How AI Shopping Assistants Are Bolstering Retail Discovery


Digital discovery is an opportunity for consumers to start a lasting relationship with a brand. As a result, retailers are adopting chatbots to guide the customer through the e-commerce journey with the specificity of a one-on-one interaction with a salesperson.

To help consumers discover the best products and make confident purchases, virtual agents can provide customers with personalized recommendations tailored to customers’ own goals, needs and preferences. These bots guide consumers through a series of question prompts, analyze existing information like social media or customer profiles, and weigh them against current offerings to deliver a curated selection of results.

In a recent survey on chat, PSFK found that 51% of users feel comfortable providing personal information in order to receive more relevant offerings and personalized service from a brand. On top of that, 70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their individual needs influences their loyalty, and 69% say the same of personalized customer care, according to Salesforce.

Brands and retailers are already boosting their personalization efforts with the help of AI-powered shopping assistants. PSFK researchers collected some examples of conversational commerce:

Chat integration allows customers to see recommended products

Apparel retailer H&M implemented a chatbot on messenger app Kik, which allows customers to see, share and purchase products in their catalog. H&M uses the bot as a brand extension tailored toward customizing the user’s shopping experience by asking simple questions before recommending some of the brand’s products. Users can click through to a product page or share the result with other Kik contacts.

Personal beauty assistant provides curated tutorials and tips

Beauty brand Coty partnered with Amazon to launch a new skill for the Echo Show, the first Alexa-enabled voice device with a screen included. The interface, known as ‘Let’s Get Ready,’ allows users to input personal attributes, including hair, eye and skin color, and Coty supplies an on-demand, occasion-based look planning service, capable of delivering more than 2,000 combinations of hair and makeup looks. Users have the ability to add related products from each look to their Amazon shopping cart via voice. The interface can also provide curated tutorials and quick tips, thereby acting as a user’s personalized style assistant.

Shopping bot helps customers find relevant products

E-commerce marketplace eBay has developed a shopping assistant called ShopBot that helps people find the best deals from eBay’s extensive listings. The AI chatbot, powered with machine learning technology, allows shoppers to quickly access products relevant to their previous purchases. Combining AI with eBay’s breadth of inventory and unique selection enables the company to create a more personal shopping experience for customers.

This trend is taking off as virtual assistants become more commonplace in the home. Consumers, who are increasingly accustomed to engaging with AI, will be looking for an interaction that goes beyond a simple command to order—and chat interfaces that curate information are equipped to fill that role.

Categories: Apparel, Brands, Business, E-commerce, Economic, Retail, Technology

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