October 16, 2020
The holiday season. The most wonderful time of the year. The time when people are happy and spending more time with their families, Christmas songs are all around us, and cities are shining. The time when everyone's buying gifts for their loved ones. And, the time of online deals and discounts.
Starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holiday shopping season seems like real chaos. However, as a retailer, this is the chaos you should embrace. This is the time of the year when you need to be fully prepared for a large number of customers, orders, and returns.
Every year, new fashion trends, economic developments, and even the weather all have an impact on crafting the holiday season deals. What is more, the rapid growth of e-commerce and technologies that enhance it enables retailers to gain the most insights ever.
However, this year, things will be different. As more countries are bringing back restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems like we're going to spend our holiday season at home. How will this affect online sales?
Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic. On the other hand, many people generated large savings because they didn't go on vacation and reduced going out. We believe that consumers will continue to overlook holiday travels and family-and-friends get-togethers, with individuals giving more presents to replace the time spent apart, considering the unpredictable state of the pandemic.
What is more, we expect more self-purchases targeted at home decorating and comfortable loungewear, due to the reduced number of events and more time spent at home. In fact, Forrester expects the sales of most common gifting categories to rise this year, with fashion going up by 19%. At the same time, they predict offline sales to go down by 6.6%.
Rod Sides, Deloitte's vice chairman & US leader for retail and distribution, told Forbes that he expects the e-commerce increase this year to be around 25% or higher, compared to 14.7% from last year.
Furthermore, a study conducted by Dynata for Redpoint Global surveyed 1,000 adult shoppers to discover that 62% of them will do all their holiday shopping online. This means that e-commerce will explode this holiday season.
This increased demand will put tremendous pressure on retailers. They'll have to shift a lot of resources from offline to online to meet their customer expectations. To achieve this, online retailers have to find ways to leverage the vast amounts of data they will collect and personalize the customer experience.
How can they do this?
Visual AI can save retailers from many headaches when it comes to e-commerce personalization this holiday season. Visual AI can help retailers succeed and prosper throughout the entire year, allowing them to understand better data patterns relevant to customers' emerging buying preferences.
It can help them adapt to market changes quickly and answer some of their key questions. What are the products that you need to have in stock? Which colors are going to be trending? Which products aren't selling, and you should eliminate them?
Here are the ways visual AI can answer these questions for you:
Visual search uses AI to allow users to search for pictures instead of keywords. To find their preferred pieces, they can leverage photographs from the Internet, photos they've taken, or screenshots. Online retailers will offer more quality outcomes for their website users due to visual search, compared to just using keyword search.
To provide quality results, visual search uses computer vision and deep learning algorithms. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, the engine can understand the meaning of images. This means that users can take a picture of a product they like and use it to find the most similar product your e-commerce store offers.
Adding product tags to your product catalog significantly improves organization and consistency. However, manual tagging takes a lot of time and effort.
Automatic tagging is an AI-based alternative that identifies the products' features and then organizes them accordingly within the product catalog. These algorithms speed up the tagging process, rendering it efficient and removing the need for human intervention, thanks to Deep Learning.
The Deep Learning algorithm processes the pixel content of graphics, such as pictures or videos, extract their characteristics during the automated tagging process, and discovers related objects. An automatic product tagging model will improve the production time of catalogs by up to 90%.
Product recommendations can take your e-commerce offering to the next level. This functionality will help you raise revenue, reach a higher conversion rate, and improve your service quality.
With this tool, you can show people who have just come to "look around" your best offering and make them convert. On the other hand, you can also offer products that interest people who have already purchased based on their past behavior.
Product recommendations can highlight your bestsellers. Next, they can also feature your newest products or the ones you want to advertise the most. For those looking at a product, you can offer a complementary one that perfectly fits. Or, you can personalize an entire page showing users products they will definitely like as they've already ordered similar ones or other products from the same brand.
Not only does a convincing and engaging way of product discovery introduce shoppers to more of the products, but it also leads to a better overall consumer experience. This is what actually lets you grow revenue and attract buyers who will remain loyal. More importantly, this is how you'll win and outperform competitors this holiday season.
With these retail experiences, you can offer a range of advantages to your visitors, providing a top-notch buyer journey. Your product discovery process will recognize their desires and show them new worlds of inventory.