How to delight each retail customer with the luxury of a virtual assistant at their side which understands individual needs and provides your clientele with an exceptional shopping experience by exploiting a widespread and universally popular communication channel: WhatsApp.
What retail customer has not dreamed of this yet? To have a well-informed shopping consultant at our side, who knows our preferences as well as current trends? Who not only has the necessary fashion expertise, but can also see with a professional eye what suits us well - or help us find a new favorite piece that matches our type and style, is perfect for a particular occasion, or simply a good combination to the prevailing color scheme in our closet? But having a personal shopper at side is a luxury that few have been able to afford. Instead, people often ask a friend to accompany them on their shopping tour, hoping for suitable recommendations and amicable advice.
Retailers who have gained a holistic view of their clientele by merging the data from the physical and online worlds are able to offer such a luxurious service themselves and support their customers when they are in a store.
Is disruptive technology necessary for this? To successfully address the challenges arising from the gap between online and physical stores and respective implications might be described as such. But the technology that enables seamless and real-time interactions with customers is fairly mature and widely used. And there is a simple reason for that: the person going in and out of your retail stores, in most cases, carries a smartphone and uses WhatsApp to communicate in daily life.
What’s in it for retailers?
In addition to the benefits for the individual customer described above, the virtual personal shopper also offers clear advantages for you as retailer:
Better understanding of each customer interaction with your stores.
Allowing you to personalize and customize each client’s shopping experience.
Ability to offer your customers what they are really looking for.
Improved engagement through deeper insights into customer preferences.
Opportunity to gain competitive advantage through stronger customer loyalty.
Technology can make the difference between retailers
Memorable shopping experience blended with technology are trending, and the demand for seamless and flexible omnichannel experience from customers is increasing day by day. When it comes to technology, customers prefer solutions that make their journeys more convenient. According to the Adyen Retail Report 2023, 38% of respondents prefer in-store technologies that speed up their shopping experience. A quarter think they make shopping more convenient and more fun. And retailers are responding quickly by making technology an integral part of their offering. 40% plan to invest in technology to improve the overall shopping experience, to maintain its competitiveness in a continuously evolving market.
The solution Mimacom proposes for a respective phygital experience is the so-called Personal Shopper. This shopping assistant uses all data available for the respective customer – whether from online or physical interactions – to identify a personal profile of the retail client. Based on this, it can recommend and list anything that might be of interest.
On the technology side, the Personal Shopper combines ChatGPT with WhatsApp as communication channel to interact with the customer. Many retailers already have their own digital apps, but retail customers will not use thousands of different apps going forward. Therefore, the development and set-up of yet another application is not necessary but can be easily replaced by exploiting a simple communication channel such as WhatsApp.
WhatsApp currently is one of the most popular and prevalent communication channels with 2 billion users worldwide. According to a recent wearesocial-report “The global stage of digital”, WhatsApp is not only named the most favorite social media platform by nearly 16 percent of active social media users aged 16 to 64, but also sees the highest frequency of use amongst the world’s social platforms, with 82.6 percent of users opening the app daily.
And even if that should change at some point in time – you never know in this fast-changing digital world – Mimacom’s solution can easily switch from WhatsApp to any other communication channel such as Signal, Snapchat, Telegram or Threema – allowing you to engage with your customers in a personal way – and to stay ahead of competition.
As mentioned in the previous section, Mimacom uses a solution based on LLM (Large Language Model), but supported by a framework that facilitates the use of the LLM that best suits each client and allows us to enrich the LLM with information from the retailers' internal systems.
We offer tailored communication to each retailer: Depending on each retailer and the way of communication they want to define, we use the appropriate LLM solution, among the most popular ones ChatGPT, Bard or Llama 2, or deploying a model in a private environment to increase privacy. We also generate the appropriate prompts to adapt the communication style of each organization towards their customers.
We integrate LLM with internal systems: We use LangChain to integrate with the LLM system and add additional functions that allow us to have context of the conversation and integrate with the retailer's internal systems (among others, to know the stock of products, to know the profile of the buyer and offer personalized recommendations, request different sizes of a product from the fitting room, etc.).
WhatsApp channel: We make the LLM and the internal APIs use the WhatsApp APIs to communicate through each customer's preferred channel.
In any case, we tailor our solution to your specific needs every step of the way to ensure you get the most from our services. We are committed to working with you to make your business goals a reality.
Contact us today to learn more about how Mimacom can help you stay ahead of your competition.
Located in Valencia, Spain, Nelo is our Head of Retail and expert for Cloud in Spain. At Mimacom, Nelo helps leading Retail businesses to streamline their operations and improve their success.