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Consumer Psychology

AI Helps You Understand the Psychology of Consumer Buying Behaviour

Businesses using this power to their advantage will be the ones to beat the competition
AI Helps You Understand the Psychology of Consumer Buying Behaviour
Image credit: Courtesy of Shutterstock
Co-founder of Intelivita
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

I wish I know what is running through my customer’s mind” Every business owner hoards this secret wish. No matter how detailed your market research is, what the experts say or what your gut feeling says, the customer’s mind is still a black box that cannot be easily cracked.

Or, is it so? All black boxes can be decrypted and their contents can be brought to daylights for broad inspection. Just that you need the right toolkit to do it. Just like Artificial Intelligence (AI) for decrypting the psychology of consumer buying behaviour.

The ground zero for any consumer behaviour study is one thing - why do people buy the stuff they do? Sometimes, studies go deeper into the reasons why people keeping buying more of what they have already bought.

It is safe to assume that there are underlying reasons, specific reasons related to psychology that are influencing customers to buy and buy more. What are those reasons? If only a business can know that they will also know what is running through their customer’s mind. AI help discovers such reasons that make customers buy more.

AI as a Customer Mind Reader

The human mind if highly complex. It changes from individual to individual. But, if you take a look at the way human purchase from 30,000 feet high, you will notice patterns. There is a specific way to how people of a certain age group purchase, how certain genders purchase and how they keep repeating their purchases.

The heading AI as a customer mind reader is a bit far fetching. AI systems cannot do mind reading (as of now). But, they can pick up patterns from customer shopping behaviour. Such patterns would enable businesses to better position their products and also market them effectively for higher returns.

How Can AI Unearth Such Patterns?

Under the hood, AI is an advanced analytical system. It can connect the dots between random data points to come up with recommendations, predictions or suggestions. Such conclusions can point your business on the right path.

For example, all the first interaction inputs that your customers give to chatbots can be a good starting point. It can help inform agents and support executives how to better respond to customer queries instead of sticking to routine scripts.

How Exactly is AI Influencing Consumer Buying Behaviour

Believe it or not, AI is amidst us right now. In fact, we are interacting with it on a regular basis. If you have done a Google search today, you have interacted with AI. If you have shopped online and found similar product recommendations popping up easily, it is AI at work. Your on-demand video streaming app that gives a delectable list of recommendations is using AI to predict your preferences. There is so much that is happening in the AI world. And, it is influencing our consumer buying behaviour.

Here are some real-world examples:

Aiding Discovery Based on Likes

By habit, customers prefer to have more of what they like and what they are accustomed to. For instance, if there is a specific brand or operating system of smartphones that they are comfortable using, a switch to an alternate option can be irritating. That comfort zone that a familiar product gives them makes customers buy more of a specific product and its variants. And they are also open to getting recommendations that help them broaden their platter of options.

Artificial Intelligence and its subset machine learning can create patterns of such consumer behaviour. They can dive deeper into massive amounts of communal data that influence customer behaviour. In this case, the preference to a specific operating system.

Spotify knows this right. The music streaming app has been able to increase its subscription rates and sustain user loyalty. It uses Artificial Intelligence to push song suggestions that are aligned with the user’s current preferences. Additionally, it is also able to push playlists that a large number of other users who have the same interests are subscribed to.

How does it help? The suggestions drive users to use the app for long without unsubscribing to it. Most often, it also leads to subscriptions to more music libraries that the user may not have otherwise thought of paying for.

To put it in other words, AI is able to understand Spotify’s user psychology to a certain extent and then use it to its advantage.

Visual Recommendations (Vue.ai)

Have you noticed that most online stores manage to suggest visually similar products while you are browsing around? Visual recommender systems allow retailers to show customers related products that share the same visual traits. This could be colour, size, patterns, stripes and so on. This is typically useful for selling fashion labels where even the small difference in design can make or break the customer’s buying decision.

And it does not happen on its own. It is an Artificial Intelligence at work. AI’s visual recommendation capability makes it possible to scan millions of product images and pick up ones that look similar to each other.

Well, it is not just online stores that are reaping the benefits. Even on-demand streaming services like Netflix are tapping into AI. AI empowers businesses to perform advanced video analytics, something that has remained largely impossible until cloud computing took off.

Today, with the combined power of cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence, video streaming services are able to cater visual recommendations of movies, series and documentaries that customers cannot resist but watch with an indulgent pleasure.

Final Thoughts

Artificial Intelligence in the 21st century is like the electricity of the 20th century. It is not a game-changer, it is much more than that. It is so powerful that it is manipulating humans into taking actions that they otherwise would not have in their normal selves. In other words, AI has the power to better understand consumer buying behaviour. Businesses that use this power to their advantage will be able the ones to beat the competition to the ground.


 

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