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The majority of global consumers (52%) expect to be able to find what they need from a company in three clicks or less, according to a report from Salesforce. But companies are coming up short of consumers’ expectations, as just 40% of shoppers can generally accomplish their task that quickly, which can mean missed sales opportunities for e-tailers.
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Here’s what it means: E-tailers should consider personalizing the shopping experience for each consumer to meet this expectation — and AI is important to doing so.
- Personalizing websites’ appearances can cut down on the number of clicks required to locate an item. Websites can use segmentation and individual consumer data to choose what’s presented to consumers based on what they may want, potentially surfacing relevant items and categories faster. This includes tactics like showing new customers high-level branding about a company while displaying previously purchased products to returning shoppers, as personalization vendor Dynamic Yield did for beauty company Kopari. Consumers are likely interested in this kind of personalization, as 60% expect tailored engagement based on previous interactions with a company, and this is an extension of that relationship.
- AI is a key tool for introducing this kind of personalization, and consumers are interested in companies using it. The technology allows retailers to adjust their sites on the fly so consumers can have a more tailored and efficient experience; for example, an AI tool could use machine learning to analyze data, and then use those insights to inform the layout and content of an online interface. The use of AI appeals to most consumers, with 62% open to the use of AI to improve their experience, so retailers should jump at the chance to better their websites and shorten consumers’ shopping processes.
The bigger picture: Retailers that use AI and individual consumer data to drive their personalization must be careful to maintain consumers’ trust so they’re comfortable with retailers accessing their data.
Most consumers (55%) are willing to have companies use relevant personal data if its uses are transparent and beneficial, but 63% don’t feel companies are transparent about data usage and 55% don’t believe the data usage benefits them.If e-tailers can’t earn consumers’ trust, they won’t get access to their data and will potentially lose sales. To maximize the opportunity provided by personalization, e-tailers need to be extremely clear and upfront about how they use shoppers’ data and extol and explain the benefits of personalization.
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