As technology continues to rapidly evolve, the next five years will be a transformative period for commerce. The explosion of new channels and the increased focus on customer data, coupled with the rising consumer demands for personalization will require an understanding of data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Here are five predictions on the next five years of commerce marketing developed in conversation with industry experts Sean Brady the President of Americas at Emarsys, Allen Nance the CMO of Emarsys and Ryan Noel the Managing Director of Gorilla Group.
1. CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT WILL BE INTUITIVE
Channels are getting murkier. As new innovations are made in mobile, wearables, and hands-free devices, channels for customer engagement will evolve. Shopping will become less about channels and more about the environmental experience. Machine learning and AI will be critical in mining data and giving more intellectual feedback on how, when, and where to engage customers.
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2. MOBILE SHOPPING WILL BE ACUTELY PERSONALIZED
Mobile-only apps have created a frictionless user experience that customers now expect. Data-oriented features and functionality will continue to create improved customer experiences on mobile. But AI will potentially personalize the mobile shopping experience by acutely tailoring product viewing for you–making the mobile experience optimal for a quick purchase.
3. SOCIAL COMMERCE WILL REVEAL CONVERSATIONS
Via our social channels, AI will help us to identify conversations about products that customers didn’t even know existed. With AI, we will identify how and where people are talking about our brands and cultivate that conversation for marketing purposes. Content Marketers will be able to curate authentic content and learn how the social ecosystem moves content forward to purchasing.
4. IN-EMAIL PURCHASING WILL BE AVAILABLE
Amazon has launched a new age of convenience with one-click purchasing. They’ve made it so easy to buy that sometimes, you don’t even remember making the purchase. For many brands, email is a huge marketing resource. Plus, email is the most globally present communication channel ever created. Increased email personalization from AI data-mining will allow consumers to check out right in their inbox.
5. MACHINES WILL DELIVER PERSONALIZATION CAMPAIGNS
The resource side of commerce is not growing with the pace of technology. AI will never fully replace marketers (we hope) because it lacks empathy and emotional intelligence. However, it does add another tool to the toolbox. AI will likely help under-resourced teams by automating some merchandising functions. The technology could potentially create discount offers, loyalty incentives, and automate A/B testing. Ultimately, the merchandiser could assume the role of moderator and leave the heavy lifting to AI.
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Author: Peter Sheldon