You are sitting at your favorite coffee shop, sipping away your lip-smacking cuppa of beverage. Your thumb-twiddling and scrolling through hoodies and sweatshirts in Google.
You remember an order that is about to arrive today on Amazon and go over the app to check the delivery status. And surprise, surprise - you get hoodies and sweatshirts suggestions!
Pretty convenient, huh?
Well, you can thank the AI in the ecommerce industry for that!
As COVID-19 envelopes the globe in its germ-threatening vibes, the world seems to get more inclined towards online shopping. This ensures the health safety standards and tips the convenience quotient. With this increased preference for online shopping platforms, the market volume of e-commerce is expected to reach 4479 billion USD by 2021.
However, as time progresses the online retail has come a long way - the use of voice search, AI, and drones in the platforms has spiked the user experience. As user-centric logic comes to the core, e-commerce owners are becoming all about implementing technologies that would let them lead the rat-race. What better than go for the ultimate tech-implementation, a.k.a Artificial Intelligence?
Well, with 2020 bringing e-commerce into a far better focus, 2021 will be no different. From spices to footwear, everything is going to go online. So, if you are an owner or a user, you better get to the depth of this AI in the ecommerce industry!
AI and E-Commerce in 2021
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that e-commerce is at its golden era in this 2020-21 span. This is the future and needlessly to say is offering innumerable opportunities to both the owners and the consumers. As offline stores go online, they are looking for leverages that would get them to the zenith of success in their genre of business. AI will be the ultimate solution for them.
So, now let's get to the ‘what;’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of the benefits of artificial intelligence in eCommerce, shall we?
1. The What
When we say AI in eCommerce industry, what do we mean by that?
Well, to answer that, let’s say, this is about -
AI-enabled robotic warehouse “pickers”
Voice-enabled shopping assistants
Profile building of potential customers
Image and video recognition for advertisements
Robots used for product information and in-store product location
Personalized e-commerce shopping experiences
Facial recognition payment methods
2. The Why
To be straight to the point, this era is all about personalization. Customized merchandise is the call of the day. As client segmentation surfaces, e-commerce merchants via Big Data and AI Landscape are being pushed to offer goods that speak to the client’s interests.
However, this requires gathering data that provides insights into the clients’ preferences. The easiest way ahead would be with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence. This e-commerce strategy is all that matters now, especially with all the voice search elements being introduced across social media platforms and online shopping sites. Additionally, this trend is all about -
I) Targeted eCommerce
When it comes to targeted advertising, AI will be your trump card. AI and machine learning in eCommerce work with its full potential to improve the targeted advertising and work with precise data collection to render boosted sales.
They will be targeting and retargeting the suitable clientele and forecast the demand for our products and services accurately. They might also forecast precisely what kind of goods the clients will lean towards in the future.
II) The impact of voice search
As smart assistants present consumers with more convenience, the number of mobile searches over voice commands is on a steep ride. E-commerce is not far behind in this trend.
The AI powered eCommerce in voice search assistants and apps are bringing in new perspectives in the online shopping realm. As merchants, you might also want to consider that this will propel your branding endeavors and creative marketing campaigns.
III) Enhanced Search
Enhanced search techniques are all about gathering a precise understanding of the user intent and offering them exactly what your targeted audience wants. With customer centrism fueled by AI, human-thinking is in the landscape and hence, comes the use of video recognition and advanced images along with NLP tools. The result - constantly improvised and contextualized search results for clients.
IV) Reduce Cart Abandonment
An e-commerce merchant’s worst nightmare - abandoned carts! With AI on your side, the customer experience is refined to a point where cart abandonment rates will be going down considerably.
Tools to track the digital intent of clients
To push suitable promotional messages
-you have a shot at guiding your clients towards their preferred products and services in a way that second thoughts about the purchase will no longer be a hurdle at all.
3. The How
Well AI in the ecommerce industry gives an edge - we agree. But, please understand this, that you are not alone in this ride. With competitors breathing down your neck, clients have got picky. The platforms that offer pristine client experience will be the only ones staying in for the race.
So, you might want to start taking notes on the ‘how’ of implementing AI into your e-commerce platform. Better still, you can approach a pro eCommerce website development company to help you out with this ‘how’ part.
I) Create a new level of personalization across multiple devices
This decade, your business is at the mercy of personalization - establishing a better client-brand relation and creating an empathizing towards your targeted audience’s purchase intent.
With AI driving your e-commerce the personalization will be multi-channel, thereby increasing the touchpoints for clients to complete their purchase. AI will be succeeding at this by analyzing the way clients interact online.
The AI engine monitors all devices and channels irrespective of whether it’s an app, email campaign, or sites and hence create a global view of users. This ensures a seamless client experience.
II) Introduce virtual personal shoppers
While virtual assistants are an established reality in the case of AI-laced e-commerce sites and apps, the merchants are eager to introduce their newest tech-member or eCommerce Trend - the ‘personal shoppers’. The target of this tech is to offer assistance to clients online that ensures direct engagement of conversation with the shop assistants.
The shoppers are eager to help our clients with the particulars of an item that extends to color or size.
Think of this, you need not rush to the offline store, considering that you have run out of ground coffee powder. All you do is beckon your Alexa, it conducts a voice pattern and processes the order. What can be more personal about the shopping experience?
From ‘Ping’ to ‘Mona’, the virtual shopping assistants by various e-commerce platforms have undergone substantial changes that cater to the evolving client requirements. This brings into focus the
a. Simplification of mobile shopping and
b. Offering consumers the most relevant products and deals that are customized to their preferences.
III) Create customer-centric search
For a client-centric search, you would need to look into reaping the benefits of video recognition and advanced images. With leveraged machine learning, the AI software lining your online shopping site/app will be automatically organizing, tagging, and visually searching content via the labeled features in the video or the images.
It will be best if you can put into use this new model with your contemporary model to browse media assets. For the latter, you will be banking on visual similarity and/or keyword tags.
IV) Improve recommendations for customers
Accurate recommendations of merchandise have a lot to do with the purchase intention of consumers and therefore form a crucial part of a brand’s sales turnover. The best way to go forward with this would be to take the help of AI that would help companies intelligently scan through volumes of data.
With such scanned data, organizations have a shot at providing relevant recommendations to their targeted audience, catering to them individually. This is all about ‘hyper-personalization’ where the AI handles gargantuan amounts of data from the user activities on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
V) Bridge the gap between personalization and privacy
Personalization and privacy are an intricately woven spider’s web that often seems to cross paths. As the concern for user privacy gets spiked, it becomes difficult to enhance the personalization.
To resolve this hurdle, organizations are striving to ensure that they boost their transparency, honesty, and security to a benchmark-level. The issue here is that brands must achieve transparency keeping their personalization quotient intact.
While user data is crucial to customization on behalf of AI-driven, they require the incentive of gaining something valuable in return. From offering access to the Google Now account that would sync search intent, calendars, and emails, to let Alexa help with daily chores or day-to-day routine.
The return that users gain from offering personal details to AI-driven sites is the enhanced client experience irrespective of if they are physically browsing the online shopping platforms. And that’s how the use of AI in ecommerce bridges the abyss between user personalization and privacy.
VI) Create a more efficient sales process
Heard about cold-calling and the trusted Yellow pages?
Well, we all have because we are way past the archaic sales techniques! With TV adverts, social media, and other such media influencing the lives of your targeted clients, opportunities have widened.
So, how does AI come into this pointer? It’s fairly easy - integrate AI into your CRM to customize the problem-resolving solutions that offer a strengthened sales message. As AI systems come with natural language learning and voice input, your CRM will have a fair shot at identifying new sales channels, answering client queries, and even multi-task all these functions.
VII) Provide a personal touch with chatbots
The target, it seems, has changed for the e-commerce merchants. They no longer are targeting the mass market, it is all about building experiences for each client. This sudden change of focus can be attributed to the existence of multiple touchpoints and influences for each client that generates their purchase.
And hence, came the need for ‘conversational commerce’ to capture the attention of AI abilities. This demanded a confluence of vocal, predictive, visual, and written capabilities that was completely achieved over the implementation of ecommerce AI chatbot.
This low-cost procedure of offering client service is steadily becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity considering its diverse potential ranging from providing instant online support to confirming orders.
VIII) Retarget potential customers
Let’s say you should not be taking your existing clients for granted!
While the sales team fails to follow up with an estimated 33% of marketing leads, their pre-qualified leads slip away and become a blow to their ROI. However, as easy as it is to state that you need to follow up, the unmanageable volume of client data is a hurdle.
We say, befriend AI!
Use facial recognition for capturing the dwell times of your clients in the physical stores. This is how omnichannel retailers are making significant advances in their remarketing endeavors.
IX) Implement virtual assistants
“Excuse me, where is the aisle for garment detergents?”
Well, it seems that your offline store support staff now has a very efficient online counterpart, a.k.a, cloud-based AI software agents! The usual list of candidates started with the smart assistants. However, now they have undergone considerable evolution.
For the updated versions, we are looking at virtual assistants that are specifically equipped in NLP and ML to interpret anything that consumers are either conveying via texts or words. Needless to say, this is having a significant impact on client purchase and is, therefore, paving the way and scopes for the e-commerce merchants.
X) Build an ‘assortment intelligence’ tool
As e-commerce becomes a more competitive platform, clients are influencing merchants to vary their pricing approaches. Merchants need to be flexible enough to accept such price variations considering how this will help them retain their clients.
To ensure this, retailers are resorting to assortment intelligence. Such AI tools for ecommerce will help them gain 24*7 valuable insights and visibility into the product assortment of their competitors.
So, how does AI help them out with this?
AI in ecommerce industry will help businesses
a. Supervise the product assortment of the competitors.
b. Go ahead with the segmentation of brands and products and the overlap percentage.
c. Swiftly tune product pricing and mix with precision.
In a nutshell, what will AI in ecommerce industry do for you?
Let’s just say that your consumers will be having a tough time not checking out with all of their cart items. And they won’t be able to stop adding on to their carts. As their salaries drop in, they will be waiting to check out with all those intelligence-driven suggestions that your e-commerce platform will be offering.
The perfect sales employee for you, sans the monthly salary drawing - what could you want more?