Technical skills remain a barrier.

Australian retailers are ahead of their retail peers in the UK and US when it comes to harnessing the value of artificial intelligence (AI) into their marketing strategies.  A global study found that 65% of Australian retailers said their organisations have a clearly defined and articulated marketing strategy in place, compared to 58% in the UK and 55% in the US.  Also, that 72% of local retailers believe it is their CEOs who are championing these policies while 74% reported having a fluid technology budget to accommodate for shifting priorities. Further, 88% agreed that AI marketing will reinvent the retail industry.

It also emerged from the study that decision makers believe AI-powered marketing will shift the role of marketing towards more strategic work; make marketing teams more efficient and effective;  enabling focus on value-generating tasks.  However, the study flagged that 70% of business decision makers believe their marketing teams lack the technical skills to leverage AI marketing technology and don’t understand AI marketing, both of which are potential barriers to mainstream adoption of AI technology.

The study also states that expectations for a dramatically improved customer experience (CX) are driving retail investments in omnichannel technologies that provide a competitive difference between core products and services. As retailers pursue more advanced capabilities, AI technologies provide innovative opportunities for retail marketers.

The study was conducted by Forrester Consulting for global marketing cloud firm, Emarsys.