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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Improves In-Store Customer Experience

The Estudio Anual de eCommerce 2017 (2017 eCommerce Study) found that seven out of ten Spanish shoppers buy online. The market is stabilizing after huge growth in 2015 and 2016. Nevertheless, the percentage of people who only buy online increased four points from 2016 to 17%, and the percentage who only buy offline decreased seven points to 29%. Stores need to upgrade to improve the in-store customer experience to increase sales. Revolutionary artificial intelligence (AI) brings the benefits of online shopping to physical stores.

In-store artificial intelligence is here to stay and a great ally of digital signage. Digital signage uses integrated artificial intelligence to collect and analyze enormous quantities of data allowing businesses to offer specific customers personalized products and information at specific times. Deep learning is combined with other automatic experiential learning methods to create highly personalized messages using AI. These messages are displayed on in-store digital signage. Stores and brands are beginning to understand how this can help give customers a more personal, more attractive experience.

This insight was revealed by automatic methods that learn how buyers behave when they stand in front of digital signage (comprising a screen, camera and sensors). AI optimizes in-store service and automates myriad data analysis to offer a processable, optimized, real time response that matches company strategy. Deep learning allows the platform to improve over time, adding considerable value. It can also draw conclusions and react to certain situations.

Personalized Virtual Assistant (HALO)

In the future, bots will be indispensable automated assistants that perform numerous tasks. Watson cognitive computing was created to win US game show Jeopardy! The bot finally beat the show’s historic champions without an internet connection, proving its ability to learn from 200 million pages of structured and unstructured knowledge. This same technology is now used for cancer research, business and marketing.

Halo, the Beabloo AI Research bot prototype, is a practical in-store application of the synergy between digital signage, AI and deep learning. This virtual assistant is integrated into digital signage and talks to people in a friendly, easy-to-understand way. Customers can ask it to find products, stores, offers, events, restaurants or activities. Halo uses artificial intelligence to process natural language and evaluate voices to offer personalized recommendations. Halo is designed to provide customers with a real, personalized conversation that takes them closer to the future of shopping, while improving in-store service and their experience.

Relevant content (MINERVA)

Simply having attractive digital signage isn’t enough to persuade customers to buy in a physical store. It’s important to offer content that’s relevant to the customer watching the screen. AI and deep learning play a fundamental role in this process, contextualizing all the data gathered by cameras and sensors and using it to create personalized ads featuring content that’s valuable to each customer profile.

Minerva, a Beabloo AI Research prototype, can be the best ally for detecting the demographics and behavior of customers looking at digital signage. It proves that analytics aren’t just an online tool. Minerva is a digital marketing project based on an intelligent digital signage platform that combines the capabilities of Big Data, artificial vision and automatic, deep learning. This digital signage system learns from viewers, to optimize in-store ad campaign planning and objectives.

Real-time analysis allows Minerva to deduce which content will be most attractive and interesting to the viewer and improve their shopping experience. It selects the most precise predictions and displays the most desired content at the right place and time according to factors including the customer’s clothing or the season. Minerva can also be a logistics solution thanks to its ability to automate stock management using processed data. It can use on-screen recommendations to draw attention to under-performing products on a particular day.

Making predictive and automated, rather than intuitive decisions is a huge step forward that improves omnichannel digital marketing capabilities.

A bright future for stores

Using artificial intelligence in retail allows companies to understand store customers and offer them the interesting information they are looking for in real time. It also facilitates the sales process and creates new in-store marketing experiences. Artificial intelligence helps businesses understand customer tastes, desires and expectations. This allows stores to display personalized messages that improve their shopping experience at ideal times. These tools guarantee intelligent physical stores intrinsic added value, as noted in the 2017 eCommerce Study. Deploying online technology and progress in the real world is key to ensuring the longevity of bricks and mortar stores.

Guiomar Fernandez