Report: Artificial Intelligence Continues to Shape Retail Experiences


In a new report, Livonia-based media and marketing services company Valassis has predicted what 2018 will hold for marketers and retailers including borderless shopping and growth in artificial intelligence (AI).

Curtis Tingle, Valassis’ chief marketing officer, says consumers have higher expectations surrounding brands, restaurants, and retailers due to increased access to convenient and easy shopping. The 2018 shopping experience will require marketers to blend first-party and third-party data to engage and influence consumers.

As part of the future of retailing, AI experienced growth in marketing landscapes during the past year due to several technologies including chatbots, in-store shopping assistants, and smart home speakers.

“We expect the AI market will continue to evolve as advertisers increasingly understand how the technology can fit into their customer engagement plans and consumers seek more engaging and convenient brand interactions,” says Pehr Luedtke, senior vice president of marketing at Valassis.

“A prime example can be seen with Valassis’ chatbots which empower brands to have direct, automated conversations with customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The key is to deliver relevant messages and engagement through this new media (chatbots, or voice recognition devices) as part of a holistic consumer-centric approach that includes audience understanding, targeting, delivery, and measurement. Next year, marketers will test and learn even more in order to integrate these programs naturally and effectively into their omni-channel initiatives.”

Additionally, Valassis predicts data challenges that will drive fast-paced and relevant solutions from marketers. Greg Green, chief data and analytics office of Harland Clarke Holdings, says marketers may feel overwhelmed by expanding media options paired with low storage costs. With constant change and innovation, this will become a norm for marketers rather than a shock.

Valassis provides innovation media solutions to more than 58,000 clients by integrating online and offline data.

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