In an era that will be defined by the relentless expansion of AI technology, companies face an ongoing challenge: keeping pace with the ever-changing landscape. While many brands have focused on experimenting with AI-generated video and ad copy, or refining their ad platforms for better targeting, they have only scratched the surface of the possibilities.
A profound transformation is on the horizon, one that will reshape the way people engage with web and mobile interfaces. Gone are the days of mindlessly clicking or tapping through multiple pages to find detailed product information, or sifting through page after page of search results. With the advent of conversational interfaces, every aspect of search and product discovery will undergo a remarkable metamorphosis.
This realization calls for immediate action and exploration, particularly for companies in sectors like retail, travel and hospitality who must embark on their AI roadmaps today to unlock new value for their customers tomorrow.
How better data will fuel better experiences
AI solutions can improve our understanding, manipulation and utilization of vast amounts of unstructured data. These solutions will make the discovery and purchasing process more precise and immediate. Our work with clients has included creating and launching products on the foundations of AI for years, whether powered by machine learning or flexible API-driven infrastructure. Combining natural language processing with visual context—in search or chat experiences—results in a more personal and contextual experience.
Multi-player language and learning model experiences will offer the ability to cater to multiple users participating in a shared activity. Whether it's group planning, family shopping or team organizing, the entire discovery process and path to purchase can be centralized across decision makers within a single interface.
What does it mean for consumers?
Our vision for AI-powered conversational UI at Work & Co is one where experiences guide users through a process that usually involves many steps and decisions, such as researching or planning anything that creates a pain point for consumers today. We recently gathered 20 retail executives to discuss where they see AI having a near-term impact on their consumers. The consensus was that they were more likely to invest in solutions that addressed consumer pain points. The vision for conversational UI will connect the information and advice-gathering part of the process to purchase and conversion, all within the brand’s own ecosystem.
This can play out in many ways. For customers of a large legacy retail brand or a DTC player, sorting through SKUs can be a breeze, leading to increased conversion. The hospitality and travel industry, airline, hotel and cruise booking will rapidly evolve for greater efficiency by allowing a group of vacation planners to research and collaborate on shared itineraries and book their hotels, flights and cars with past or current preferences in mind. By connecting those experiences within a single platform, a consumer can easily complete a purchase.
Multiplying impact with AI
There are new arenas to explore too. One example? Moving beyond applying AI to individualized solutions to actually coordinating for entire groups or communities.
Today, planning for multiple people faces challenges that hinder coordination and decision-making. The lack of real-time updates and responses from web-based tools leads to delays and miscommunication among participants. Additionally, the abundance of information creates overload, making it difficult to filter and prioritize relevant details, and catering to individual preferences and requests challenges the ability to create customized experiences.
It’s exciting to envision what multiple, simultaneous AI-driven conversations could look like. Imagine a group collectively making decisions on a big trip with various vacation dreams and travel preferences that each individual wants satisfied. The vision for intelligent organization will connect applications, platforms and services to automate data and processes in real-time.
AI-powered simultaneous agents have the potential to save time, reduce errors and generate efficient and personalized plans for groups of people, ranging from corporate event organizing to friends navigating a music festival or planning a joint vacation. This advancement is a glimpse into the potential transformation of group collaboration and purchase decisions.
Where to start?
Brands that take the lead in this space will see AI as a force multiplier, pinpointing ways for AI to add real value to their businesses. Measuring results will require a responsible approach to learning and exploring. Regardless of platform or technology, planning for KPIs and how to measure against them from the beginning is a critical part of the process in even your earliest explorations.
For some, the focus is an improved customer experience workflow with more accurate and effective 24/7 service that can address complex customer needs and provide a deeper understanding of customer insights. Conversational commerce will collect rich data about customers' interests, activities and preferences.
For many, the first steps will be focused on turning to internal operations, facilitating teams' processes or optimizing systems to enhance the products your consumers use to engage with your brand. Lessons learned from consumers' product-based behavior will improve the entire marketing ecosystem.
To truly unlock the potential of this technology, organizations must first demystify AI. It will be crucial to resist the allure of hype and not fall prey to immature third-party products. The imperative is to guide clients through this era of innovation to integrate AI into their platforms and deliver tangible business outcomes.
Work & Co can help your organization orchestrate what your future looks like, and to determine the best way for you to integrate AI’s endless possibilities in products, connect at [email protected].