AI Is The Best Present For Retailers This Holiday Shopping Season

IceCream Labs
3 min readNov 21, 2018

Brands are undergoing massive digital transformations of their own in order to keep pace with the growing demands and expectations. The customer of today is constantly connected to whichever device is closest at hand, and are using mobile devices as a means to solve real-world problems. Some of the queries naturally pivot towards local results such as — ‘where to get party costumes’, or ‘best Korean restaurants near me’.

For retailers, however, consumers are willing to wait for delivery if the price or quality of a particular product is better online. E-commerce provides the convenience of home delivery, free shipping options, and the ease of using voice-activated speaking assistants to accomplish shopping tasks due to which consumers are increasingly moving towards shopping online. Early AI adopters are already reaping the benefits such as gaining better understanding and visibility into their customers and increased productivity.

With the holiday shopping season beginning this week, here are some AI-powered applications retailers can leverage to create memorable customer shopping experiences.

Implementing AI-powered Chatbots to pave the way for meaningful shopping experiences

Initially, chatbots were programmed to execute a specific of queries and responses, but with enhancements in technology and AI, these bots are enabled to “learn” the site’s content and consumer preferences. This further helps them to bring back relevant answers and supplying potential customers with the right information.

This service element can be taken a step further with AI-powered shopping assistants. This was seen with Macy’s On Call — an AI shopping assistant leveraging Natural Language Processing designed to aid consumers with information in 10 of Macy’s retail stores around the country, as they navigated through each one. This is a viable direction for retailers to look into in the future.

Optimizing the site content for voice search queries

As voice search grows, retailers are tailoring content enabling them to better answer queries and also demonstrate to search engines that their answers are the best choice to showcase as results. Voice searches are more likely to be from mobile consumers who are only looking for simple answers and don’t want to engage in lengthy interactions.

Retailers must create a strategy that maps the content through the customer journey with intent, context, and formatting for voice search. Furthermore, retailers must keep in mind to take a personalized approach, using a more personalized tone, mirroring back specific questions and limiting the answers to a sentence or two in order to better optimize for voice searches.

Combating abandoned carts with AI-powered shopping experiences

Shopping cart abandonment is an industry-wide problem.

It is estimated that a whopper of 70% online shopping carts are abandoned before customers complete their purchases.

A great application in this space can be seen with North Face which personalizes the customer experience by creating a psychoanalytic profile of customer data in near real-time. North Face’s AI assistant asks questions to understand how customers plan to use their apparel and then provides ranked product suggestions which save both effort and time for customers from browsing different websites to get the right product for their requirement.

AI can help make informed recommendations that reduce the uncertainty consumers feel while shopping for a specific product, thereby increasing their confidence and the likelihood of them proceeding through checkout.

Stepping forward with AI in the future

With AI slowly becoming the new norm in the world of e-commerce and retail, several numbers of brands and retailers are increasingly adopting technological tools into their business processes and strategies. The concern of consumers over the safety and security of shopping online — which was a major concern for brands and retailers up until a few years ago, have given way to demands for more seamless, intuitive and personalized shopping experiences.

Retailers that have not adopted AI into their businesses, and are trying to understand ways to tap into the opportunities provided by AI, the holiday season is the best time to demonstrate these applications to help gather data to pave the way for the future.

Originally published at on November 21, 2018.



IceCream Labs

IceCreamLabs enables business to leverages AI to solve complex problems quickly and cost-effectively