PSFK researchers took a closer look at how brands can leverage AI to offer more personalized services and recommendations to their customers

From initial browsing to post-purchase fulfillment, and even ongoing product support, retailers are learning to optimize product discovery and use by leveraging a variety of connected platforms and technologies, or partnering with third-party services.

As Victoria Buchanan, strategic researcher at retail consultancy The Future Laboratory, told Glossy, “Personalized experiences were always associated with the luxury industry—they came with an expensive price tag—but technology has democratized what is possible.”

Leveraging AI systems to curate recommendations based on predetermined preferences and guided questionnaires can help brands eliminate choice fatigue and boost shopper confidence before making a purchase. PSFK’s researchers took a closer look at this emerging trend and chose some of the most interesting recent examples from the marketplace:

eBay

The conversationalist AI bot interface developed by e-commerce marketplace eBay recommends similar products to shoppers based on their previous purchases. The ShopBot chatbot, which is accessible via Facebook Messenger, also keeps track of customers preferred brands and clothing sizes to simplify purchase checkout.

Levi’s

Clothing manufacturer Levi’s provides its online customers with jean recommendations using a natural language processing chatbot. The Virtual Stylist feature, which is available on the brand’s website and via Facebook Messenger, asks questions about shoppers’ preferred fits and body types in order to cull suitable recommendations.

West Elm

Homewear retailer West Elm’s AI tool scans customers’ Pinterest profiles to recommend furnishings based on users’ personal aesthetic. The West Elm Pinterest Style Finder uses neural networks to get a sense of style from a user’s own or anyone else’s Pinterest board of images and returns a shortlist of furniture, rugs, curtains, mirrors and other items in about 10 seconds.

Whether it’s a small shop or an international brand, personality and personalization are key to maintaining solid relationships with customers. As companies grow, they often lose out on the ability to devote as much attention to each customer. By leveraging AI, as with the above examples, brands can get back to cultivating valuable personalized connections with each consumer. For more on this topic, check out our recent research paper Enabling Retail Personalization At Scale.


Lead Image: Professional stylist via Shutterstock

From initial browsing to post-purchase fulfillment, and even ongoing product support, retailers are learning to optimize product discovery and use by leveraging a variety of connected platforms and technologies, or partnering with third-party services.

As Victoria Buchanan, strategic researcher at retail consultancy The Future Laboratory, told Glossy, “Personalized experiences were always associated with the luxury industry—they came with an expensive price tag—but technology has democratized what is possible.”