When a customer shops at a physical store, real people are there to give them product recommendations that match what they are looking for. When a customer shops at an online store, an artificial intelligence is there to create the same unique experience. Customers enjoy the personal attention they receive in store, and have come to expect it in their online excursions as well.
Early use of a personalized merchandising AI program provided online shoppers with generic recommendations. It would suggest products that other people “similar to” them had viewed, or it would broadcast ads meant for a group of similar individuals. These techniques have long since been dwarfed by the extreme personalization used today.
The AI involved with these processes are extremely efficient at gathering and sorting data from a very wide variety of sources. Their algorithms are able to track what items an individual has searched for, what they have viewed, what they have purchased, what websites they have visited, and so on. AI programs have been developed even further to learn how to gather third party data as frequently as possible. This can include the time and location of purchase activity, social media use, and general demographics. The more information an artificial intelligence has on a particular individual, the better able it is to recommend products that are uniquely suited to their interests and personality.
The ability for an AI to handle data is increasing exponentially. In fact, with many of these programs, the more data an AI has access to, the smarter and more efficient it becomes. Programs of the past may have needed to study an individual’s activity for a period of time, sometimes months, before an accurate profile could be created. The programs have since evolved to react in real-time to create an experience even more personalized than ever. The AI’s ability to employ statistics and probability will continually adjust data to react to an individual’s ever changing activities. Overall, this extreme personalization has been seen to create many new customers, as well as an increasing amount of return customers.
E-commerce industries have been exploding with success thanks to their use of AI driven personalized merchandising. It’s evolution has been obvious since it’s early application, and it can only be expected to improve from here. The personalized merchandising of the future may find little to no use for human intervention.