As the new year begins, we’re turning our thoughts to potential retail, tech and data trends in 2023.
Gartner predicted decision intelligence (DI) would be a key strategic technology trend in 2022 – and they weren’t wrong. We’ve seen DI rise in popularity as retailers and brands see the benefits it brings to integrated commercial decision making.
So, what’s on the horizon for retail, tech and data in 2023? We asked our team for their predictions:
AI in retail.
Damon Bryan – Chief Technology Officer.
The democratisation of AI will come to the fore in 2023.
Many futurists are predicting 2023 to be the year of AI. Whilst AI has been hot on the lips of most technologists over the past few years, we’re only now starting to fully see the endless scope of possibility when it comes to using AI to help with everyday tasks and decision making.
We’re starting to see AI gain traction across many industries – because it’s becoming way more accessible to non-technical people or those who don’t code.
For instance, the use of AI in retail can help automate tasks and speed up decision making, but only if key decision makers feel comfortable using AI tools and fully understand the commercial benefit.
AI is finally becoming accessible to those who need it most, rather than remaining a closely guarded secret by the technical elite.
Pricing and media.
Thomas Hill – Chief Customer Officer.
Pricing will remain a massive topic in 2023 as retailers look to protect their brand credentials whilst mitigating cost price increases. As inflation looks to fall slightly, but remains a pressure on consumer spending power, it’s critical for retailers to leverage data-driven pricing decisions to get the balance right.
2023’s biggest data trend will most certainly be in media. Media targeting is set to change forever with the well-publicised removal of third-party cookies. Those that have been relying on board audiences and bid automation will need to leverage the power of first-party data to drive a targeted and audience-specific approach to media. AI driven audiences and signals will be key to manage the rising cost of media and competition.
Commercial decision making.
Peter Denby – Chief Commercial Officer.
Commercial decision making will come into sharp focus for retailers in 2023. With such a clear correlation between decision quality and business performance, it offers retailers a direct route to achieving their revenue and profit goals.
In particular, decisions which deliver exceptional customer experiences will take centre stage. The product range offered, how it’s marketed, merchandised, and made available when and where customers want to buy products. Retailers who crack this conundrum will win customer hearts, minds and share of wallet.
Michael Shaw – Head of Analytics.
Personalisation will continue to gain traction in 2023.
In a time of significant inflationary pressures, it’s more important than ever for retailers to communicate the right products and offers, to the right customers, at the right time.
Each customer mission is a singular occasion – the customer sets out with their own wants and needs. The ability to track these granular moments empowers retailers with a deeper customer understanding – and the ability to personalise future interactions. After all, personalised experiences lead to improved loyalty and, ultimately, a greater share of wallet.
This is the power of personalisation.
Rachel Goodyear – Analytics Consultant.
Moving into 2023, AI will be a key trend in retail and beyond.
From LinkedIn posts written by ChatGPT, to machine learning-enabled pricing and promotion; AI is becoming embedded in our day-to-day lives.
From a retail perspective, AI represents a massive opportunity to automate pricing optimisation; which is bound to be a hot topic in 2023 as inflation continues to put pressure on consumer spending.
We’re also likely to see growth in the use of computer vision in retail settings. This could include stock monitoring which automatically provides notifications when a restock is needed. It could also include customer behaviour analysis to enable A/B testing of different store layouts based on gaze and dwell time.
The AI future is here, but it’s a little less flashy than the sci-fi visions of the 70s and 80s!
Intelligent targeted marketing.
Victoria Mawson – Senior Data Scientist.
Towards the last quarter of 2022, we’ve seen a huge increase in intelligent targeted marketing within social media. Platforms like Instagram allow retailers to target specific customers and sell products within the app.
Social media could potentially be the next best platform for online shopping, which will require retailers to be hot on demand forecasting and slick online product merchandising, alongside providing a seamless way for customers to scroll and buy.
Democratising data science and AI.
Jag Tumber – Business Development Manager.
It’s no secret that data science and analytics talent is scarce. The gap between supply and demand will continue to widen in 2023, emphasising the importance of data literacy across all commercial departments.
This is by no means an easy feat. Business leaders need to change people’s behaviour and mindset, then train them on how to assess information and process it using technology.
Democratising access to data science and AI offers retailers the huge potential to differentiate from their competitors. Research by McKinsey found companies making data accessible to the full workforce are 40 times more likely to say analytics has a positive impact on revenue. No code solutions like HyperFinity put intelligent insights into the hands of business users, helping them make decisions more effectively and efficiently.
Anna Hinchcliffe – Marketing Manager.
We’ll hear a lot about social commerce in 2023.
We all know consumers want easy, frictionless shopping experiences. Social media platforms have responded with in-app shopping features – think Instagram Shopping, TikTok Shop and WhatsApp Carts.
So where does that leave retailers? We’ll likely see brands investing even more time (and money) in social media – from ensuring products are discoverable, to running compelling paid campaigns and finding new and authentic ways of working with influencers.
In the social shopping era, having the data science and AI capability to deeply understand customer behaviour will be a key differentiator.
Is 2023 the year you invest in data science and AI? Our team is here to advise on how we can help with your retail challenges – from pricing and promotion, to retail media. Contact us to find out more.