This article was co-authored by Sreekrishna Subramanian.
Do you stand out in the digital marketplace?
Today, every brand is in the race for personalization and growing their digital presence, leading to a cacophony of messages for the consumer. To really make a mark, retailers and consumer goods organizations will need to evolve their thinking and prepare to stand out in this clutter. They will also have to quickly adapt to modern technologies such as AI, 5G, IOT, etc. and understand dynamic consumer behavior to be successful. All of these factors put together can make the situation daunting for companies.
Based on our experiences with several global organizations, below are some key trends that are shaping the future of the digital shelf.
Effective one-on-one communication
The days of standard product content on the websites are long gone. Today, personalization is not just about what information is shown to the customer but in what context. It is well known that on an average, brands have 8 seconds to grab the customer’s attention.
To be effective, the product content must take into consideration the consumer’s data in that ‘micro-moment’.
For example, when a consumer is searching for ‘a can of soup’, it can be either be described as a ‘quick dinner’ to a student or a ‘rich cooking base’ to a chef. Contextualizing the content based on the user and search intent is going to be a critical success factor for retailers in the years to come.
Unprecedented ways of shopping
AI is transforming buying behaviors at a fundamental level. Studies indicate that over 25% of all searches today are voice activated. These purchases require dynamic contextualization of product information so that intelligent engines can find the products.
When a consumer asks Google “I am happy today, what do you suggest for dinner?”, how does your brand fit in?
Does your brand have suitable content for search results in this scenario? The traditional strategies around search and key words will not work since voice activated searches (semantic sequential) and voice key words work in a different way as compared to a traditional keyboard input.
The key to personalization and relevance is data. There are many layers of product information that affect customer experience across the organization such as the core or master data, relationships and commerce, marketing, digital and customer generated content, etc. each building upon the other. In many organizations, this data is in silos across various business functions. The first step is to consolidate and define contextual attributes, like location, weather, and activities, etc. For example, it is fruitless to display winter jackets to a New Yorker if she is spending the season in San Francisco. Of course each interaction has numerous aspects making it impossible for a team to manage. This is where natural language generation (NLG) comes in.
NLG uses large amounts of consumer data to enable a dialogue between bots and customers.
These personalized bots also rely on clean and complete data, making consolidation important.
In conclusion, as competition thrives, it is imperative that brands present quick, accurate, targeted, up-to-date and relevant product information to the customer. To stand out in the digital space, brands need to speak to the customer in that crucial moment when a purchase-decision is being made.
Partner- AI & Automation
Seth joined Infosys Consulting from Teradata, where he was the global leader of strategy and execution of their consulting and support services business. Prior to that, he served as the global leader of technology consulting at Cognizant, and also served as a national managing director at Deloitte in the technical strategy and financial services unit. Seth served as the lead partner on clients like GE Capital, the Internal Revenue Service and Bank of America. For the last few years, Seth has been focusing on how process automation, data analysis and real-time visioning can bring new revenue streams to his clients. He has deep industry knowledge across financial services, public sector, retail and manufacturing, with a focus on how to leverage AI and automation to drive incremental revenue improvements and corporate innovation programs. Seth was recognized in 2016 as leading the #2 digital consultancy in North America by Forbes Magazine when he led Cisco Consulting.
Associate Partner- AI & Automation
Sreekrishna Subramanian has been with Infosys Consulting for the last 13 years, delivering customer experience for key clients. His focus lies on using data, analytical capabilities and AI & Automation to help brands deliver world class experiences. He has helped numerous global organizations define the strategy for their digital shelf and customer experience initiatives. He has also led several global digital transformation programs to drive growth and profitability. He is a recipient of the Infosys Excellence award and has received significant client recognition for his contribution to strategic programs. Prior to Infosys, Sreekrishna was with Ford Motor Co., Michelin NA and JDA (now Blue Yonder). He holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Management from Clemson University (South Carolina) and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani (India).