Thousands of the biggest names in retail and e-commerce gathered once again in Las Vegas for Shoptalk 2023 to discuss the latest retail and e-commerce technology trends. This year retailers wanted to learn how they can leverage data to deliver personalized experiences, whether they are shopping in-person, online, or across any stage of the omnichannel customer journey. Persado COO and Co-Founder, Assaf Baciu, highlighted Motivation AI and how e-commerce leaders use Generative AI to personalize the digital shopping experience with dynamic messaging that speaks to each customer during a packed panel discussion on Data and Personalization Technologies.
5 retail and e-commerce technology trends from Shoptalk 2023
Consumers and top brands alike want to blur the line between the in-store shopping experience and the online shopping experience. As technology used by top retail brands continues to grow and become more sophisticated, more and more brands look to make data-driven decisions and create personalized digital shopping experiences. Today’s consumers demand personalization and flawless omnichannel shopping journeys. Customers want brands to meet them where they are (i.e. social media, website, email, live chat, etc.) They wish to connect with brands on a human level across any channel. It’s the technologies and marketing strategies that make brands more human and more effortless to shop and engage with that will continue to transform the shopping experience.
Let’s explore five retail and e-commerce technology trends from Shoptalk 2023 (and why they’re here to stay).
1. Generative AI in retail and e-commerce
Generative AI and AI in retail and e-commerce were by far the hottest technology topics at Shoptalk this year. While only last year, Generative AI was emerging as a trend to watch. This year it was at the forefront of the conversation. With Generative AI technology like ChatGPT dominating the news cycles, it’s no wonder retailers want to leverage Generative AI technology to make their brands more conversational and, of course, more human.
During a Slido poll at the end of Shoptalk, 64% of attendees selected Generative AI and other advanced AI applications as the most interesting or important topic to them. This made it the most popular topic by far with unified commerce/omnichannel coming in second at 45%.
Now that the role and use cases of Generative AI in retail and e-commerce are growing exponentially, retailers want to invest in it. According to CB Insights, Generative AI could deliver time and cost savings across significant areas of operations like marketing, where retailers spend nearly 14% of their budgets.
The conference sessions explored various applications of Generative AI and AI in retail and e-commerce including:
- Powering commerce everywhere with volume of copy and creative
- Customer service and support with intelligence chat
- Voice ordering
- Creating efficiencies in administrative processes
So where does Persado fit into Generative AI in retail and e-commerce? The Persado Motivation AI Platform powers digital commerce messaging with AI-generated language across every stage of the online customer journey. It’s both efficient and effective. Persado Generative AI produces conversational, intelligent language that’s on brand. But, marketing and e-commerce teams also need their digital messaging to perform. That’s why Persado creates branded language using performance data from 1.5 billion customer interactions. So the right customer always receives the right branded messaging to motivate them to engage and act. Persado customers typically see an average 41% conversion lift across their digital channels.
2. Livestream and short-form video content
Retailers are always looking for ways to make online shopping fun, lively, and inspirational. When digital experiences check all those boxes, brands better engage with customers. Video – in particular livestream and short-form – helps brands engage with today’s customers effectively.
Shoppers are constantly being bombarded with digital messages. So short-form videos that are funny and enjoyable to watch can capture imagination without straining the short attention spans of today’s consumers, particularly digital natives like Gen Z. Amazon even has their own short-form video platform known as Inspire.
Live video shopping is huge right now and is rapidly growing. While consumers love the exclusivity and authenticity of livestream videos, they are difficult to make. Brands need more than just a webcam. They need someone who is good on camera, is comfortable filming live, and is engaging to represent the brand.
3. The evolution of the in-store experience
The in-store experience is far from dead. It only continues to evolve and is a significant aspect of omnichannel retail. Most shopping journeys that go in-store started online. Retailers must continue to blur the lines between the online shopping experience and the in-store experience. Today’s customers expect to be able to move between the two with little to no friction.
4. Sustainable e-commerce and retail technology
Not only are retailers investing in sustainable products that are ethically made and eco-friendly, but they are also looking to invest in technology that contributes to their mission of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Brands that say they are sustainable or market sustainable products need to have sustainable practices behind the scenes too as more and more consumers demand accountability, transparency, and authenticity. So they are holding their technology partners to the same standards.
Retailers are also shifting toward solutions that help them cut costs and drive sustainability through cost-effectiveness.
5. Seamless e-commerce checkout experience
Like the omnichannel shopping experience, the checkout experience should have far less friction. A unified and more seamless checkout experience was a big focus at Shoptalk this year. But, unlike the rest of the omnichannel journey, it can’t be too frictionless or people don’t interact with the brand. A little friction at checkout can create a brand. A lot of friction is a major pain point for customers and only leads to more abandoned carts.
Gone are the days of trying to get additional email subscribers at checkout, requiring customers to sign up for a loyalty program, or putting a ton of additional steps in the way of payment. Guest checkout is a retailer’s best friend. Retailers now consider it best practice to share all costs upfront in the listing so customers don’t second guess their purchase when they see extra fees, taxes, unexpected shipping costs, etc.
During the panel at Shoptalk, Assaf shared how Generative AI is revolutionizing the online checkout experience that’s been static and unchanged since the dawn of e-commerce.
“Everyone that lands on [the checkout page] will have a specific experience from the language perspective. So, I may get ‘your order is ready.’ But, Jennifer will get ‘we love your choices’ and other elements of the page will change based on that. Now, changing a few words systematically drives 3-5% more revenue on all the revenue that goes through the page just because you used emotional words and a bit of storytelling,” said Assaf.
It’s about time we saw Generative AI take center stage in retail and e-commerce. As datasets get better and applications become even more innovative, Generative AI is only going to become more impactful throughout the retail industry and across other verticals as well. Enterprise brands need both efficiency and effectiveness at scale in order to grow and give customers the personalized customer experiences they want to have.
Other topics that retailers took on at Shoptalk 2023 included changing corporate relationships, the investment environment, purpose and leadership, supply chain as a growth driver, and improving return economics. The state of the economy still remains complicated and unpredictable. Some indicators are more positive, while others have a more negative outlook. Overall, we didn’t sense the economic stress that some anticipated which is a very positive sign.
Let’s continue the Generative AI conversation. Set up a demo to learn how you can join top retail brands like Kate Spade, Coach, Marks & Spencer, and Gap in personalizing the digital customer journey with Motivation AI.