It is easy to imagine that artificial intelligence (AI) represents the first time in history that retailers track the buying habits of their customers. But long before AI, local store owners were paying close attention to what their customers were buying and how often they were coming in for items. It was one of the ways they could make sure to order products that were likely to be in demand. In other words, AI is a new, more efficient way of doing something that companies have been doing for centuries.
Here are five ways that this more efficient way of collecting information is changing our personal finances by changing how we shop.
1. Stores are less likely to run out of popular products
The bottom line of any retailer is to make a profit, and the best way to do that is to provide customers with the products they want and need at a price they are willing to pay. A retailer doesn’t just think about what some customers buy when ordering inventory.
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With AI, a business can analyze past sales data to accurately predict future demand for a particular product. It’s a great business strategy, but it’s also great for a customer who doesn’t appreciate going to a store to find what they need.
2. Prices are better controlled by demand and competition
AI allows business owners to see how much their competitors are charging for the same product. At the same time, in an effort to protect their checking accounts, customers are on their computers or phone apps, which use AI-driven programs to shop for the best prices in their area. Additionally, business owners know that customers have access to which stores offer the lowest prices, meaning they need to lower their prices if they want to compete.
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3. Shoppers are more likely to receive personalized discounts
As customers scroll through the internet, looking for items they want to buy, AI takes note and creates a list of “favorites.” Let’s say someone is serious about old-school Claire Burke perfume for their home. They buy everything perfume-related from Claire Burke, from tarts to room mists to candles. One day, while shopping online, they noticed an advertisement with a discount code for Claire Burke products. That’s considered a more personalized discount, and thanks to AI.
4. Better protect buyers from fraud
Chances are you’ll get a call one day from your credit card issuer, asking if you’re in a state other than your own, using your credit card to make a purchase. AI helps businesses and customers avoid getting ripped off by identifying red flags that fraud may be taking place.
5. You can even try on glasses without leaving home
It’s surprising how quickly most of us adapt to the idea of trying on a new pair of glasses without leaving home. But all you need to do now is upload a photo that clearly shows your face, find a frame you want to try, and adjust the image so that the frame fits your face.
Voila! Thanks to AI, you can try on as many pairs as you like until you find the one that makes you look great. Word has it that clothing retailers are working to provide the same kind of virtual try-on tool, but the practice is not yet widespread.
AI benefits businesses by streamlining their processes and helping them avoid shortages and overstocks. But shoppers can also benefit from AI. Not only can AI save a shopper from fraud, but it can help them save money by using comparison shopping apps.
How to maximize the impact of AI on your bank account
If you have a business that benefits from AI capabilities, we say, “good for you.” We know how hard it is to own a business, and if AI can help you build your dream, that’s a good thing. And if you’re an everyday consumer (and who among us isn’t), we’ve got some ideas to take advantage of what AI has to offer.
- Take full advantage of price comparison tools. The right price comparison tool(s) can save you thousands of dollars over the course of a year. There is no need to thumb through newspapers or check sales at a store every time. The price comparison tool allows you to type in what you are looking for and compare prices offered by local stores. It’s easy. Make a list of the items you plan to pick up at each store.
- Pay attention to the discounts and special offers you need and ignore the rest. Back when we talked about personal recommendations, we gave the illustration of someone who adores Claire Burke perfumes and received a discount code as part of a personal ad. If that person has a drawer full of products, there’s no reason for them to pick more just because they have the code in hand. Make discount codes, coupons, and online specials work for you by only buying what you need when you need it.
- Go the extra mile with your credit cards. Even if you monitor your cards manually, add a layer of protection with mobile alerts. That way, if the AI finds anything suspicious going on, you’ll know about it right away.
Once you’ve downloaded your credit card apps, you can adjust your notification settings in your user profile. And just to make sure your phone allows notifications, go to phone settings, find the specific credit card app, and enable push notifications.
As mentioned, AI isn’t going anywhere, so why not use it in ways that benefit you and your personal finances?
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