Insights From Commerce Experts At Leading Brands Amid The AI Revolution
Modern commerce is a dynamic realm flooded with vast amounts of consumer data from various sources, such as online transactions, social media interactions and loyalty programs. Marketers are eager to understand the data and predict consumer behavior, especially driven by the recent news reporting that 8 out of 10 shoppers are influenced by digital platforms.
Accessing, interpreting, and utilizing this data to develop effective digital commerce or omnichannel strategies is a complex challenge, given organizational barriers, macroeconomic issues related to inflation and supply, and more. The silver lining is the convergence of two key trends: the explosion of commerce data and the rise of AI.
I recently spoke with several industry leaders, covering topics ranging from the untapped potential of consumer behavioral data to the pitfalls of poor data quality in today’s competitive landscape. We also delved into the difficulty of data extraction, comprehension, and application in the market. Here are some highlights from these candid conversations.
First, let’s explore the world of no borders between online and offline browsing and buying, a dynamic landscape evolving alongside digital commerce. Most people call it omnichannel, but admittedly, it’s such an overused term that we need to figure out a new one (an article for another time, I suppose). These strategies have undergone significant changes in recent years. For those deeply immersed, it’s evident that success extends beyond platform utilization and integration. It hinges on effective data utilization. So, how do you master data for optimal outcomes?”
“Working in an omnichannel framework, we naturally think in an integrated way – and that extends beyond the plan itself. It extends to collaboration, workflow and at the root of that: decisioning. I absolutely need to be able to not only swiftly glean insights out of sometimes enormous volume and understand it, but also feel confident sharing it across my organization. This level of democratization is vital to actually using data insights to plan, decide, compete and of course ultimately, win share. Any solution that supports that principle of democratization is a winning one.”
Given the dizzying array of systems, tools and data – it’s barely usable without having the resources to access, unlock, understand and then share, aka democratize, in order to galvanize and move the business. Chat-based AI allows that to happen. Just ask Nareni Hourican, Global Head of Digital Commerce & Innovation at Brown-Forman.
“For any company, having vast amounts of data at your fingertips is just one part of the challenge, but the real value lies in identifying significant signals within this data and leveraging them at speed. As a strategic marketing organization, this is one of the most exciting opportunities we face.”
For many, the AI wave has become an outright craze, projecting extreme FOMO appeal. “It’s here; I should get on board – but what now and how?” Speed and precision in an environment with a higher degree of automation are the most intriguing aspects of AI.
“We have access to tons of data, but I am looking forward to a higher operating state. One where all the data sources talk to each other and help me drive clear insights for the channel and quicker decisions. Connecting data together will help me gain a competitive advantage but also build stronger relationships to our retail partners by bringing them granular insight that can be turned into tangible actions. I would also like data to help me drive more automation on simple tasks so that I can focus my team on more growth-driving initiatives.”
No matter how rapidly multiplying data seems like a “good problem to have,” most brands wrestle with how to activate their valuable retail performance data. So, all that volume is not such a good thing.
When the innovation is on the mark, generative AI can do just that AND all of the above. Capabilities like Ask Profitero make it easier to quickly convert granular data into targeted answers – like talking to your own personal analyst, as it’s powered by a unique AI chat functionality.
Actionable, precision insights gained nimbly and at scale can become the norm, with AI playing a critical role in helping commerce professionals around the world spend more time moving into answering questions about “why” rather than spearfishing around for the “what.” AI has certainly caused a lot hype and distraction (just look at the Hollywood writer’s strike), but if harnessed for the purposes of sifting through mazes of data to get to the best next action, it can change the face of commerce – and those of us who work in that space – for the better!