The world’s already going mobile-first with AI

Marcus S Tan

Companies with any digital strategy are now paying far more attention to the mobile Internet, particularly with respect to customer outreach, user interactions and relationships. So much so that search engine giant, Google, is enabling mobile-first indexing for all new websites from the 1st of July, 2019.

Why are enterprises increasingly going mobile with their businesses? For compelling reasons. Aside from addressing the obvious – customers and prospects are searching and looking to connect with them via their smart phones and devices – they also see potential in the immediacy and intimacy that mobile platforms present for them to grow their business further.

AI-enabled Success in Retail, MICE, Media and Community Outreach

This proposition is now much stronger with the availability of advanced technologies, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), that can empower any business to bring a prospect/customer in an offline context to an online space with the touch of a virtual button on a mobile device. Indeed, there are already many success stories of businesses providing their customers with an integrated offline-to-online experience using such technologies, and these companies have typically driven higher customer engagement, gathered greater knowledge of their target markets, and charted new business frontiers.

Take the case of Southeast Asian fashion footwear and accessories retailer, Charles & Keith, which launched a mobile app with Video and Image Recognition AI technology. Customers could use the app to scan display ads in malls or in their stores and immediately be taken online for more information and to participate in a redemption programme that rewards them with e-vouchers. The effort delivered increased footfall to their outlets, which translated into higher sales and even greater customer interactions, overall heightening the brand’s social connections.

Then in Thailand just last November, RetailEX ASEAN, the biggest annual MICE event in the land of smiles turned to using computer vision AI technology. Organisers of RetailEX ASEAN needed a way to better manage the high volume of visitor data, including mass registration, sustaining visitor engagement, and acquiring and tracking visitor feedback. As such, RetailEX ASEAN developed an app with computer vision AI technology that solved many of the show’s issues. 

First, the app enabled visitors to use their smart mobile devices to scan exhibitors’ logos and posters at more than 90 exhibition booths. Visitors could immediately access specially curated content online, download conference presentations, participate in contests and provide feedback. The event organisers gained highly granular data on show visitors and their preferences, smoother and faster registration processes, and insights to ensure the next event will be a greater success that will bring more smiles to both visitors and organisers.

One can also consider the success that the RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network achieved when it deployed AI-powered technology to increase viewer engagement with America’s Got Talent, which it distributed through Southeast Asia.

The traditional broadcast media company was aware that most of the show’s viewers were usually engaged on their mobile devices or laptops while watching the ‘live’ broadcast on their televisions. They wanted to take advantage of that and developed an app using AI-enabled computer vision technology. With the app, viewers of America’s Got Talent, could scan segments of the show on their TV screens during broadcast to interact directly to find out contestants’ past performances, vote for their favourite contestant, participate in viewers’ contests and shop for merchandise so they can sport the look of the judges. In addition to driving viewer engagement, the level of audience engagement also helped make the show’s (and CBS Asia’s) brand even stronger in the region.

And that of ArtBeatz – a creative and arts driven business which aims to cultivate an appreciation of the arts and also to invite interactions from people from all walks of life, across all ages. With such a vision, it isn’t surprising that the local brand that specialises in the creation of unique, large-scale artworks embraced the use of computer vision AI technology for their outreach engagement efforts. 

Earlier this year, ArtBeatz used their newly built app to boost visitor engagement and interaction at its arts-in-the-community project at newly refurbished Teck Ghee Community Club. By scanning a logo alongside each art piece, visitors could learn about its creation process and artistic vision, and participate in contests. ArtBeatz derived high levels of visitor engagement, and broke new ground in fostering an appreciation of the arts among residents of Teck Ghee and the public.

The Next Step Forward with AI                                                           

AI-powered platforms today go beyond the job of customer engagement, and run data analytics in real-time to provide businesses with valuable insights into their customers. Insights that can help them see their customers’ behavior or value chains clearly, so they can craft effective outreach strategies that align their products and content to the customer more profitably.

Soon, video and image recognition technology can be implemented in other sectors like medical science. By employing deep learning algorithms with the technology, medical practitioners can some day understand a condition, like eczema, and distinguish the degree of severity by simply placing a mobile device near affected areas of the skin.

The value of saving users in need of immediate information and answers the extra time and effort they would otherwise have to expend is immense. This applies in many business contexts, and we look forward to continually building offline-to-online connections for organisations reaching out to their customers and constituents the world over.