Society is highly dependent on mobile devices, opening up many doors for retailers and brands to capitalize on the data their use offers. Consumers in the U.S. now spend an average of five hours a day on mobile devices, and advertisers are spending more than $70 billion in mobile advertising in order to reach them.
Social media certainly plays one of the largest roleson mobile today, with about 2.5 billion people active on social platforms uploading and sharing images and videos daily. Content distributed on these channels not only allows brands to reach consumers, but it provides them with valuable insights into how to inspire them and, most importantly, converts them into customers. Yet future revenue growth for brands fundamentally resides in the images that consumers are sharing and consuming at scale on mobile — brands just have to find clever ways to unlock that value.
The first hurdle that brands must overcome is making sense of the data that mobile content offers by unlocking what was previously untrackable. Thanks to the rise of AI, the intelligence that lies within an image can be extracted, providing marketers with new insights in real time to help them understand consumer intent. By understanding these consumer preferences, retail marketers have the ability to calibrate and optimize their campaigns with targeted product recommendations and personalized product offers, therefore leading to increased sales.
One form of this is through AI-powered visual listening which helps marketers “see” exactly what images people are sharing, posting and consuming, versus just what they’re tagging alone. Image recognition technology today can even identify sentiment through emojis detecting whether a user had a good or bad experience with a brand.
It’s also not just images that provide these actionable insights, but videos as well -- and data shows that almost 70% of videos on YouTube are consumed on mobile devices. This is significant for brands because, as most inspiration is sparked through images and videos, it’s likely the discovery phase of the customer journey is occurring on a mobile device. For this reason alone, marketers need to leverage AI-generated insights to turn spontaneous, on-the-go discoveries into a sale.
By leveraging AI and optimizing mobile strategies to align with these browsing habits, retailers can understand exactly what a consumer’s discovery phase entails. They can see the content they like, share and comment on, or the particular products they tend to search for, like certain colors, patterns or styles. AI now has the ability to interpret all of this behavior and then respond with a delightful experience that will likely peak that user’s interest. The true benefit to brands here is there is so much content available on the mobile web that over time, recommendations get more accurate and relevant. And the more data they can collect, the more extensive their knowledge base becomes for future interactions.
AI in a sense is the middleman that connects discovery, inspiration and e-commerce, because by processing visual content at scale and extracting collective intelligence, marketers can influence and drive consumers to product pages for purchase and allow consumers to find something that caught their interest without spending hours looking for it or before they lose interest.
The bottom line is, if a retailer wants to be successful, then it has to achieve a robust mobile monetization strategy that incorporates some form of AI technology, or it is already lagging far behind its competitors. We as humans simply don’t have the capacity to process the volume of visuals that exists today. Only AI has the ability to process the floodgates of data, and it’s our best chance to build real-time, responsive intelligence that bridges the world of mobile content and monetization.
This article was originally published in Forbes on 17th Nov 2017.