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How retailers can get more personal with customers – using AI

Reebok Impact
Reebok is personalizing digital sneakers with AI.

Artificial intelligence can help retailers create a very individualized – and human – omnichannel shopping experience.

Leveraging AI to humanize the customer experience may seem counterintuitive at first glance, but the technology is actually the perfect tool for personalizing your omnichannel interactions at scale. 

With AI, retailers can instantly "know" every aspect of a customer’s history with them, and machine learning solutions can help retailers accurately predict future needs for more effective targeted offers, cross- and upsells. 

In addition, leading-edge AI technologies such as generative AI enable retailers to develop highly lifelike chatbots which can resolve high-level customer issues in a personalized, and human, manner.

Here are three retailers currently using AI to personalize different aspects of their customer engagement strategies:

Best Buy – personalized mobile promotions

The home screen of Best Buy Co. Inc.’s new consumer app is powered by AI and will deliver a distinct shopping experience based on consumer interests and shopping behavior. This means each customer’s app home screen will look different, because it’s based on their personal preferences and other factors like shopping history and membership status.

For example, if an app user recently bought appliances that need installation, they will see where their product is and when installation is scheduled. Other examples include the newest and hottest deals in preferred product categories, latest gadgets from favorite brands, and recommendations on products or services.

The revamped, AI-enabled app also includes features like limited-time Best Buy Drops mobile deals, as well as the “Yes, Best Buy Sells That” product discovery tool and a new solution called "Shop with Videos" that delivers personalized video content on specific items that interest a customer.

Reebok – personalized products

Reebok is letting consumers create customized digital sneakers on Instagram using an artificial intelligence (AI) tool. The athletic footwear and apparel company is introducing “Reebok Impact,” a custom AI fashion offering on Instagram. Consumers can select an image of a Reebok Pump, Classic Leather or Club C model sneaker and customize it with AI-generated art. 

Customers can then send the image via Instagram direct message to Reebok Impact. In a real-time chat, metaverse design firm Futureverse will utilize AI to craft a custom digital sneaker in the colors and style of the image, with a copy of the original photo stored in the sneaker’s sole.

The experience is free for up to four digital sneaker creations, which users can then share or purchase as game-ready files compatible with the Fortnite and Roblox immersive gaming platforms, with plans for interoperability with other metaverse environments.

In addition to designing a commemorative digital sneaker, users can discover an incentive for a physical sneaker purchase within Reebok Impact.

Tops Friendly Markets - personalized discounts

Tops Friendly Markets is personalizing its offers to shoppers. The regional Northeast supermarket chain is deploying AI technology to support individualized emails and unique promotional offers. 

Specifically, Tops is rolling out the artificial intelligence (AI)-based Birdzi personalization and analytics platform to enhance customer connections at all of its 148 locations in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

Northeast Shared Services (NSS), the shared services group of Northeast Grocery Inc., is implementing the Birdzi platform, including the Visper personalization solution, within the Tops banner. 

As a result, Tops will be able to leverage its entire store catalog and customer insights to generate unique offers and discounts that will be delivered through personalized communications to its shoppers. The full implementation set to go live by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

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