Published 03 April 2024

8 min read

Dominated by conversations about the opportunities created by generative artificial intelligence (AI) and upgrades in mixed reality tech (online and in physical stores), Shoptalk US 2024 surfaced four key consumer engagement themes: up-close customer service, capitalising on next-gen user-generated content (UGC), pop-culture hijacks, and the physical moments seducing Gen Zers. We unpack the hottest talking points.

1: Mixed Reality & Generative AI Customer Service Upgrades

2: Capitalising on Next Gen User Generated Content (UGC)

3: Next-Level Pop-Culture Hijacks & Shoppable Video Content

4: Physical Wow Moments to Captivate Gen Zers

Several brands discussed how new-wave generative AI tools are taking customer service to the next level (in store, online and in new virtual reality commerce scenarios), providing ultra-personalised interactions at scale. From next-gen clienteling tech and dream-to-reality image generator search tools, via evolved chatbots and personalised offers, the discourse centred on AI’s capacity to cement consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

Several brands discussed how new-wave generative AI tools are taking customer service to the next level (in store, online and in new virtual reality commerce scenarios), providing ultra-personalised interactions at scale. From next-gen clienteling tech and dream-to-reality image generator search tools, via evolved chatbots and personalised offers, the discourse centred on AI’s capacity to cement consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

Summary

1: Mixed Reality & Generative AI Customer Service Upgrades

Several brands discussed how new-wave generative AI tools are taking customer service to the next level (in store, online and in new virtual reality commerce scenarios), providing ultra-personalised interactions at scale. From next-gen clienteling tech and dream-to-reality image generator search tools, via evolved chatbots and personalised offers, the discourse centred on AI’s capacity to cement consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

2: Capitalising on Next Gen User Generated Content (UGC)

Other speakers discussed how beyond big-name influencer endorsements (although these still have their place in the awareness ecosystem), word-of-mouth advocacy and exalted forms of UGC are evolving brand marketing. Several brands foregrounded their curated customer content to showcase how UGC can improve search rankings and that the customer voice/style is often the best sales tool.

3: Next-Level Pop-Culture Hijacks & Shoppable Video Content

Shoppable video content is far from new, but 54% of global consumers want more video from the brands they love, and 80% have shopped after seeing a video (see Key Stats). Several speakers acknowledged the appetite in discussing smart initiatives blending shoppable videos and entertainment moments, from hijacking pop culture (Walmart, American Eagle) to YouTube’s new affiliate network.

4: Physical Wow Moments to Captivate Gen Zers

A renewed focus on physical events and destinations to delight Gen Zers was another standout topic. While 95% of Gen Zers shop online, just as many (97%) head to the mall for in-person experiences (see Key Stats). Whether in shopping centres, on campuses, or at festivals, brands acknowledged the pulling power of real-life connections, both social and solidarity-centred.

Shoptalk US 2024: The Highlights

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Want to see the full report?

Offering access to over 350 consumer and cross-industry reports annually, Stylus Membership is your window to tomorrow’s most exciting opportunities.

We already arm more than 500 of the world’s most forward-thinking brands and agencies with the creative insights they need to make transformative business decisions.

We’d love to do the same for you.

Book a demo with us today to discover more.

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