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How to Use AI to Improve Retail Customer Experience

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Retail customers want shopping experiences that meet their expectations for immediacy, personalization, and quality. These expectations contribute to a favorable retail customer experience that keeps online shoppers coming back.

Retail customer service has become top of mind for businesses because it directly impacts the overall retail customer experience. Businesses turn to AI to improve retail customer experience and deliver on consumer demands. 

What is Retail Customer Service?

Retail customer service relates to building and maintaining customer relationships after a business sells a product or service. It refers to any assistance or support a company provides customers, often through retail contact center settings. 

A retail contact center is a central point of contact between a brand and its customers. Support from contact centers may include phone calls, social media messaging, email, or webchat. The primary role of the contact center is to provide customers with efficient and effective customer service, technical support, and sales assistance. A focus on retail customer service ensures retail customers are satisfied with past purchases and the retail customer experience.

The State of Retail Customer Experience

Retail customer experience is the overall emotional result of touchpoints along the customer journey, and plays an important role in customer loyalty. In fact, more than 75% of consumers say consistent customer experiences improve their likelihood to do business with a brand.

Let’s take a look at an online shopper making a purchase.

A customer navigates through several touchpoints to buy a single pair of shoes. The customer may begin on the store’s website or mobile app. There, they browse products and add the selected pair of shoes to their shopping cart. Each touchpoint contributes to their overall retail customer experience.

They then purchase the shoes and receive a notification when the shoes ship. If the shoes arrive in the wrong size, the customer can contact the company’s retail customer service team. The retail customer service team can offer an exchange or refund. This common retail customer experience contains a variety of touchpoints that can make or break loyalty for online shoppers.

AI enhances touchpoints and interactions online shoppers have with a business. For instance, conversational AI in retail responds to customer inquiries instantly, providing the immediacy online shoppers desire. These elements come together to improve the overall retail customer experience and increase customer loyalty.

Example of a positive customer review.

The Role of Conversational AI in Retail

Over the years, shopping has become more technology-enabled, which analysts estimate will double retail store profitability. Businesses have had to redesign the retail customer experience to be intelligent and digital first to better serve online shoppers.

Companies harness conversational AI to improve the retail customer experience and keep pace with evolving preferences. For reference, conversational AI facilitates real-time, human-like communication between a person and a computer. It combines technologies, including natural language processing (NLP), AI, machine learning (ML), deep learning, and contextual awareness. 

With conversational AI in retail, businesses can understand retail customers’ preferences, predict behavior, and deliver personalized offers in near real-time. Conversational AI in retail can also deliver dynamic human dialogues that feel natural and efficient. Human dialogue is valuable in issue resolution as this will help establish familiarity for customers and help them feel understood. Customers get from initial contact to resolution quickly and familiarly with conversational AI in retail.

Keep reading to learn about other ways AI improves the retail customer experience.

Streamline Retail Customer Service

Conversational AI in retail virtual agents streamline service and makes contact center communications more intelligent. These tools can answer routine customer questions or direct customers to more information on a retailer's website. Thanks to conversational AI in retail, there is less of a burden on retail customer service agents to handle every call that comes through.

Businesses can tailor conversational AI in retail virtual agents to address customer needs and deliver human-like retail customer service. Retail virtual agents with conversational AI include  intelligent virtual agents (IVAs). IVA’s capability to interact with callers naturally fosters familiarity and helps retail customers feel heard and understood. Conversational AI in retail enables companies to be more nimble, efficient, and responsive to customer needs.

Drive Personalization in Real-time with Insight from Past Purchases

Retailers can use AI-enabled tools like IVAs to make the retail customer experience more personal. For example, an IVA can share information with representatives about past purchases. This information enhances sales capabilities for representatives and individualization for retail customers. For instance, if a customer has a habit of purchasing a certain style of shoe, IVAs can remind the customer of release dates. Customers will appreciate the reminders and the method can enhance sales for your business.

IVAs use insight from past purchases to inform support and future service. This could include product recommendations or sales reminders. IVAs can also access historical data in real-time to support retail customers without placing them on hold.

Example of a remarketing text message to a retail customer.

Deliver Proactive Communication to Retail Customers 

AI in retail customer experience helps companies use real-time behavioral data to send proactive communication to customers. For example, an IVA with conversational AI in retail settings can improve SMS marketing campaigns.

The IVA can inform retail customers of holiday promos, discounts, and new product releases. Companies can send personalized and relevant messages that comply with regulations. 

Businesses can also deliver useful reminders about important updates. For example, online shoppers might leave an item in their cart or attempt to pay but forget to finalize. An IVA can proactively assist online shoppers in completing their transactions. Another example of proactive communication with conversational AI in retail is when an IVA flags suggested products during a transaction. This type of targeted buying opportunity encourages online shoppers to buy additional products at a discounted price.

Businesses that use conversational AI in retail to proactively communicate with online shoppers add value by personalizing the retail customer experience. Intuitive communications improve retail customer experience and offer opportunities to increase revenue for your company.

How Mosaicx Enhances Retail Customer Experience

A Mosaicx IVA provides immediate insights to improve a wide range of retail customer service processes. Businesses can visualize the data to understand the customer journey better and see areas for improvement through personalization. 

Modern retail customers want personalized and efficient shopping experiences. Businesses can leverage conversational AI in retail to deliver these in-demand and high-quality retail customer experiences. AI-enabled tools streamline retail customer service, utilize past purchases to drive personalization, and deliver proactive communication. Conversational AI in retail ensures all of these interactions feel human-like.

The future of conversational AI in retail has great potential. We’ll continue to see businesses use these tools to transform experiences and engagement with their retail customers.