The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a massive shock to consumer loyalty. McKinsey’s latest research on customer attitudes and habits has revealed that 35 percent of United States consumers have tried a new brand since the crisis began while 77 percent have also tried new shopping behaviors, including new channels, stores, and brands. That same rate generally holds true for consumers surveyed all around the world during these trying times. A key driver in these shopping behaviors is personalization. A recent report by Deloitte reported that 1 in 5 consumers are willing to pay 20% more for a personalized or exclusive product and 46% of consumers say they are happy to wait longer to get their customized product or service.
Personalization in online shopping is nothing new, but real-time personalized offers based on artificial intelligence in a two-sided marketplace is the new wave of the future.
According to futurist and Forbes contributor Blake Morgan, consumers have come to expect an equal amount and effort toward personalization from companies of all sizes that they interact with. Consumer personalization efforts to build relationships and create better experiences can pay off with serious rewards for businesses and companies that don’t prioritize creating a tailored experience run the risk of getting left behind. According to a Survey conducted by Salesforce:
Right now especially with job uncertainty and financial strain on families, consumers, along with personalization need more purchasing power when they are choosing how to spend their money on things like food, gas and groceries. They are making buying decisions based on affordability and choosing to interact with businesses that are showing them that they understand their personal needs and are willing to reward their loyalty. The reality is that both customers AND brick-and-mortar businesses are weathering these very difficult times and both need to benefit from what is essentially a two-sided business relationship. People need more value for their dollar on everyday purchases and businesses need to generate profits to stay open.
On this episode, our guest Wayne Lin has been working for years to help consumers have personalized buying opportunities and get the most incentive possible from their decisions while helping businesses connect to valuable customers and profits. As Co-founder and COO of the company GetUpside, he has worked to help people get more value for their dollar on everyday purchases and to help businesses consolidate demand for their products and services by digitally personalizing brick-and-mortar business and connecting customers with local businesses that offer the best value on the things that they need. And he is doing something very right.
Just on the GetUpside platform alone, customer transactions have grown 1,700% in the last year. More than 26 million customer users with access to offers have earned tens of millions of dollars in cash back loyalty rewards from more than 20,000 merchants nation-wide, with over $1B in business running through the platform.
There is no shortage of predictions about how advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics will possibly see humans replaced in all kinds of jobs. Technological advances in artificial intelligence have certainly made it possible to use robotics and automate many jobs that previously could only be done by a human. Despite fears or questions about robots taking over, human brainpower will still be necessary. Realistically, instead of destroying entire jobs and creating completely new robot-led occupations AI and automation will most likely more change what activities people focus on in their work and perhaps share with AI-driven robots.
According to McKinsey, given currently demonstrated technologies, very few occupations—less than 5 percent—are candidates for full automation. However, almost every occupation has partial automation potential, and a proportion of its activities could be automated. McKinsey estimates that about half of all the activities people are paid to do in the world’s workforce could potentially be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. That amounts to almost $15 trillion in wages.
Depending on the job and the area of application, humans and robots can work together with varying degrees of collaboration. Industry calls this “human-robot collaboration.” This collaboration is defined as:
Coexistence: Humans and robots work in adjacent workspaces without safety fencing. They do not, however, share a common workspace and work independently of one another on different tasks.
Cooperation: In human-robot cooperation, humans and robots work in the same workspace. They work alternately on different tasks within a process. There is no direct interaction.
Collaboration: Humans and robots interact in a shared workspace. For example, the robot passes something to the human operator, or they simultaneously perform different tasks on the same work.
Today’s guests Laura Major and Julie Shah have dedicated their careers to this idea of advanced human-robot interaction.
Laura Major is CTO of Motional (previously Hyundai-Aptiv Autonomous Driving Joint Venture), where she leads the development of autonomous vehicles. Previously, she led the development of autonomous aerial vehicles at CyPhy Works and a division at Draper Laboratory. Major has been recognized as a national Society of Women Engineers Emerging Leader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Julie Shah is a roboticist at MIT and an associate dean of social and ethical responsibilities of computing. She directs the Interactive Robotics Group in the Schwarzman College of Computing at MIT. She was a Radcliffe fellow, has received an National Science Foundation Career Award, and has been named one of MIT Technology Review's "Innovators Under 35." She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
They have co-authored the book WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING ROBOTS, introducing us to the revolutionary idea of human-robot collaboration. They believe that next generation of robots won’t be limited to specific tasks like your Roomba and Alexa are right now. They will be able to drive on roads, deliver goods, stock shelves, and coordinate teams of nurses and doctors. These advanced machines will work with us, not just for us.