4 Ways to Power the Omnichannel Retail Experience with Artificial Intelligence

August 5, 2019

4 Ways to Power the Omnichannel Retail Experience with Artificial Intelligence

Going “omnichannel” means that your company provides a seamless experience everywhere customers come into contact with your brand - and we do mean everywhere. Omnichannel Retail Experiences weave together the physical and digital worlds across all channels and devices to deliver the ultimate in convenience for each consumer. Crafting omnichannel experiences is no simple feat but by implementing Artificial Intelligence, or “AI,” you might be able to speed up and simplify the process. In this article, you will learn how to power the omnichannel retail experience with artificial intelligence to improve customer service, maximize efficiency in omnichannel order fulfillment, inform better business decisions and to sell inventory at the most profitable price point. Artificial Intelligence describes the idea that machines or computers can simulate human processes such as learning, reasoning, problem-solving, speech recognition, planning and self-correction. How can you use AI to power the omnichannel retail experience? Listed below, we’ve put together some ideas of how brands utilize AI to offer seamless experiences and exceed expectations.

How to Power Omnichannel Retail Experiences with AI:

Use AI to Improve Customer Service

Many companies use AI to be able to offer the best customer service on numerous channels of communication. In this way, companies allow consumers to reach out in whatever way is most convenient for them on any device, at any time, on any channel. Now consumers can receive automated AI-powered customer service all the time and almost anywhere through text-based support, in-app support, email, live web chat, call centers and on social media. Companies are already utilizing AI to answer frequently asked questions, help customers complete orders and process returns. With AI taking on more simple and repetitive tasks, employees can focus on more complicated revenue-generating tasks. It’s a win-win for all. Companies like Starbucks and Panera Bread boast that you can place orders online or through their mobile app to receive rewards, cut the line, and save time. Orders are sent to a nearby store and then are fulfilled and ready to be picked up when the consumer arrives. Domino’s Pizza uses AI to innovate quality control to produce the best pizza possible. Domino’s DRU AI Pizza Checker camera takes a photo of each pizza before it is served or delivered and posts it online for all to see. This AI Pizza Checker innovation “verifies pizza type, correct toppings, topping distribution, crust type and temperature to give people better visibility of their order. Delivering better quality pizzas, more efficient stores and more satisfied customers.”

How’s that for putting AI to good use?

Use AI to Maximize Efficiency in Omnichannel Order Fulfillment Part of what makes omnichannel retail so amazing is that companies can welcome customers from so many different channels and platforms. Having orders come in from different platforms presents great opportunities but also unforeseen challenges. When you take in orders from many different places, the customers can follow any pattern. For example, a customer might purchase an item on social media, through an app or on the company website. A customer might research a product online and then buy it in your store. Or, perhaps they see the product in your store and then order it online. AI tools help create a strategy that is flexible to meet the customer’s buying journey. Real-time sourcing makes it possible to move returns and at-risk inventory, quickly scan products to meet increased demand and meet any changes with scenario planning strategies to map out the best and most cost efficient ways.

Use AI to Inform Better Business Decisions

Before we mentioned that online retail orders can come in through multiple mediums. Companies can learn a lot by tracking the mediums that are most successful in selling their products. Is it easier for customers to purchase on one medium or channel over another? Do customers prefer a specific payment or shipping method on one medium that is not offered on another? By tracking customer behavior to see how they place orders and how they gather information on your website, companies can gain valuable insight to put towards redesigning digital experiences to better serve customers. Cognitive tools help retailers gather real-time data to better understand customer behavior and to take action to increase profits and meet customer expectations. This data makes it possible to predict costs along all dimensions for omnichannel customers, such as choosing the right delivery path that prioritizes speed and minimizes delivery costs and other factors. AI tools help companies gather this data without the need to open IT tickets or handle cross-platform communications. Use AI to Sell Inventory at its Most Profitable Price Point Have you ever noticed that if you look at the same product on Amazon on two different days that the price may have changed? This price change occurs automatically because Amazon uses AI tools to monitor and change prices due to various market conditions like competing products or changes in supply and demand. Employing AI features to manage your pricing will help you sell inventory at its most profitable price point while automating these price fluctuations. Also you’ll be able to move inventory while minimizing carrying costs and reserving the use of markdowns and other promotions only when needed. AI tools can also collect data about returns and slow moving inventory to factor in this information when bringing in next season’s inventory.

Going omnichannel ensures that your brand is present and serving customers where they already spend their time online. This means more selling and greater profits for your company while delighting customers. Once you have it set up, artificial intelligence can help your company improve customer service, maximize efficiency in omnichannel order fulfillment, inform better business decisions and to sell inventory at the greatest profit all in the name of creating the best possible customer experience. What was your best customer experience online? Do you remember why you enjoyed this experience? We would love to connect with you online and hear from you. Feel free to comment below or connect with us on social.