First, retailers need to be aware physical shopping is coming back — but with a digital-first generation, consistency with digital experiences is key. We're seeing Gen Z heading back to brick-and-mortar stores, and to meet their expectations, retailers need more seamless integration between online and offline touchpoints.

Focusing on first-party data is crucial for powering the AI systems aimed at improving the overall experience. This involves prioritizing data quality and governance to maintain consistency and build trust, which can be achieved by rigorously validating and enriching data to better understand customer preferences.

Additionally, partnering with data specialists ensures strategies meet regulatory standards and evolve responsibly. This approach creates engaging retail experiences while still fostering trust, loyalty, and connections that go beyond the point of sale.

Brian Cardona

President, Atdata

Speed is a critical factor when optimizing the customer experience.  When a shopper feels “known” and the experience is personalized, they can get their needs met quickly, complete their order, and move on to the next task of the day.  So how do we optimize speed?  Automation is essential. Explicitly add items to the cart that we expect the shopper will accept, like past purchases and private label.  Employ dietary edits as a filter across your experience to remove the lag of manual product edits. 

Power the shopping journey with fresh shoppable recipe content to boost cart size and site visits. Leverage AI for product matching to land a perfect cart with minimal out-of-stocks.  Finally, bring the need for speed in-store with shoppable recipes that instantly list ingredients and location within the store. 

 Katie H. Hotze

Chief Executive Officer

AI and ML are here and there is a lot we can learn about customers, how they shop and what incentivizes them to spend.  

When it comes to elevating overall customer experience, retailers need to integrate many considerations such as, talent, process, data integrity and brand promise/priorities. Leveraging AI/ML can accelerate the availability of information and response time—both of which are critical to providing exceptional service. Inventory location, stock levels, and prior purchase preferences, all feed personalization and are instrumental in enhancing online and offline engagement. Currently, we are seeing many retailers focused on price optimization. Staying competitive across assortments at more granular levels drives higher profitability. Dynamic pricing is a perfect example of how retailers are capitalizing on new technologies. The main caution we have is to make sure you have data accuracy, management and governance otherwise you will be optimizing inaccuracies and not yielding the best returns. 

Jon Beck

CEO, Columbus Consulting


Seamless Retail Experiences