Many people think of extremely futuristic tools in particular fields when they hear the term Artificial Intelligence. It seems to them as if this advanced technology is used only in areas familiar people cannot access. They could not be more wrong! AI is becoming increasingly integrated into every aspect of our lives, from the proliferation of self-checkout registers to sophisticated security measures in airports.
E-commerce is also a great example of a field that uses AI daily. Online shopping is all about using clever computer programs and learning tools to make things happen automatically and does even more cool stuff. We prepared this article to help you understand this topic better and see the great opportunities it offers.
The Growing Role of AI in E-commerce
According to a survey conducted by HubSpot, 63% of customers are unaware that they are using AI technologies. A cause of this could be the notion that AI is highly advanced and used only in particular fields, but it is false. It is quite the opposite. Artificial intelligence has become a part of many areas and has created new standards. For example, according to a report by Gartner, there has been a 270% increase in the number of businesses adopting AI over the past four years. Therefore, it is almost a new must in every industry.
E-commerce is no exception and it takes full advantage of AI. In the following text, we will present you with some of the most common yet innovative examples.
Trends in AI ecommerce
Artifical inteligesnce is an extremely fast evolving technology and its features and new development emerge constantly. To keep up with with the changes and be above your competition its always good to know the ongoing tends in the area. To help you out we gathered some of the most important ones here:
Personalization is a significant aspect of the eCommerce industry that involves tailoring the shopping experience to match the individual customer’s preferences, needs, tastes, and pain points. This personalized shopping experience can be achieved by displaying recently viewed products, creating personalized recommendations and product lists, or running automated customized email campaigns.
In other words, personalization is a strategy that customizes the online shopping experience by displaying relevant content, such as campaigns, brands, product descriptions, pricing strategies or products, to customers based on their purchase history, browsing behaviour, and click-through.
While personalization has been a part of the eCommerce industry before the advent of AI, the implementation of artificial intelligence has enabled computers to analyze large amounts of consumer data in real time, leading to optimization and improved analytics. With personalized product recommendations, eCommerce companies and stores can take advantage of customers’ tendency to make impulse purchases and cross-sell or upsell products by suggesting different items at the checkout based on their preferred brands and categories. For instance, if a customer is browsing for iPhone cases on a website, the AI engine can send them a push notification on their mobile device about a flash sale for iPhone cases. The customer can then directly make the purchase on their phone, saving time and effort for both parties.
Another excellent example of AI usage in e-commerce is a customer-centric search that enables users to look for items with less effort. The search function on an eCommerce website is a vital tool for customers looking to purchase products. It is widely recognized that these customers are more likely to convert than those merely browsing. However, locating the exact product can be challenging, even when utilizing relevant keywords. As a result, customers often need help finding their desired item despite the use of search functionality.
AI technology is accessible to businesses and online retailers of all sizes and budgets, providing them a competitive advantage. For instance, Pinterest recently updated its Chrome extension, allowing users to choose an item from any online retailer or photograph and use image recognition software to find similar items on the platform.
New software platforms that power eCommerce websites are revolutionizing how shoppers approach online shopping, leading to a decline in impulse control. AI technology is facilitating this trend by offering innovative visual search capabilities that allow online shoppers to find matching products and complementary items based on factors such as size, color, shape, fabric, and brand. These software platforms can leverage uploaded imagery-generated customer data to provide shoppers with accurate and relevant search results.
Therefore, consumers no longer need to search for an item in the store to find something they wish to purchase. For example, they might see a dress or a pair of shoes worn by a friend or colleague, and AI technology enables them to locate similar items through e-commerce stores quickly. The visual capabilities of such software are impressive, making online shopping a more enjoyable and efficient sales process for experienced online shoppers.
Chatbots in ecommerce
AI technology integrated within chatbots for e-commerce capabilities is one of the use cases experiencing rapid growth. The objective is to enable individuals to purchase products via chatbots that can offer tailored purchase suggestions personalized recommendations. According to research, many people find chatbots useful and would like to continue using them in their next purchases.
Chatbots utilize natural language processing to interact with humans. They analyze the buyer’s request and use machine learning to identify the most suitable products or choices based on customer preferences and purchasing patterns. For instance, if a buyer requests snow boots, the chatbot can take customer feedback and suggest the highest-rated boots available from the company. Additionally, the chatbot can recommend wool socks to go with the boots since it knows that people who purchase boots also buy wool socks in previous purchases.
The HelloFresh chatbot is a compelling instance of an eCommerce chatbot that adopts an appealing persona. This chatbot, named Freddy, serves as a customer support representative who engages with customers to address their inquiries. Freddy imitates a real-life salesperson and customer interactions and enhances the overall customer experience. Addressing uncommon questions is the primary difficulty for rule-based chatbots, but the HelloFresh AI chatbot excels at resolving repetitive tasks and distinctive customer inquiries and queries.
All in all, an AI-powered e-commerce bot can function as a salesperson that is available round the clock to interact with customers on a one-to-many basis. This makes the sales bot omnipresent since it operates on the most popular social networks and messaging applications. E-commerce bots can provide customers with personalized purchasing experiences while expanding a business’s market reach. B2C companies selling consumer goods with a straightforward, repeatable selling cycle can easily benefit from e-commerce bots. Companies such as Springbot specialize in building e-commerce bots for businesses, so businesses don’t need to hire a developer to create a custom system. As machine learning programs become more sophisticated, e-commerce bots will likely be able to handle more complex queries from prospective buyers and help sell more extensive offerings.
Predictive analytics falls under the umbrella of big data and analytics. It refers to the use of intelligent technology to analyze both current and past data to identify patterns, dependencies between various factors, and insights from big data that can be used to make predictions about future outcomes.
This feature involves various methods, techniques, and tools, including data mining, data modeling, deep learning, machine learning, and AI algorithms. In contrast to traditional data analytics, which provides raw data, predictive analytics leverages these tools to identify future trends and provide insight into customer behavior and what actions should be taken. By transforming historical and current data into actionable insights, predictive analytics enables organizations to make informed decisions about future operations and marketing strategies.
Amazon is an example of a company that uses AI predictive analytics in e-commerce. Amazon uses AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data, valuable data such as online browsing habits, history and purchase behaviour, to make personalized product recommendations and offer targeted marketing campaigns.
Benefits of AI in E-commerce
AI can transform the e-commerce experience for both businesses and customers. It can help improve efficiency, reduce costs, and drive revenue growth. Although we have already mentioned some of the benefits in the section on how AI can enhance your business, here is a complete list with a few more:
- Personalized shopping experiences: AI-powered recommendation engines can suggest products to customers based on their browsing and purchase history and their demographic and behavioural data. This improves the likelihood of a sale, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.
- Dynamic pricing and inventory management: AI can optimize pricing and inventory management, allowing businesses to adjust prices and stock levels in real time based on demand and other factors. This can help enterprises to reduce costs and improve profitability.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: Chatbots and virtual assistants available 24/7 can help customers with everything from product recommendations to order tracking. This leads to an enhanced customer experience and can help increase sales and customer loyalty.
- Fraud detection and prevention: By detecting and preventing fraudulent transactions, businesses can protect themselves and their customers from financial losses and reputational damage.
- Enhanced search capabilities: AI-powered search algorithms can improve the accuracy and relevance of search results, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and sales.
Improved supply chain management: By optimizing supply chain management, businesses can reduce the risk of stockouts and delays and improve overall efficiency. This can help companies to reduce costs and improve profitability.
Getting Started with AI in E-commerce
Before jumping into implementing AI in e-commerce, businesses should consider several practical tips to get started. Here are some steps to take:
1. Identify the correct use cases:
Begin by identifying the areas of your e-commerce business that can benefit from AI. Focus on areas that can significantly impact customer experience, revenue growth, and efficiency gains. For example, product recommendations, chatbots for customer service, and dynamic pricing are famous AI use cases in e-commerce.
2. Select the right AI tools and technologies:
Once you’ve identified the use cases, you need to select the appropriate AI tools and technologies that align with your business objectives. Various AI tools are available, including machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and chatbot builders, to name a few.
3. Hire or train employees with the right skills:
Successful AI implementation requires a team with diverse skills, including data science, machine learning, and software engineering. Businesses can hire AI experts or train their existing employees to fill these roles.
While implementing AI in e-commerce can provide significant benefits, many ecommerce businesses may also face some common challenges, such as data privacy concerns for online user,, ethical issues, and the cost of AI implementation. Overcoming these challenges requires careful planning, monitoring, and continuous improvement of ai systems.
Businesses can get started with AI in e-commerce by identifying the proper use cases, sales processes, and customer expectations, selecting the right AI tools and technologies, and hiring or training employees with the right skills. By addressing common challenges and continuously improving AI implementation, businesses can realize the benefits of AI in e-commerce, including enhanced customer experience, revenue growth, and cost savings.
The Future of AI in E-commerce
Since the usage of AI holds many benefits and improves both the customer’s experience and business efficiency, it is no wonder that it has become a new standard. The more companies use it. It is crucial to differentiate your business from others. Therefore it is essential to keep up with emerging trends and new possibilities.
The popularity of smart voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant has skyrocketed, with nearly 32% of consumers in the US owning a smart speaker. This trend will continue, with an expected rise in the number of smart speaker users in the market and consumer demand in the coming years.
As AI voice assistant technology advances, we can expect these voice assistants to integrate more seamlessly with eCommerce platforms and mobile apps, providing users with a frictionless voice-enabled shopping experience. In addition, we can anticipate an increase in the number of voice assistants utilizing powerful language models and artificial intelligence, delivering more precise and personalized results to consumers.
AR allows e-commerce customers to preview products or experience services in their own environment and on their own time before purchasing. Using AR, your customers can preview products and be more likely to pick the right product the first time. The main features that is provides are:
- Virtual try-on solutions
- Preview placement
- Interactive user manuals
- Social media filters
It also helps with one of the biggest challenges that e-commerce store faces: the difficulty in presenting a physical, three-dimensional product in a virtual, two-dimensional environment. However, augmented reality (AR) technology can serve as a bridge between physical and online shopping by providing a more accurate representation of merchandise, giving consumers a better understanding of the product they intend to purchase. This can help many ecommerce businesses overcome the limitations of traditional e-commerce and provide customers with a more engaging and immersive shopping experience.
Here are a few more obstacles to online shopping that AR can help your company with:
- Increase customer engagement
- Reach new customers
- Reduce returns
AI and blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the e-commerce industry by improving security, trust, efficiency and efficient sales process. By combining these technologies, businesses can create a more seamless and transparent supply chain and improve customer experience and satisfaction.
To achieve these benefits, retail e-commerce businesses can take the following actions:
- Implement blockchain technology to create a secure and transparent supply chain.
- Use AI to personalize the customer experience and make more accurate product recommendations.
- Leverage blockchain and AI to improve payment processing and fraud detection.
- Utilize AI-powered chatbots to provide 24/7 customer support and improve response times.
- Implement smart contracts to automate and streamline business processes.
These steps allow e-commerce businesses to stay ahead of the curve and improve their operations and bottom line.
In conclusion, AI technology is a great new improvement for e-commerce businesses. It can be used to enhance the customers experience as well as it can bring many improvements to the company such as better efficiency or cost reduction.
To say ahead of your competition, following the lattes trends that will lead the new boosts in this field is good. Nonetheless, we know it is hard to constantly keep up with the changes and grasp the evolving concepts yourself. Therefore, it’s always good to look for the assistance of experts in implementing AI technologies into your business. Contact SolveQ to help your e-commerce business grow and strive!