eCommerce & Merchandising

Keeping up with consumers is hard – Artificial Intelligence is here to help

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How does the saying go? The only constant is change?

This is never truer than in seeking to meet the demands of a fast changing consumer.

New research by Accenture recently published on Ad Age provided some telling data. Aptly titled “Study: Consumers Get More Fickle Despite Billions Spent on Loyalty,” the research shows several data points on customer loyalty that demonstrate how easily customers switch brand loyalties.

54% of those surveyed switched loyalties in 2016 and 78% say they retract loyalty faster than they did 3 years ago. That is a scary proposition for any brand and especially for retailers.

To further compound the challenge, consumers are adopting and abandoning new social media platforms, channels and devices with dizzying regularity. Retailers not only have to constantly adapt their messaging to stay relevant, but they need to be agile enough to engage in the correct channels where and when appropriate.

When faced with such a fickle attitude, how can retailers possibly meet customer expectations, much less get ahead of those expectations? The demand on the human element is too much. It’s impossible to maintain a comprehensive knowledge of what customers want from a product (performance, materials, price, etc) while also being knowledgeable about the ways in which customers expect to engage with the brand and products in order to serve these fast changing consumers.

It is an interesting time. A time some affectionately call “the rise of the machines” – that is tongue in cheek of course. The future will not belong to computers. The future will be determined by brands that embrace a collaborative approach to solving these retail challenges. Those that combine human intuition and creativity with computers’ ability to absorb and interpret tremendous amounts of data will win customers’ hearts and minds. They will make faster decisions with more accuracy and at a lower cost than could be achieved by a computer or human alone and they will beat their competitors. They will be super-powered by IBM and Watson to achieve more than they ever thought possible.

Want to learn more about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cognitive is super-powering retailers to build better customer experiences? Join us at Shop.org at booth #625 on September 25th through the 27th where we’ll be demonstrating how IBM Watson Commerce can enhance your ecommerce strategy.

For more insights into how Artificial Intelligence will change the retail landscape, attend Richard Hearn’s session entitled “Tech Talk: Machine-learning – infusing AI into commerce” on Wednesday, September 27th at 10 AM.

If you can’t make it out to L.A. for Shop.org, you can still learn all about our Watson Commerce solutions.

Please join us for a Shop.org themed tweetchat on September 27th at 12pm PST.  We’ll have panelists Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok) and Peter Lavers (@PeterLavers) joining as @IBMCommerce hosts “Be a Hero: Supercharge Your Commerce Experience,” LIVE from the LA Convention Center. Be sure to follow
hashtags: #WatsonCommerce #Shoporg17 to participate.

Questions:
Q1. What are the top 3 digital commerce challenges for retailers?
Q2. What’s important to commerce professionals in a solution: scalability, agility or ease of implementation? Why?
Q3. What are some roadblocks retailers face working towards successful omnichannel execution?
Q4. If you could have ONE superpower to overcome omnichannel challenges, what would it be?
Q5. Which brands are heroes in omnichannel commerce?
Q6. Which technologies drive omnichannel?
Q7. Why is SaaS such an important delivery model?
Q8. Why is it important to have a modular, flexible solution?
Q9. How will AI influence commerce in the next year?
Q10. What is one takeaway that you’re excited to have learned this week?

Global Product Marketing Manager, IBM Watson Commerce

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