The Rise of eCommerce & Where AI Takes Us Next
By Tara DeZao, Director of Product Marketing, AdTech and MarTech, Pegasystems
If 2021 taught us anything, it’s that change is constant and can happen in an instant. From the way we shop and work to the way we visit the doctor and “hang” with friends, technology permeates nearly every part of life in new ways that changes our behaviors, habits, and expectations. Especially in retail. The pandemic changed impacted the industry heavily as eCommerce became the new normal for buying goods, from groceries to gadgets.
Is this new normal here to stay for the foreseeable future? With the pandemic continuing, what will eCommerce look like? More tech-savvy and tech-reliant than pre-pandemic, consumers have even higher expectations for connected experiences, and retailers are under pressure to meet those expectations, or see their customers go elsewhere.
It’s a challenge that brands have tried to solve for years, and with advancements in artificial intelligence, we’re closer than ever to doing so. Artificial intelligence has evolved significantly, now being applied to solutions for retailers that can help them understand, connect with, and delight consumers in new ways, and futureproof the industry against unforeseen obstacles.
Here are three ways AI will transform the already rapidly evolving eCommerce landscape in 2022:
AI will make brands more human, giving them the capability to better understand their customers’ context and emotional state, and be able to connect with them more empathetically across all channels.
- Tara DeZao, Director of Product Marketing, AdTech and MarTech, Pegasystems
The rise of ‘The Intelligence of Everything’ will deliver the promise of connected experiences.
We’ll see AI become more well-rounded and go beyond the intellectual functions we associate it with today. We’ll also begin to see it evolve into emotional, creative, and relational intelligence and other more abstract qualities. In this way, artificial intelligence will actually make brands more human, giving them the capability to better understand their customers’ context and emotional state, and be able to connect with them more empathetically across all channels.
AI will become pervasive across the organization to benefit retailers and consumers.
Traditionally, AI has felt reserved for a select group of technologists in certain areas of the business-like marketing or data science. We’ll likely see this continue to evolve and the use of AI will move beyond just these areas and help brands centralize data from all over their organizations to drive better agility, understand their customers more, and drive better outcomes.
Using technology to help eCommerce become human-centric.
In 2022, we’ll also see more of a shift to human-focused automation. We need humans to tackle the more complex tasks, while offloading the more uncomplicated tasks. That’s where automation comes in. This enables organizations to scale and focus on essential work requiring a human touch, such as designing better processes, delivering higher-touch customer experiences, and driving true transformation, without the risks that presented this innovation in the past.
Consumers want to feel that brands care especially during times of hardship, and AI is here to help. There’s no doubt AI and automation will be in the spotlight this year. Still, it will be critical for businesses to properly use the technology to establish trustworthiness and empathy with their customer base to build long term customer relationships and in doing so, improve their bottom line.