By: Amanda Stanley, Senior Account Executive 

Technology is getting smarter and so are marketers. We’re now seeing AI and machine learning being used in an effort to personalize consumers’ experiences with brands. Retailers like Zulily are starting to collect data to feed machine learning such as purchase history, time spent browsing a selection, taps and swipes on its mobile app, and social media behavior in order to send personal offers and notifications to customers. The more data collected, the more personalized it gets. As more technology is being used to target consumers, we look to see how this affects marketers’ strategy and the consumer experience going forward. 

How This Impacts Marketers

When we dig into why consumers dislike ads, we see that they view them as intrusive, creepy and overwhelming. With AI and machine learning, ads, marketing campaigns and users’ overall online experience would be able to be relevant and personalized to meet them where they are in their buyer journey to allow their purchase decisions to be more seamless and enjoyable. 

Brands are innovating ways to tie in AI into their marketing efforts in order to customize the consumer’s experience. For instance, West Elm Style Finder turns inspiration to reality by using AI to match a Pinterest board to West Elm products that match the board’s style, while Olay’s Skin Advisor app uses AI to determine of skin’s age by evaluating a photo and recommending skin care regime. This disruption of the e-commerce space allows marketers to get to know their target consumer even better. By knowing who exactly you’re speaking to, marketers will be able to curate campaigns, events and content for company announcements and product launches that speak to each consumer and the overall target audience. 

How This Impacts Consumers

This opens up the question on how much information brands have about us is too much? Where do we draw the line? When we think about it, brands know where we are, what we like to eat, our clothing style and preferences, what time we go to work and any other information we allow them access to. 

With so much data at marketers’ disposal, consumers’ privacy concerns need to be addressed. As long as data that users permit access to is used for a better personalized and convenient consumer experience, it could be mutually-beneficial for both the consumer and the marketer. We’re opening up the potential to a world where ads will no longer be viewed as spam, but transform  the internet into a curated experience based on your interests, habits and purchase behavior. 

Looking Ahead

Brands are now using data to inform your purchase decisions. With this emerging technology, there is the potential for an online personal shopping experience where brands can suggest what clothing you’d like, the shoes that will go with your new shirt and if you prefer sandals to sneakers. What’s next could be retail or decor brands having consumers take photos of the clothes or homes to suggest new products that go with their existing style and aesthetic.

Disruption is rapidly happening in the home decor, fashion and beauty industries, and marketers need to keep up. Consumer’s online interests, habits and buying behavior combined with emerging technology opens many doors for marketers to use this data for campaigns and relevant targeting that will make consumer’s lives and online experience more enjoyable, efficient and effective.