• News
  • People
  • Long Read
  • Opinion
  • Weekend Wrap


AI and AR can help make the customer experience more personal

Artificial intelligence and augmented reality can be used to change and improve how we shop online.


Artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are great tools for improving our online shopping experience. But all companies that tap into AI and AR should hold data privacy, inclusivity, transparency and trust as key values. This is where Finland and the Nordics excel, writes Kimberly Oguilve.

Today AI (artificial intelligence) is used across all industries: construction, gaming, advertising, agriculture, retail and many others. In particular, the retail beauty sectorhas been receptive to using AI to change how consumers and businesses build relationships. However, to build world-class digital consumer experiences, we’ll need a lot of focus on data privacy, transparency, inclusivity and trust. These values are required to create the best user-centred products and services powered by AI and AR (augmented reality).

This is where the Nordics excel. A recent report on the state of Nordic AI underlines the Nordics as a region that prioritises human wellbeing and has a unified take on the ethical use of AI. A case in example is Finland. According to the AI Readiness Index 2020, Finland scores high in accountability, privacy, transparency and inclusivity when building AI-powered products and services. These values are crucial when using AI to create user-centred products and services.

Finland is a global leader in AI readiness, according to Oxford Insights. Image: Screenshot Oxford Insights

AI and AR can make the customer experience personal by giving businesses a clear and detailed image of their customers. It can also help the customers to find what is right for them. But to help them find what’s right for them, businesses need to rethink their data-gathering processes. As Tatu Kuivalahti, CEO and co-founder of Custobar, highlights, merchants must strive to identify individual consumers at the earliest possible stage in the buying path. Yet today, most companies don’t go beyond gathering your typical web analytics, thus missing out on details on how customers behave when they buy.

Artificial intelligence and augmented reality can be used to change and improve how we shop online. Image: Revieve

However, if companies want to go a step further, enabling AI-powered personalisation in the customer journey can help to deliver consumers precisely what they need at that exact moment. This could be content, products and service recommendations tailored to the customer’s wants and preferences. As Matthaus Bognar, head of global enterprise and business development at Nosto, puts it, one of the biggest mistakes they see companies making is to build things they think their customers want. This shouldn’t be the case when AI today allows companies to easily collect and analyse customer data to personalise their offerings.

“Finland scores high in accountability, privacy, transparency, and inclusivity when building AI-powered products and services.”

Another technology that, combined with AI, can make the customer experience even more personal is AR. It’s a technology used to help consumers to try on and visualise what a product would look like on them or in some other environment like in their homes. AI-powered personalisation can be, for example, combined with virtual try-on of products in beauty and wellness.

However, for the customer experience to get truly personal, companies must gather loads of user data. When data collection is involved, Finnish AI companies should bank on Finland’s brand of being a leading AI player known for its responsible use of AI. The values that dictate how this nation builds tech companies can become Finland’s winning strategy to ensure that customer experience technologies are made for everyone and have the highest degree of privacy for the user.

Kimberly Oguilve
Brand Communications Manager, Revieve