Woolworths “What are you doing Dave? Dave, put down the shopping basket.”
This from Charmaine Huet, head of marketing over at Woolies: “78% of our revenue comes from credit cards, so we already know a lot about our customers. Now what we’re really thinking about is how do you really personalise the experience for them and how do you create content that is really personalised and resonates with each of them - and this is really difficult, it takes humans and data and AI.” AI, as you know, is something that people like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk get apocalyptically exercised over, but not the marketing community: they wish to harness its awesome power to drive sales, and this ambition was on unchecked display at Shoptalk Europe, where the subject dominated conversation, from machine learning to visual search, natural language processing and more, and all of this to facilitate smarter and more personalised customer experiences. By 2020, said a whole bunch of speakers quoting Gartner, 85% of customer interaction in retail will be managed by AI.
Comment: And yet we will still value a friendly reaction from helpful and well-trained floor staff. More so, in fact. Remember that, retailers.