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How AI and Personalized Marketing are Transforming Retail Sales

Written by

Lia Parisyan-Schmidt

Published on

May 19, 2023

Reading time

5 min read

  • Business Strategy
  • Innovation
  • ML & AI
  • Modernize
  • Retail

How AI/ML, CDP, personalization, and BI are revolutionizing retail, fashion, and beauty. Dive into brand examples from Sephora, ThredUp, and H&M.

Let's pull back the curtain on the cool ways AI/ML, Customer Data Platforms (CDP), marketing personalization, and BI and data dashboards are stirring up the retail, fashion, and beauty scene.

AI/ML in Retail

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are whipping up clothing models at a rate even the most caffeine-fueled designers can't match.

Brands like Stitch Fix have been using AI to suggest personalized outfits based on your style, fit, and color preferences.

It's like they've created a personal stylist.

Source: Stitch Fix

One that's always learning about you like a fashion-conscious Sherlock Holmes.

AI in Fashion

ThredUp is a fascinating example of AI being used in a creative and impactful way.

It's like a treasure trove of secondhand fashion items.
But with AI being the expert guide leading you to the hidden gems.

ThredUp uses an AI-powered recommendation engine that predicts what you're looking for.

Source: ThredUp

But instead of vague hints, it delivers spot-on style recommendations.

It looks at your browsing patterns, favorite brands, sizes, and even colors to curate a personalized shopping experience.

Now, let's talk about ThredUp's AI matching system.

Source: ThredUp

Say you're browsing and stumble upon a dress you love, but it's not in your size.

Heartbreak, right? Not anymore.

Source: ThredUp

ThredUp can find similar items in your size.

Btw, at Egen, we built a solution that can find the best T-shirt fit for you with an accuracy of 90%.

So, in the vast ocean of clothing items that is ThredUp—AI serves as your personal compass—guiding you to the pieces you'll love.

It's not just about buying and selling clothes anymore— it's about creating a personalized, engaging experience for each user.

And doing good for the planet!

AI in Beauty

AI "remembers" everything about you, even things you often forget.

You know how you always forget to replace your mascara or foundation until you're scraping the barrel?

Fun fact: Mascara is teeming with bacteria.
You're supposed to replace your tube every 3 months.


For beauty shoppers, that could mean nasty eye infections.
For brands, bad reviews and getting blasted on social media.

But imagine educating shoppers about beauty products, hygiene, and care.

Not only do you provide them with value,

but you can sell more of your product by using purchase and browsing data to send personalized replenishment reminders like:

"Hey, Sophie, just reminding you that it's been 3 months since you bought that ultra-lash mascara. We want you to look and feel your best. Check out this quick video on mascara maintenance and click here to restock."

Sephora's Auto-Replenish Program

Sephora shoppers can swing by a product page and hit the auto-replenish sign up.

Source: Sephora

Next, they choose their own delivery schedule that works best for them.

They can even score 5% off on all their subscription deliveries and enjoy free shipping every time.

People get busy, but if you have your data house in order and the right systems set up (something we at Egen are pros at), you can generate "passive" revenue simply by getting your shoppers to commit.

However, for these programs to be successful, you also have to be transparent and make it easy for them to opt-out at any time.

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) in Retail

Here's the twist:
AI and ML are only as good as the data you feed them.

This is where CDPs strut onto the stage.

Remember trying to do a puzzle with pieces missing? That's what it's like for brands that have their customer data scattered all over the place.

CDPs pull all this data into one place, creating a unified view of each customer—making that puzzle complete.

With this holistic customer view, marketing personalization goes from generic "Dear Customer" emails to messages that feel like they're from someone who knows you.

Using information like purchase history and browsing behavior, brands can suggest products you're likely to want or need.

Source: Netflix

It's like when Netflix suggests a show you end up binge-watching—except here, you're adding items to your cart.

BI & Data Dashboards

Last but not least, BI and data dashboards.

You know those movies where a techie pulls up a screen with loads of data that they somehow make sense of in seconds?

That's kind of what BI and data dashboards are for retail, fashion, and beauty businesses.

Brands like H&M use them to monitor everything from sales trends to inventory levels, helping them make decisions faster than you can say "sold out."

Source: Microsoft 

H&M has turned their Power Platform Center of Excellence (CoE) into the true heart of their business, pumping out innovation and control in perfect harmony.

They're using Business Intelligence (BI) and dashboards to optimize their operations and give birth to creativity in every corner of the company.

Bringing AI, Personalization, and BI to Your Retail Mix

So, there you have it.

AI/ML, CDP, marketing personalization, and BI and data dashboards are creating a retail experience that's getting more personalized, efficient, and, frankly, cooler than ever before.

At Egen, we specialize in all things data and can help you seize opportunities and create the personalized experiences your customers dream of.

Have a project in mind?

Want to see how we've helped our customer drive tailored CX and revenue?

Let’s chat.

P.S. To learn about our small steps, big results approach to cloud modernization and digital transformation. Read A New Data Blueprint.  

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