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How Technology will change the future of Ecommerce

Automation enabling Customer Experience in 2018

This year automation will be a prime enabler of the customer experience. One that uses voice and chat interaction and is backed by Augmented Intelligence (AI) building blocks that follow conversation and intent, make decisions, resolve exceptions and completes transactions. Businesses will invest in broad automation efforts such as automation centres of excellence that span business units.

Bots

Chatbots are already integrated into many retailer’s operations, but as customers crave a more seamless experience, this year may see chatbots being integrated into messenger apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to make the process friction free. AI building blocks can create chatbots or an RPA-enabled smart search that completes tasks much more quickly than presenting data across stages. A bot can act as a personal assistant centralising information. Businesses gain productivity from their work force when they have access to data from a trusted source. By automating back end processes retailers also free up staff for consumer facing jobs. With RWA we free up time for people in Support Offices by allowing them to see everything that is important straight away. They can act on the jobs that need to be done now so that they can start planning for the week ahead.

VR

Virtual Reality (VR) provides an immersive experience for the consumer. Most companies use a headset but more companies like the French make-up brand NARS have utilised Facebook’s 360 video and created 360-degree videos of make-up tutorials.

Customers want to interact with products before they make a purchase and virtual reality gets them close but Augmented Reality gets them even closer.


AR

Augmented Reality (AR) integrates real objects and projected images and allows the customer to use real-life spaces and even their own faces and bodies to try on products. Analysts have been predicting Augmented Reality (AR) to cause a radical shift in the retail sector for several years. Nothing major has happened in the sector in the years to date. As it becomes more popular it will be more familiar to consumers and they will interact with it more. ‘Zara’ the Spanish retail company with stores across the globe will roll out an Augmented Reality experience across 120 of their flagship stores. The two week initiative will allow consumers who have downloaded their AR app to hold up their phone at store windows or sensors within the store and see models come to life on their screens, the models can be walking and even talking. The app has a function to share the AR on social media creating a great marketing tool for the company. The function also works for online orders when they hold the app over the package before it has been opened. "Experimentation in AI technologies is increasingly at the forefront of traditional retailers’ strategies to improve convenience for shoppers and increase in-store footfall," says Alastair Harvey, Chief Solutions Officer of Cortexica, a world-leading expert in visual AI solutions.

Nike now have a new AR app also for some of their flagship stores which allows the user to try on shoes and test them running on a treadmill, the app creates an Avatar of the customer which then allows them to run through gaming landscapes that look somewhat like a Mario game. They can then share the experience on social media also.

This initiative is being seen in the retail motor sector too. It is transforming the car purchase journey by enabling customers to see different colours and features on a car before they order. In some instances, the customer can experience this from the comfort of their own home. Imagine holding your mobile up in front of your driveway and checking out how your new car might look? Technology is enabling customers to complete their car purchase without ever having stepped in the showroom.

Voice Assistant Technologies

Alexa, Siri, Google – the voice assistant technologies are on the rise. IMRG predicts that by the year 2020, 20% of the UK’s online spending will be as a result of voice assistant technology. As people are getting more familiar with the use of these technologies the feedback is becoming more positive with 71% of people surveyed from IMRG’s Capgemini Show on E-tail sales index said that using a voice assistant had been a great experience.

With the current tough climate in Retail and across other industries, businesses need to step up their game and look for new ways to realise their full potential. Making processes simpler can help you get more profit from your bottom line.

Here at RWA we help businesses extract maximum value from their data by allowing them to see in minutes exactly what is happening. Thisfrees up time for companies and allows them to make more accurate decisions faster. If you would like to find out more contact us today.