We know how important the Christmas Holiday period is for retailers. That’s why we’ve produced a comprehensive guide to holiday readiness, based on decades of collective experience and expertise helping leading global brands crush their holiday targets. From mobile and click and collect to leveraging Artificial Intelligence and site readiness, the 2017 Guide to Holiday Readiness is your trusted resource for making the holidays merry.

One way to move the needle this holiday is to deliver relevant, personalized shopping experiences individually tailored for your customers. The problem is, retailers likely do not have the time or resources to create, test and execute on unique journeys for each shopper. This is where Salesforce Einstein, powered by Artificial Intelligence, comes in. AI capabilities are directly embedded into Commerce Cloud to empower retailers and supercharge personalization – using your own treasure trove of customer data.

Best of all – Einstein is simple to use and quick to implement so you can start using AI to power your holiday this year. It is ready to use right out of the box – no data scientist required.

The AI of today is helping retailers save time so you can focus on more strategic initiatives, a crucial benefit for the holiday season when there is never enough time to fully prepare for the mad rush of traffic to your site. Imagine the insight you could gain, the holiday campaigns you could launch if your merchandisers and marketers were freed from the tedium of labor-intensive tasks like manually merchandising categories or pairing complementary products that need updating every quarter, month or week.

Let the machine learn about your customers and power product recommendations, sort product grid pages and pick homepage content. Let machine learning uncover usage patterns and recommend (or autonomously execute) specific actions with immediate benefit. Your merchandisers will be freed from manual merchandizing, giving them time to focus on other necessary tasks that you need to execute on to have the best holiday season ever.

Current Einstein capabilities include:

  • Einstein Commerce Insights, a shopping cart analysis dashboard that empowers brands to understand which products are most commonly purchased together, and gives merchandisers a granular view of shopping activity, including product-specific sales and top co-purchase products.
  • Einstein Predictive Sort, which uses machine learning to personalize the order in which products appear in search and category pages on ecommerce sites.
  • Einstein Product Recommendations, which also uses machine learning to power one-to-one personalized shopping experiences, delivering personalized product recommendations for both known and anonymous shoppers.

A large number of retailers – more than 515 global sites – are already leveraging Product Recommendations to drive sales. Three examples:

  • Black Diamond saw a 9.6% increase in conversion, and a 15.5% increase in revenue per visitor after implementing conducting an A/B test of Einstein-based Product Recommendations against a third party. “Typically with A/B tests we see a small lift from one side, which lets us know the better path. We don’t usually see a test where we have 100% confidence in one side, but that’s what happened,” says Adam Smart, Senior Web Merchant, Black Diamond.
  • Skis.com drove a 7% increase in overall revenue per visitor with Product Recommendations. “The results exceeded our expectations, plus the system was simple to run and operate. It just works,” said Andy Schepper, COO, Skis.com
  • Icebreaker found that its shoppers clicked on Einstein Product Recommendations 40% more often, leading to 28% more revenue from recommended products and an 11% overall increase in average order value. If you’re not using this, you’re missing out on quite an opportunity,” says Brian Hoven, Global Head of eCommerce at Icebreaker.

The holiday season is a crucial time for making your sales goals, and AI technologies can help you reach and exceed those targets without working around the clock. You know shoppers are interested in your products because they’re already browsing on your site or receiving your marketing emails. AI can ensure they are shown precisely the products they want, before they may even be aware they want them.

With each additional click, AI gets smarter, gathering data on customer interactions — what products they look at, what articles they read, and what they put in their shopping cart — then it automatically captures any change in behavior, giving you more insight into that customer’s interests than simply where they live or how old they are. Since customer behavior changes as needs change, AI notices these changes and personalizes the experience based on real-time shopper clicks. No need for updating customer segments or sorting rules, AI creates unique experiences for shoppers automatically.

During the busy holiday season, it’s easy for retailers to get caught up in their own perception of the perfect product sets or assortments. As retailers and brands, we want to be something, to mean something to our customers, but our customers may want us to be something completely different. Not every shopper wants to buy the family a full set of matching pajamas; maybe they just want a pair for themselves! Fortunately for retailers, the machine learning technology that AI powers has only one bias – data. It does what data tells it to so that the best outcome (a sale) has the highest probability of happening.

Machine learning is better at making decisions in situations where the amount of known data is so large or so time-sensitive that a human could not possibly act on it effectively. If we let automated intelligence do what it does well, we can capitalize on opportunities that would have otherwise slipped away. Instead of driving yourself crazy over which Christmas sweater pairs perfectly with which pair of pants, let AI drive those decisions for each individual customer.

It is one of the easiest ways to move the needle this holiday. Check out the complete guide to holiday readiness.