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How retailers can build trust through personalised shopping experiences

(Source: Supplied.)

Online shopping today happens across a wide range of digital touchpoints. And customers expect blazing fast, personalised service – anytime and on any device.

Each interaction with a customer is an opportunity for retailers and brands to shine, delight them with a great shopping experience, and build a trusting relationship. To discuss how offering customers dynamic online shopping experiences can build long-term brand loyalty, Reshma Iyer, director of product marketing at Algolia shared her views. 

What misconceptions do retailers often have about their customers’ expectations?

Retailers and brands still rely on a traditional approach to personalising the customer experience by using a profile comprising historical behaviour. But this method can be inaccurate. Customer expectations for a meaningful online experience have risen exponentially. When retailers fall short on this demand, customers will leave their sites.

What are some of the new features retailers can implement to build trust with customers?

Retailers and brands must understand and predict a customer’s intent and then quickly serve up an offer – through a series of dynamic experiences satisfying that consumer’s intent.

With these rising customer expectations, retailers need to create one-to-one experiences leveraging product recommendations and the only way to do this is with artificial intelligence (AI)-optimised API platform.

How have customer expectations evolved over time?

Customers don’t want to forage for information any longer. They want brands to know them and to serve up what they’re seeking instantly. Or they move on. They also expect immersive omnichannel experiences with the option to purchase through any of those.

What strategies or technologies should brands and retailers prioritise?

Meeting customers’ expectations requires harnessing the power of multiple AI technologies. Headless commerce has proven successful and can unpin the delivery of dynamic experiences. Instead of building everything from scratch or relying on unwieldy, prepackaged solutions, headless commerce leverages specialised building blocks delivered as APIs for search and recommendations, for example, that retailers can easily implement on any website or application. It streamlines the deployment of AI throughout the shopper journey and allows retailers to create unique, differentiated experiences.

How can retailers implement these capabilities quickly?

They can partner with a technology provider, such as Algolia, that helps retailers earn customers by enabling retailers to predict and deliver results through dynamic experiences. For product owners, it’s about building great search and recommendations and continuously iterating to serve up the right offers in their apps and websites.

Developers can compose and control their apps using an API-first search and discovery platform coupled with front-end libraries for many popular frameworks. This enables developers to deliver experiences across traditional websites, sales and purchase agreements, progressive web apps, mobile apps, in-store kiosks, or inside business applications. Heads of e-commerce and chief digital officers can move on from simply rolling out great experiences and focus on how they can differentiate their brand and beat their competition through attractive ‘searchandising’ journeys.

Ultimately, retailers can earn trust across these digital touchpoints by predicting intent and delivering relevant results. These technologies empower them to create dynamic experiences everywhere, and anticipate consumer needs with real-time engagement and surface relevant offers that increase average order value. 

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