How Predictive AI Will Change Shopping

by MR Magazine Staff

Imagine you’re about to leave the house to pick up your kids. As you grab your keys, you hear a voice from the device on your coffee table: “It looks like you’ll use the last of your milk tomorrow, and yogurt is on sale for $1.19. Would you like to pick up an order from Trader Joe’s, for a total of $5.35?” You say yes, and Alexa confirms. The order will be ready for curbside pickup, on the way home from your kids’ school, in 15 minutes. This future scenario isn’t so far off. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple are accelerating consumer expectations and what’s technologically possible, from same-day delivery to machine-powered image recognition. You can call an Uber with Siri and book a flight entirely through a Facebook Messenger bot. Responsive retail has peaked, and we’re about to enter the era of predictive commerce. It’s time for retailers to help people find products in their precise moment of need — and perhaps before they even perceive that need — whether or not they’re logged in or ready to click a “buy” button on a screen. This shift will require designing experiences that merge an understanding of human behavior with large-scale automation and data integration. Read more at Harvard Business Review.