Artificial Intelligence (or AI) is a tool for enlightened distribution that makes use of data and analyses. Multi-channel management gives brands far more extensive customer knowledge, helping them to better understand how they move and what they expect. By applying Artificial Intelligence to this type of information, brands can offer customised products and promotions that will further encourage the customer to purchase. An excellent example of this is found on many e-commerce sites, where recommendation engines and robo-advisors are a big hit.
Artificial intelligence is a science based on the study and use of algorithms, which are a series of mathematical models designed to solve certain problems and formulate a solution in a finite time. Depending on the type of problem, these models are processed using a series of parameters and variables that are based in turn on analyses, logic and cognitive sciences, with a processing speed that guarantees answers almost in real time. In fact, by thoroughly processing data, Artificial Intelligence is able to collect ever more data and analyse it as a whole, developing increasingly in-depth views that we humans are incapable of. The working principle integrates self-learning mechanisms (deep learning and machine learning) which means that the systems are able to learn from their mistakes thanks to new data. Therefore, the longer they are operational, the better and more accurate AI will be.
That is why Digital and Artificial Intelligence are becoming a key pairing for brands that want to refine their communication and sales strategies.
1) In the same way that Google maps the searches performed by each user in order to offer contextual advertising to match the last sites visited, even Amazon uses Artificial Intelligence to offer more targeted purchasing advice, triangulating the data from search history, previous purchases and popular trends. E-commerce is a particular sector where the application of AI has had immediate and tangible results to brands. Should a user abandon their cart, for example, an algorithm intercepts the action and provides a solution, which translates into a message reminding the customer that they still have a product in their cart, while also providing a list of related items. Artificial Intelligence also supports cross-selling and upselling by advising customers on products related to their purchases. This is also the case in physical stores, for example while customers are consulting an interactive totem or trying something in a magic mirror.
2) In the Automotive sector, the use of Artificial Intelligence can have benefits for the way in which cars are produced and sold, while also enhancing the customer experience. From a predictive maintenance perspective, for example, if integrated with AI solutions, the data provided by the sensors applied to the various components of the engine, brakes or tyres will improving monitoring by detecting and signalling anomalies, wear and tear and malfunctions in advance. This allows the necessary maintenance to be organised well ahead of time, all for the benefit of the consumer who can optimises the car’s maintenance intervals and avoid unnecessary downtime. And when it is a question of checking a used car, by using a series of images that show the car’s conditions, an AI system can rapidly compare it with a series of different physical condition classifications provided by the various car manufacturers. The same applies to returning of a rental car: through a robo-advisor, an AI system can immediately assess whether the car has been returned in the same condition as it was picked up in.
3) Another area in which Artificial Intelligence is making a difference are chatbots: those intelligent agents that are able to simulate human behaviour by using natural language recognition systems. Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa Cortana or Bixby, to cite the most famous, are the most popular applications associated with the use of AI, but there are countless areas of application for intelligent voice assistants. Imagine an interactive location where the user needs some information and a virtual assistant formulates a tailored response. A series of algorithms mean that chatbots not only remember our taste, our previous searches and our needs, the programming allows the system to select the answers based on what interests us most, by rooting through our behaviour and evaluating the frequency of our searches, our attention spans and our variables with respect to recursive attitudes. The benefit of the chatbot is clear: unlike normal human call centres, a chatbot is present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is no coincidence that intensive chatbots are being used more and more, not only in sales but also in Telco and Utilities.
Laura Zanotti, Journalist and Technical Writer