30 Apr 2019

IDC Names Four Innovators for AI-Enabled Commerce and Customer Experience in Retail

MILAN, April 30, 2019IDC Retail Insights today published an IDC Innovators report profiling four emerging technology vendors that provide conversational commerce to improve customer experience in retail. The four companies named as IDC Innovators are Avaamo, Botbot.AI, Layer, and Red Ant.

Looking at customer conversations, retailers can reach customers through multiple interfaces anywhere and anytime. Interactions can be different in terms of content, duration, and implications. Conversational commerce enables retailers to emulate friendly conversations and identify products that customers want; retailers can also become more transactional, fleeting, and opportunistic. Contextual and highly personalized conversational interactions enabled by cognitive technologies can transform customer engagement, driving overall satisfaction and increasing trust.

As cognitive solutions, conversational interfaces can learn from interactions and ultimately help organizations to improve personalized and frictionless customer journeys. By leveraging assisted and digital interfaces, chatbots and virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Home must adapt to conversational tone, mood, and content based on multiple necessities. They must also adapt to different languages and industry-specific lexicons or redirect to employees for further support. Thus, AI is critical to enable customer journey personalization and training algorithms for effective conversations based on customer data beyond mere upgrades to new versions of interactive voice response (IVR), which does not add customer value. To do so, AI should be conceived as foundational to new CX and commerce platforms across marketing, service, commerce, and product/service innovation.

"The growing number of consumer interfaces is generating an endless number of interactions between organizations and shoppers. Find ways to automate customer engagements; addressing multiple necessities is becoming essential," said Andrea Sangalli, research director, IDC Retail Insights Europe and IDC European Customer Experience Practice co-lead. "AI-enabled conversational commerce tools and platforms enable retailers to support the scale of customer engagement, dynamically adapting tone, mood, and content while collecting new streams of behavioral data."

  • Avaamo is a deep-learning software company whose offering consists of conversational interfaces to deliver responsive and personalized user experience.
  • Botbot.AI provides a CX application that enhances business processes by leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and ML technologies.
  • Layer is a technology conversational platform to help companies manage their customers' conversations at scale and understand their needs in real time.
  • Red Ant is a technology platform provider built to empower sales assistants and enhance CX while helping retailers merge online and offline CX.

The report, IDC Innovators: AI-Enabled Commerce and Customer Experience in Retail, 2019 profiles four notable vendors that leverage conversational commerce to improve customer experience in retail.

To arrange a one-on-one briefing with an IDC Retail Insights analyst, please contact Kanupriya at kanupriya@idc.com.

About IDC Innovators

IDC Innovators  reports present a set of vendors — under $100 million in revenue at the time of selection — chosen by an IDC analyst within a specific market that offer an innovative new technology, a groundbreaking approach to an existing issue, and/or an interesting new business model. It is not an exhaustive evaluation of all companies in a segment or a comparative ranking of the companies. Vendors in the process of being acquired by a larger company may be included in the report provided the acquisition is not finalized at the time of publication of the report. Vendors funded by venture capital firms may also be included in the report even if the venture capital firm has a financial stake in the vendor's company. IDC Innovator and IDC Innovators are trademarks of International Data Group Inc.

For more information about IDC Innovators research, please contact Catherine Bonner cbooner@idc.com.

About IDC Retail Insights

IDC Retail Insights  assists retail businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers that serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing asset-intensive, brand-oriented, technology-oriented, and engineering-oriented retail industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-ri.com, email info@idc-ri.com, or call 508-988-7900. Visit the IDC Retail Insights Community at http://idc-community.com/retail.