Give Customers Exactly What They Need: Building the Perfect Buying Profile

Leverage AI to meet customer needs, create more effective marketing campaigns, increase online sales

Nate Burke

February 3, 2021

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. And this will only become a more important focus as we continue to navigate the complex and volatile Covid-stricken commercial climate.

Fortunately, e-commerce is thriving. Unlike physical retail, which has been significantly impacted by pandemic restrictions, online sales are up. In fact, during the 2020 festive season, which is typically the busiest shopping period each year, online sales were up by 44.8 percent with almost half (47.8%) of all retail sales taking place through remote means.

Enter AI

For e-commerce businesses, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are nothing new. Both have been gradually transforming the way retailers operate and improve their online offerings by enabling greater efficiency and a better understanding of their markets.

With a permanent digital shift on the horizon, or at least one that will see businesses adopting an omnichannel approach to benefit from the best of both worlds, more will look for ways to streamline what may be unfamiliar practices for new digital business, as well as to lessen the larger workload.

AI is already offering solutions for these pain points. Through its data-collection opportunities and automation options, there is the ability to reduce administrative tasks and wasted resources, saving businesses time and money and creating a better customer experience as a result.

But in 2021, there is a case to take this one step further. Now that we are aware of the benefits of AI and can be certain that it is here to stay, businesses should see much less risk involved with an integrated approach.

By using the technology and data available to build better buying profiles, firms can truly utilize AI’s power and capability to their advantage.

Better understanding of your customers

AI is known for its ability to collect data to demonstrate and predict customer and market trends through analyzing shopping behaviors, as well as influences in both the micro and macro environments.

The result is a holistic picture of your market that can then go on to inform business decisions. But as the technology advances, the quality and use of the data it is able to collect and analyze has moved on in leaps and bounds.

Today, and going forward, data and insights can be used to generate a detailed and accurate understanding of each individual customer, rather than general consumer segments. For instance, through the collection and acceptance of cookie data when a customer visits your website, you can begin to build their profiles, including product interests and browsing preferences.

With this information stored safely in your records, you can tailor content when they revisit a page to create a more personal and favorable experience. And if agreed upon in your policy, you can even use this information to tailor targeted ads and communications.

There are differing views on the ethics of this practice. However, with tightening regulations and compliance measures, data-collection control does remain in consumers’ hands. For those who do accept, it is the retailer’s responsibility, and in their best interests, that they use it sensibly.

Typically, a consumer will want their browsing preferences to be remembered. It makes for a more convenient shopping experience and saves them time in resetting and refiltering options. In fact, 90 percent of consumers are willing to share personal behavior information with brands for an easier experience. So, a brand that is able to do this will be looked at much more favorably, encouraging revisits and repeat purchases.

What consumers don’t want, however, is for brands to abuse the knowledge they hold by spamming them with endless communications and retargeted ads. In fact, these may actually damage the reputation of the brand, rather than offer it any advantages.

However, the data you collect can help you predict that, too. You can uncover which type of ads are responded to best by each customer, and even detail the time it was responded to, in what form, on what device or channel, for how long, and whether it did in fact encourage a click-through or conversion.

This information is invaluable for building buying profiles. With it, you can create more successful campaigns and offerings because you are giving your customers exactly what they want.

And although in the past individual profiles tended to be grouped together into segments by similarities, the automation abilities of AI-integrated systems mean every individual consumer can be given a personal and tailored experience.

The success and sales results speak for themselves. Personalized content already receives better engagement rates than more general alternatives. For example, personalized emails can achieve up to a 55-percent increase in open rates, and 91 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.

Now, just think of how much more successful these activities can be if we take targeting a step further and inform our decisions with information we have collected through AI advancements to create detailed and accurate buying profiles.

Personally, I believe it’s an opportunity that cannot be missed.

About The Author

Nate Burke’s picture

Nate Burke

Nate Burke is CEO of Diginius, a software and solutions provider that empowers organizations to achieve the maximum impact from their online sales and marketing activities. Burke founded Diginius in 2011. He is known as an early e-commerce pioneer and entrepreneur. He launched his first internet business in 1997 and is a two-time nominee Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He has a BA in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Alabama.