This time of year, marketers find the most success when they leverage knowledge about their customers; where they prefer to shop, what deals they’re looking for, whether they plan to buy gifts in-store or online. Unfortunately, 64 percent of shoppers feel as though retailers don’t truly know them. Santa faces a similar problem — with billions of children in the world, how can he possibly keep track of everyone’s wish lists?
The good news for Santa, and retailer marketers alike, is there’s a solution to this problem. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the power to analyze what people are discussing, and its capabilities have evolved to power sentiment tools that unveil how they are feeling as well. This season, that emotional analysis will be a treasure trove for marketers.
Automate Tasks to Save Manpower
Being able to automate the most labor-intensive tasks, like building ‘The List,’ allows Santa to partake in more important activities, like test-driving his new sleigh. Marketers should keep in mind that 69 percent of consumers prefer chatbots for quick communication with brands, but prefer human interaction for larger tasks, like solving a problem with shipping. Beyond this, marketers can also leverage AI to analyze and understand what their customers are shopping for, and ensure they provide and promote the best products for the holidays. Whether it’s a new gaming system or a puppy, AI can dramatically overhaul the workload for Kris Kringle himself, and retailers should follow his lead.
Tie Consumer Sentiment to All Holiday Marketing
More consumers are taking to the internet to share their thoughts on potential gift ideas, and to disclose their customer service experiences should they return items or need help tracking down a specific toy.
For example, when searching for holiday wish lists among young women, the most popular items include mascara, palettes, brushes, eyeliner and lipstick. Utilizing AI can tell Santa that makeup is on many young women’s wishlists this year.
This knowledge of what the brand’s target audience is interested in will help boost sales, but beyond that, sentiment analysis could alert customer experience representatives to major grievances – i.e. slow shipping, complicated returns, payment frictions, etc. That intel will not only shape holiday marketing, but inform retailers’ strategies into 2019 and beyond.
A Retailer’s Reality
With the holidays fast-approaching, Santa’s elves are working hard, and AI has the potential to up their productivity and save them time to focus on more sophisticated activities, like personalizing gifts. In the same way, AI can enable retailers, who have historically operated on a trial-and-error basis without much data-driven reasoning, to be successful during the holidays without a huge lift of resources or manpower. Especially as the market becomes more saturated in the weeks leading up to Santa’s arrival, knowledge is power. With AI-driven consumer insights that show exactly what consumers are talking about online like which products and brands are on their minds, retailers will be ready to deliver and see business success as a result.