Cyber Monday is next week and retailers are preparing for a surge in online sales. According to BlackFriday.com, consumers spent $3.36 billion on Cyber Monday 2017, up from $2.67 billion from 2016. For 2018, Black Friday.com predicts deals and promo codes will rule the day and entice shoppers to add purchases to their carts.
However, with new privacy laws in place to protect consumer’s private data, retailers may need a little extra help in reaching customers. Artificial Intelligence solutions can maintain data privacy by keeping the user’s personal data stored on his or her mobile phone, without depriving retailers and consumers from the great holiday deals they expect during the holiday season.
There’s little doubt mobile shopping will continue to contribute heavily to online sales on Cyber Monday and Black Friday. In 2017, Adobe Insights – which measures 80 percent of online transactions at 100 U.S. retailers – revealed mobile shoppers accounted for $2 billion in sales on Black Friday – which traditionally has been an in-store shopping day. Sales conducted via smartphones are expected to climb even more this year, affording retailers an opportunity to customize their marketing to mobile buyers.
Good news aside, data breaches and customer privacy regulations like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will put retailers to the test this holiday season. More than ever, retailers are facing an uphill battle in marketing to mobile shoppers, as well-publicized data breaches are making many consumers very wary of giving up their personal identifiable information (PII), even in exchange for better deals. According to the National Retail Foundation, retailers are seeking approaches to compliance that meet the requirements of GDPR without compromising their ability to provide customers with the personalization, omnichannel experiences and seamless retail operations they expect.
It’s a big issue for large retailers. According to data collected by Euromonitor, larger retailers will likely feel more of an impact than luxury brands due to their size and practices for using customers’ personal data to grow sales. Businesses must review how data is collected, where it’s stored and how it’s processed, to determine whether they can get the same value out of information once it is anonymized to comply with GDPR and U.S. state regulations such as the one recently passed in California, the California Consumer Privacy Act.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for retailers. Useful insights can be gained from an aggregate view of data, such as data gathered from a specific geography including foot traffic, parking data and more. As retailers look to capitalize on technologies including artificial intelligence, location-sensing beacons and AR/VR shopping technologies, keeping consumer data secure is paramount. Both online and in-store, consumers will likely see the emergence of new retail advertising models that allow businesses to draw on loyalty program information and target marketing campaigns without conceding data privacy regulations.
Consumers are increasingly aware of what businesses are doing with their personal information. According to an independent survey conducted by Survey Monkey for Anagog, 83 percent of respondents said they are concerned the mobile apps they downloaded automatically collect their personal data. In an era of very public data privacy breaches and dwindling consumer confidence, 77 percent of respondents in the Anagog study stated that data privacy is very important to them. Gathering data from a nearly equal amount of men and women aged 18 to 60+, the survey further revealed more than 80 percent of respondents feared their personal identifiable information (PII) will be hacked. 70 percent mentioned they’ll be happy to keep all their private data on their handset if only possible.
These consumer fears do not bode well for retailers, but new edge-AI technologies, including our own JedAI on-handset AI engine, are emerging to protect consumer data, while providing retailers with the ability to target customers based on their on-device information. Not surprisingly, given the option 70 percent of consumers polled in the Anagog survey say they prefer to keep valuable personal information on their mobile devices.
JedAI allows retailers to balance protecting personal data while still providing targeted retail offers. The JedAI SDK, is the first and only on-handset artificial intelligence engine that interprets raw signals to mobility status data and keeping all such private data on the handset itself. It runs in the background without server dependency, resulting also in ultra-low battery consumption. In addition to JedAI detecting mobility status data, the solution also has comprehensive predictive analytics. Accordingly, with JedAI’s on-handset AI algorithms, retailers can refer to each customer preferences and purchasing patterns, without pulling any such private data out of the phone.
Billions of dollars are at stake and retailers, the advertising industry, and marketers must find a work-around to traditional sales and marketing tactics to give consumers personalized deals, drive sales and safeguard consumer privacy. JedAI can help them pave the way.