World is at the cusp of the third decade of the 21st century; and the extent of technology’s role in the retail business has reached an unprecedented high — with a promise to keep growing exponentially in the foreseeable future too. The focus of technology in the retail sector has been on providing convenience to buyers while they are on their shopping spree. The magic combination of tech that has made leaping progresses in this sector includes artificial intelligence and big data. These have allowed the formulation of shopping apps that are entirely consumer-centric. Convenient shopping apps have also found a big boost from the changing mentalities of the consumers.
Why AI and Big Data are based Shopping Apps Imminent?
The modern world has robbed the populace of leisure time that could have been spent browsing aisles and aisles of products before making a purchase. The modern shopper lacks concentration, is in a constant rush, and above all, expects all information to be available only a click away. The user-centric shopping apps are designed to help consumers save time by providing information required to make an informed decision; and money by providing real-time information about sales and discounts around them.
The major features of such a shopping app can be discussed as follows:
Enhanced User Experience
The bedrock of an improved user experience depends on the ability of the app to furnish the features of quick search and easy navigation. A consume is going to come back to an app if it has been strenuous and exhausting to navigate. It is imperative that the retailers understand the basic function of these apps. The primary service of the app is to ensure that customers can achieve maximum shopping efficiency with minimum effort. Therefore, the apps that are designed will have to employ artificial intelligence and big data in a manner that the app can be customised to the changing shopping needs of any customer — without much hassle. It is important to note that these shopping apps are touted to replace personal shoppers or assistants in retail, there for the apps will have to gather expertise in human interactions, and be able to suggest products based on what the user has been thinking in the past couple of days leading up to the trip to the shop.
The app should be able to provide answers of all sorts instantaneously. One of the most appealing aspects of having a digital shopping assistant is its ability to answer users’ question in fraction of seconds. It is extremely crucial that the app is able to provide information in an easy to access scrolling down format without any 404 Page Not Found errors in its way. Another important aspect is ensuring that all different pages in the app can be easily located and accessed. Apps which require users to click through various tabs to reach a page are often disliked and less likely to be used or referred. Above all, it is important that app provides easy access to the contact information, phone numbers, and email addresses of the dealers. The app has to be prepared for the possibility that it does not have all answers and should act as a bridge between consumers and dealers, where human intervention is required to solve queries.
The app can never forget that they are in service of the general consumers. The apps based on artificial intelligence and big data should be designed to keep track of all key purchases and the payment methods used during those purchases. This would include keeping an account of frequently visited categories, products placed in the final cart, and final list of products purchased. This would give the app an insight into the buying patterns of the user, thus helping in providing product suggestions that are directed and more effective. The app can also use this information to alert the user about discounts and offers that are applicable to the products that they frequent.
Where are we headed?
It is important to realise that artificial intelligence and big data is here to make daily tasks easy for a multitude of people. The goal is to reach a point in time where these technologies can completely overtake the entire function of platforms, and eliminate every form of human intervention.
Artificial intelligence and big data can be immensely helpful in streamlining the apps, allowing them to become more personalised to the specific needs of the user. The goal is to create a shopping app that understands every activity of the user and takes them into consideration before it prepares a near-perfect algorithm that caters to all the needs and queries of the user.
The first step that artificial intelligence and big data based shopping apps can be expected to take in the near future in enabling search based on voice and image input. This would allow users to search for products even when they are not entirely sure what they are called, or in which categories to look for. This would also ease the search process in terms of time spent to browse through hordes of products that have similar tags and keywords.
The next step for the apps would be enabling cross selling. This refers to the ability of the apps to suggest products that might be a part of another category but are often used in combination with the product that was just bought. For instance, if a buyer buys a travel book, the app can safely assume that the user is about to travel and can suggest a range of neck pillows, luggage tags, clothing according to the weather of the place that the book is based on, or even back-packs.
Further advanced shopping apps can also restrict their suggestions on the basis of products available in the warehouses closest to the user, to ensure that the product is delivered in the least possible time. This would require the app to have the ability to comb through the geotag data of the thousands of products in warehouses.
Retail is a dynamic industry and is evolving rapidly as technology advances. Shopping apps are already widely used, and will only grow in significance from here on into the future. It is important to understand that, artificial intelligence and big data will have to be used to serve the customers if corporations expect them to work wonder for them. The retail industry will remain at the forefront of this because of the direct connect that it enjoys with the common masses.
About Fusion Informatics
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