Twitter LinkedIn

How generative AI will influence websites and digital customer experience

  • By 3chillies

Following the release of ChatGPT late last year, 2023 may just well be remembered as the year that we all obsessed about generative AI and the impact that it’s going to have on various aspects of life, including the future of work, how we consume information, our interaction with technology and – well – even the very future existence of the human race! It continues to receive huge amounts of attention in the media and many businesses are still trying to work out the best way to leverage its power.

At the moment it remains difficult to predict what the full impact will be, especially as things continue to move very quickly in the AI world – just look at what’s been occurring at OpenAI in the past weeks! While it’s still early days, it’s clear that generative AI is going to have a significant impact and influence on the world of websites and digital customer experience (DCX) in several different ways. Some of these are already happening.

Below we list some of the ways we think that generative AI will influence and change websites and the world of DCX.

1. New features in digital experience platforms (DXPs) and content management systems (CMSs)

One of the more immediate impacts of the generative AI revolution has been the addition of AI-powered features of the technology we use, including the digital experience platforms (DXPs) and content management systems (CMSs) we use to build websites and carry out digital marketing. AI was already being used to a certain degree in these platforms – Sitecore has AI-powered personalisation for example – but the ability to create and improve content within generative AI from within a DXP or CMS has obvious value.

We’re already starting to see generative AI features being introduced or announced in some of the leading platforms. Sitecore recently announced a number of generative AI features that will enable marketers to:

  • Generate text and images within Sitecore Content Hub One
  • Edit and author content in the Sitecore Content Hub DAM
  • Deploy a more advanced search using AI
  • Leverage a visual search from within Content Hub to discover content and images.

  • But more AI features will be coming with Sitecore Chief Product Officer Dave O’Flanagan quoted as saying “this is only the first step to embed AI deep into our SaaS DXP”.

    Meanwhile Optimizely have launched a digital assistant called Opal that incorporates generative AI and is embedded across the platform and uses the GPT large language model (LLM).

    2. More AI-powered low-code no code solutions

    One of the directions of travel for software in the DXP and CMS space has been the creation of “no code low code” solutions and interfaces that empower marketing teams and other business users to achieve more without the involvement of developers and IT admins. In particular, these have been introduced to allow marketers to configure styles without necessarily needing to involve a front-end developer and even to start enabling some integrations, using out-of-the-box connectors.

    The introduction of generative AI potentially paves the way for even more sophisticated low code no code solutions that are driven by natural language prompts, allowing digital marketing teams to create stylings, enable simple integrations, create reports and more without the need to trouble their colleagues in IT or their digital agency.

    3. Content and image generation 

    Perhaps the most obvious impact of generative AI is its ability to create new content, both in terms of text and images. This arguably could have multiple benefits – saving busy web teams time, allowing more content generation to be pushed back into the business, reducing typos and grammatical errors, enabling easier translation into multiple languages and more. At the same time there are potential risks with the quality of content that can potentially be stripped of its uniqueness, tone of voice, humanity – in fact, most of the things that make brand-led content stand out. As more and more content get created, there could be a backlash against content which has obviously been generated by AI. At the same time, AI may well advance quickly to overcome some of these issues.

    Current issues around the use of generative AI – for example with errors caused when ChatGPT “hallucinates” and appears to make up facts – also mean there is a risk in relying on generative AI for content.  

    4. Impact on SEO

    There has been some speculation as to how ChatGPT and generative AI will impact SEO, and while the jury still seems out, it seems likely that it will see it evolve. Currently generative AI can be very useful in helping research keywords for improved SEO and can make suggestions to improve the SEO of text, although its accuracy can’t be guaranteed.

    Generative AI may also start to impact SEO in the future by:

  • Google changing its algorithm to deprioritise AI-generated content, although at the moment this doesn’t seem to be the case.
  • The need for SEO changing as more search is driven by generative AI rather than classic Google searching.

    5. Advanced personalization, intelligent analytics and smarter automation

    Digital marketing teams are always seeking to better understand their customers so they can deliver more relevant experiences and content, and get insights that can result in lead generation. They are also invariably interested in improving processes and increasing efficiency in marketing operations.

    Generative AI has the obvious power to process more data and produce greater insights about customers and their behaviour, for example enabling more advanced personalisation. There is also the potential to create more meaningful marketing automation at scale – for example generating personalised responses to customers. In particular, we suspect that any new generative AI features within a DXP for example will start to facilitate advanced personalization, smarter reporting and marketing automation – all based on prompts in natural language and all deployable at scale.

    6. Here come the chatbots

    Chatbots are already established on the digital customer experience landscape and are relatively common on websites. However, the results to date have been variable, and while there is more acceptance, they are not everyone’s cup of tea. Of course, generative AI and ChatGPT have taken the quality of conversational interfaces to a whole new level and have the potential to completely transform your average chatbot experience. We can expect to see far greater use of chatbots, driven both by the sophistication of the Large Language Models, but also customer acceptance and expectations shaped by using ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. Significantly improved chatbots will impact everything from search to resolving customer issues to providing tailored suggestions all using natural language; it may also impact DCX in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.

    Welcome to the generative AI rollercoaster

    Whether we like it or not, generative AI is here and it’s not going away. We think it will have a significant impact on websites and digital customer experience. We’ve only just started the journey and there are likely to be some unexpected bumps in the road. At the same time, AI has potentially many exciting ways to improve content, deliver intelligent automation and create new immersive customer experiences. This is certainly going to be an area to watch in 2024 and beyond!

    If you’d like to discuss AI and potential applications for your site, then get in touch!

    scroll back to the top of the current web page