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Friday 17 November 2017

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New technologies ‘key to retail loyalty’

Written by Chris Lemmon
13/09/2017

Half of British consumers are loyal to brands that tailor experiences to their needs and preferences, a new study from Adobe and Goldsmiths University has found.

Driven by overwhelming choice (46 per cent) and a growing demand for convenience (53 per cent), brands risk significant disruption and revenue loss, as six in 10 consumers admitted that they would happily buy products from an unknown brand that provided a superior experience – the highest in Europe.

As a result, for 62 per cent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed across the UK, having a consistent experience of a brand either online or offline was key to securing their return business. Brands are now being advised to take advantage of new technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), to help meet changing consumer expectations in the digital age.

As well as being most likely to buy from unknown brands, UK consumers’ loyalty to brands that tailor experiences to their needs and preferences was the lowest in Europe: while 50 per cent of UK consumers agreed with this, across the region it averages at 61 per cent, peaking at 68 per cent in France.

The need for adaptive and consistent experiences across channels is highlighted with consumers stating that they now do on average nearly half (48 per cent) of their shopping online, and an average of 25 per cent of their shopping on their mobiles.

In addition, this more digitally-aware consumer is looking to brands to use new technologies like AI-powered chatbots and augmented reality to excite and delight them, with over a third 38 per cent in the UK – and half across Europe – agreeing that they felt good about brands that continuously introduce innovation to improve the customer experience.

David Burnand, enterprise marketing director for Adobe EMEA, says: “Digital has changed the game forever, no brand denies that data holds the key to providing consistent, relevant and exciting experiences, but the next iteration of data insight and action – AI – will move this story on even further in the experience era. AI means brands can turn data and content into true, personalised experiences based on customer relationships – and at scale.

“As time goes on, the algorithms will continue to learn and adapt, allowing us to not only surprise and delight customers, but also help to solve their problems quickly and easily. AI will be critical to providing the personalised experiences that will keep consumers coming back.”



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