Artificial intelligence will enhance the relationship between the retail salesperson and his/her customers. The best companies in the world are using artificial intelligence to reliably and predicatively serve their customers.

In the world of CRM’s, there is no better example of this than Salesforce. Most CRM’s are merely data gathering repositories for the user. Data without intelligence is like a book sitting on the shelf that you’ve never read – it’s useless. Salesforce has introduced AI in a unique way and they are leveraging this with their clients. The exciting news is that retailers in every industry can utilize sales and customer data to create lookalike audiences and set up predictive cadences for communication. This will enable us to serve our customers better (while protecting their data).

Those who can get this balance right can substantial advantage over those who are using intuition and trailing data to make decisions. Facebook and Google have incredible advantages in this space (perhaps to a fault). There is great power and opportunity in the legal use of first-party data. This is increasingly incumbent for retailers to understand as regulators continue to limit activities surrounding data. We have an incredible advantage over some of the larger aggregators of data. Namely, our ability to and use first-party data to serve our customers better.

When we combine this advantage with platforms such as Facebook and Google, we can leverage readily accessible data. Not only to serve our customers’ needs but to anticipate them in such a way that everybody wins. The future is fast, frictionless, and intelligent.