Retailers need to anticipate customer needs and meet them where they are searching for information – before they’re looking for it. To learn more about how to harness digital solutions to improve consumer experiences and stay innovative in the field, members of the retail industry gathered in Las Vegas last week for Shop.org 2018. The conference featured several sessions on digital technologies and how they are transforming the retail industry. Maven Wave participated in the conference as a sponsor and a vendor, showcasing our Google Cloud Platform functionalities for retailers. Below are our top three takeaways from the conference:
1) Personalization Enhances the Customer Experience
One session showcased how personalization goes beyond simply remembering a customer’s past purchases on your site. Personalization in 2018 means showing each customer individually recommended products in search results and tailoring marketing email content specifically to the recipient. Using marketing analytics, retailers can use customer data to conduct real-time targeting and even predict future actions. Advanced applications of marketing analytics data include geo-location driven content, optimized Google Adwords campaigns, personalized email content and more.
2) Technology Extends Beyond Online Shopping
Another session centered specifically on the use of technology in-store and how it improves a customer’s experience with a brand. The presentation focused on two specific solutions for retail store chains to enhance the in-person shopping experience by using digital solutions. One retailer implemented in-store digital displays with full product information to rival that found on an e-commerce site. Another used its online presence to drive its customers to special events and shopping experiences at their brick and mortar locations.
3) Anticipate Customer Needs Throughout the Shopping Journey
A main stage presentation by Google highlighted how retailers can effectively reach customers from the time they initially search for a product until they purchase the item. By using machine learning, merchandisers can anticipate customer needs and meet demand. Some examples from the presentation include serving consumers location-based online ads to match the products in a local store, predicting inventory needs and optimizing delivery times.
Overall, the conference sessions gave a peek into how the retail industry is adapting machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve customer experiences.