Product recommendations, the old 'people who like this...' statements are yesterdays tools, the future is AI driven predictions based on a understanding patterns from a wide range of data sources, historical purchase, product preferences, competitors, inventory add a little contextual data like weather, seasonal, topically info and you can see how predictive shopping could really make a big impact.
At the end of the day we all will buy things if they are more relevant to us and easier to buy. Now that the world is becoming more connected and data driven there is huge potential for retail in a world where the digital divide no longer exists.
When you are connect to your AI assistant who is constantly giving you ideas and recommendations, then when you are in a physical location and they know who you are and what you like the commerce all of a sudden is more and more relevant more than you have ever known.
However what must be kept at front of mind is the customer experience, throw in storytelling, spatial design, context and data from a number of sources and you have the ultimate commerce solution
Predictive retail involves inspiring consumers in different contexts — before, during, and after a purchase. Commerce is already becoming less of a deliberate activity than an organic part of how we experience daily life. It’s not just smartphones that make browsing and buying spontaneous; Amazon’s Dash buttons and Alexa-powered Echo device are enabling purchases in the home. You can hit the Tide Dash button in your laundry room when you see that you’re running low on detergent, ask Alexa to order your mom a bouquet of flowers when you remember that her birthday. The next generation of smart assistants and connected devices will learn from user habits and pick up on behavioral and environmental patterns in order to make these experiences more predictive. Devices like the Echo will access data from everyday interactions to predict specific opportunities for a transaction.