Gimme Artificial! ... Intelligence

Anna Otieno, Head of Research, Strategy & Insights

Carli Gernot, Content Development Specialist

What’s Up

In 2023, immersive shopping and social commerce experiences will provide the chance for brands and consumers to explore the omniverse and optimize e-commerce engagement.

Personalization is a cornerstone of consumer experience, especially as we see deeper engagement with digital platforms — social search and social shopping have become normal channels for consumers to discover and buy. According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends, 68% of consumers said they found it helpful when a brand they regularly shopped with provided them with alerts when items go on sale. Targeting consumers with more intelligent strategies, richer (and safer) data, and a higher level of personalization will be a goal this year for companies across industries.

Similarly, as we march toward a cookie-less future, brands will need new ways to access first-party data to power this hyper-personalization. First-party data is data collected directly from a customer by the company, which the company owns. According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends, 61% of high-growth brands reported shifting to a first-party data strategy. How does a brand collect first-party data in a way that also meets consumer expectations for personalization? By creating immersive, AR and AI-based e-commerce experiences that deliver highly customizable products and services.

What It Means

All this points to how brands across businesses will revive retail with immersive customer experiences in the year ahead.

We’ve seen a host of brands launch immersive fashion experiences in the metaverse including Gucci, adidas, Nike, Gucci, PRADA, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton. Toward the end of 2022, Walmart entered the metaverse through its Roblox gaming and retail experiences and Nike introduced Swoosh, the brand’s Metaverse platform. To kick off 2023, H&M launched a new Roblox brand activation called Loooptopia which gamifies consumer fashion engagement with a focus on circularity. The metaverse is a great place for brands to create playful, engaging retail experiences, and this year, we will see more practical applications of AR- and AI-based immersive technology grow in capability and number.

Around the 2022 holidays, AR-based tools allowed shoppers to try before purchasing, and new platform shopping experiences enhanced beauty shopping by way of video-based social shopping feeds. Going forward, these immersive shopping experiences will more often feature AI-powered chatbots and hyper-realistic 3D avatars as customer service representatives, thanks to innovation from Deepbrain AI and ARHT Media as displayed at CES 2023. Salesfloor, a leading provider of consumer tools that facilitate immersive virtual shopping, clienteling and sales automation, announced that its sales grew 21% YOY in December 2022 vs 2021, indicating an increase in demand for virtual, immersive platforms and services.

We will see more video-and image-based shopping feeds, social tools that integrate AR-based trials, and the ability to engage and shop via live and virtual content with more AI-driven, human-like customer service. These immersive environments provide consumers with the engagement they want and give brands the chance to request first-party data in exchange for increasingly detailed personalization. In the coming year, practical applications of smart tech and immersive experiences will help social shoppers verify value, validate authenticity, and will optimize business interactions for brands and customers alike.

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