salesforce Commerce Cloud, the New Zealand-based outerwear retailer decided to run some tests pitting Einstein against their existing AI. According to Icebreaker’s metrics, Einstein’s personalization tools led shoppers to click Product Recommendations 40% more often, resulting in a 28% increase in revenue from recommended products, and an average order value increase of 11%.

To learn how Einstein can help your brand create personalized experiences for shoppers — through Product Recommendations, Commerce Insights, Predictive Sort, and more — check out the Einstein Demo, or read about how Einstein works with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

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