According to a 2021 study by Markets and Research, the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Home Improvement sector of the retail industry will significantly change this year. The industry will experience a major spike in revenue over the next five years, partly due to the self-service, independent components that are becoming increasingly available. It is predicted that with time, the popularity and use of artificial intelligence (AI) powered bots within the retail industry and the DIY and Home Improvement sectors will continue to increase.
Adopting AI-powered digital assistants within the retail industry helps to provide smarter ways to scale customer experiences, grow loyal customer bases, offer personalised and convenient support on multi-channels. Let's take a deep dive in it:
Improve Customer Onboarding and Engagement
Customer onboarding is an essential part of retail processes as it represents an opportunity to draw in revenue to enroll new customers and get them going as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, this process can be time-consuming and complicated, due to the multiple steps of the customer journey that may require information, documentation, validation, and approval.
By using digital assistants for customer onboarding, retailers can enable multi-channel interactions, while keeping customers engaged and informed throughout the process, making the process much faster and more efficient. The digital assistant requests all necessary details, offering customers options in the conversation, while validating data and integrating directly with the internal systems.
This takes away a lot of the "friction" that comes from legacy processes which require customers to visit the store or use standard channels and allows for automation.
Additionally, the conversational AI solution allows transferral to customer support teams for cases needed to be handled by human agents. This means that customers who prefer self-service will have a seamless experience with automation, while your human agents will be less stressed with repetitive tasks and available to help the customers who prefer human assistance.
Assist With Shopping, Online or In-Store
Digital-first customers are now doing much of their research online, before undertaking a home improvement project, but this doesn’t exclude a visit into the store before making a final purchasing decision.
This is where conversational AI shines, by providing help online to support the customer in their buying journey and offering assistance when they browse around the store. Item information, reviews, characteristics, availability, location in the store are provided instantly by a digital assistant. All these data-rich interactions can also be used to build the customer profile and increase engagement while providing a superior experience.
Increase Revenue and Growth
With AI-powered digital assistants, retailers can notify customers about new products, sales, special discounts, item availability, and other information that traditionally was much harder to communicate.
For instance, a customer interacting with a chatbot is looking to find out more information about items before purchasing. The AI bot having access to existing customer data and previous purchases, it can automatically provide relevant information on promotions, features, related items, and pricing tiers, just like a human would.
Customer Experience Captured to Enhance Conversation Quality
When a customer interacts with an AI digital assistant, information is being collected and stored in the company systems. The Digital assistant will then use conversational context to populate the information that can best assist the customer. As the customer interacts with the bot, processes will become easier and easier as more information is gathered. These assistants can learn user preferences and store them to speed up future orders. This can be accomplished by filling the context store as customers complete their conversational journeys.
"This can be accomplished by filling the context store as customers complete their conversational journeys".
Administration Tasks Become a Breeze
Aside from making sales and customer service more efficient, behind-the-scenes administration tasks can also be automated with the aid of virtual assistants. These AI-driven bots can help with processes like ordering inventory, organising sales data, pay runs, bookkeeping, invoicing, and payments, just to mention a few.
Each of these administrative tasks is often mundane and time-consuming. The processes traditionally involve multiple human workers in multiple departments. A virtual assistant can help automate repetitive tasks and make many team members' jobs much easier.
AI-powered Digital Assistants can do much more than basic communication between a business and its customers. They support building customer relationships, provide a deeper understanding of your business, give accurate and up-to-date information, promote customer feedback, and enhance customer service in a modern way, thus, improving the customer experience overall.