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Generative and predictive AI will boost sales for the final months of 2023. That’s according to a forecast report from Salesforce. However, retailers have long been integrating algorithms that recommend products to customers while shopping online. So, what will AI add?

For several years, Salesforce has been forecasting the revenue retailers generate at the end of the year and what factors affect it. In the ‘2023 Salesforce holiday insight‘, generative and predictive AI gets the spotlight. It predicts these AI technologies will generate $194 billion (about 180 billion euros) in additional sales.

The prediction was made based on the behaviour of one and a half billion customers from more than 64 countries. Twelve countries, including the Netherlands, received more attention in the dataset.

New generation of recommendations

Predictive and generative AI add a personal touch to the shopping experience, whereas algorithm-based recommendations remain more superficial. That’s what we learned at the roundtable Salesforce hosted for the press.

According to Salesforce, the technologies are a new variant of the well-known algorithms. It makes the shopping experience more personal, and recommendations, emails and chatbots can be more responsive to your preferences and provide better information. A conversation with a chatbot, for example, will become more natural to the level it can be compared with a conversation with a customer service employee due to the addition of AI.

For a retailer, the greatest potential of generative AI lies in improving the search function. Customers can ask more complicated questions to find the right product quickly. For example, those looking for a bike to use on vacations can ask which bike from the online store will fit in the trunk of the car they own.

According to statistics from Salesforce, AI is currently deployed by just over half of retailers. 58 percent say they use generative AI to create advertising, emails, social media posts and website content. 53 percent also deploy the technology to personalize product descriptions for customer needs.

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