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BizReport : Search Marketing : July 20, 2020

How marketers can leverage AI to improve search marketing

As more channels open up for consumers to find products and services the harder it is for merchants and brands to get the right message to the right person at the right time. Enter artificial intelligence and the ability to intelligently choose the right messaging and now, according to one expert, is the right time for brands to up their AI strategy.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: With COVID-19, why is it more important than ever to focus on improving the customer experience?

Ben Johnson, SVP Emerging Technology, Rightpoint: Retailers are already adopting AI strategies both in digital and physical interactions with their customers. Walmart stores have started to roll out AI-enabled cameras in their stores to gather information about what's happening inside the store through sensors, cameras and other data collection techniques. With new restrictions in place after COVID-19, image recognition software and other data collection techniques in physical stores can better help identify areas where social distancing is difficult, and consumers may be less likely to interact with products.

Kristina: When the on-site search experience is improved, what are the benefits to merchants and brands?

Ben: On-site search is a natural extension of robust commerce website personalization. Whether it's recommending your seasonal products at the right time or providing a fitness-focused set of recommendations to customers looking for the latest accessories, AI-powered website customization gives your customers what they came looking for. Accepting the fact that consumers now want personalized experiences means delivering your products through custom interfaces that connect the right products and services to the right people at the right time.

Kristina: How can AI improve the on-site search experience for retailers?

Ben: Providing Customer-Centric Search Experience: AI technology gives businesses a competitive edge and is available for projects of any size or budget. For example, Pinterest's recent update of its Chrome extension enables users to select an item in any photograph online and then find similar items using AI image recognition software. This allows for a highly personalized experience and the ability to find matching and complementary products.

Personalization across devices: With the ever-increasing advances in AI and machine learning technologies, new deep levels of personalization have started to penetrate the fast-growing commerce world. Older AI-based personalization takes a multichannel approach, while newer AI engines, such as Boomtrain, sit on top of the multiple customer touchpoints to help businesses analyze how customers are interacting online. Whether it is a mobile application, a website or an email campaign, AI engines can continuously monitor all devices and channels to create a universal customer view.

Smarter Chatbots: Many organizations are already becoming more sophisticated with their AI capabilities in capturing attention, and one approach that heavily leverages AI is conversational assistants and even 'conversational commerce.' The use of artificial intelligence, through the application of chatbots, is just one way to drive the conversation and customer experience.

Tags: Rightpoint, search marketing, search marketing tips, search marketing trends

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