Keeping up with the incredibly fast paced technological advancements that come up every other day, is almost second nature to most industries.
Mostly because they are afraid to end up last in the ongoing rat race or just plain competition to stay ahead and make a dent in the market.
The ecommerce industry is no exception to this either.
This particular industry has had a slew of changes that mainly revolve around introducing and implementing AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning to upscale the services, products and the processes in their entirety.
Let’s take a quick look at some facts that substantiate the statement above
- According to Gartner, about 80% of the customer interactions in the Ecommerce industry will be primarily handled by Artificial Intelligence
- According to Statista the rise in sales from 2014 to 2021 has been greatly affected by the use of AI and machine learning.
- According to a paper published by IRJET (International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology), it states that by 2021 the popularity in using voice search is would increase Ecommerce revenue by 30 %.
With that said…
Here’s how AI will affect Ecommerce
#1 Chatbot assistance
Industrial sources suggest that 48% of consumers prefer connecting with Ecommerce businesses through live chat. Why? Because their ability to deliver constant support (24/7) and quick responses has driven almost 27% of the consumers to buy products online with their help and assistance.
In addition, they communicate in an engaging tone which replicate the human experience so that a physical staff member doesn’t have to
#2 Decrease cart abandonment
Abandoned carts are one of the most dreaded situations in the ecommerce industry, or atleast they were until AI began to become increasingly integrated into the system.
Fortunately, by analyzing customer data, purchasing patterns, the AI technology is able to convert these carts by sending personalized emails right to the customers’ inbox in an attempt to get them to make a purchase.
The emails are usually tailored to fit the said customer’s preferences, sales and offers that give out a sense of exclusivity.
#3 Using recommendations to the maximum potential
When a customer checks into a website to buy a certain product, the respective ecommerce business will have their data collected and stored in the backend. This will later be used by AI to analyze the clients’ behavior according to their search history and use it to on recommending similar products to them later on.
This will later be used to retarget customers, which will then help with augmenting additional sales. Typically, the recommendations are projected at the top of the customer’s dashboard on the website.
#4 Inventory Management
An ecommerce business relies heavily on its product inventory. Three are stocks, warehouse lists and other essentials to take care of, which can sometimes be disrupted due to human error, if one were to go the manual way. On the other hand, stockpiling the inventory can also increase the risk of the damages incurred and holding costs as well.
AI comes to play here, by alerting the staff when a certain inventory is below the given threshold and hence requiring less demand from personnel to keep track of the inventories themselves. This will also help business reduce operational costs than they did before.
Additionally, AI can also double up as warehouse automation technology. By this we means, quick delivery of products, accurate supervision of warehouse operations and more, that will essentially help build a better and positive brand image.
#5 Image and voice search
By now, you might already gotten a good taste of voice search on your cellphone on computer. With NLP (Natural Language Processing), a form of machine learning, AI recognizes a customer’s voice and the requests made. Presently, many ecommerce business are equipping themselves with voice and image searches to make themselves more accessible to the customers and coming off as technologically proficient firms.
Regarding image searches specifically, customers can share a picture of the product that they have been looking where, after which the AI will work its magic to get the product results immediately.
#6 Improved Search results
By providing personalized search options, Ai helps refine the results to meet the customer’s need of the hour.
Customer satisfaction here will be at an all time high because through deep learning and text analysis the current technology is always able to provide customers with what they have been looking for.
Infact, you can also go so far as saying that the results are accurate and extremely relevant top the customer’s demands.
Given the fact that each person is unique, it also goes without saying that we are also different in our tastes, preferences, wants, needs and demands. And sometimes businesses can find it very hard to keep up with this diverse database.
Fortunately for them however, they can make use of readily available AI technology that will analyze the customer’s purchasing history and behaviors. This will then later be broken down to provide personalized ads and offers that are relevant to a particular customer’s shopping demands.
AI also pops customer promotional content up on the user’s dashboard at the right timer and the right place so that they go unmissed.
#8 Effective and interactive sales process
The idea of sales and marketing isn’t nothing new. But what is, is how effectively they have been used to propel the ecommerce industry’s sales processes to the next level with AI.
As mentioned above, one of the ways they do that is by putting out personalized advertisements to entice the customers to buy a certain product of theirs.
Secondly, customers can pose questions and enquiries regarding a certain product and receive an immediate response (atleast within 24 hours) with a satisfactory answer.
#9 Resolving cybersecurity issues
If you run a business (ecommerce or not) you would have had your fair share of experience with an onslaught if fake reviews that can prove to be detrimental to your brand’s outlook.
AI in this matter, fight auto surfing and questionable posting methods thus aiding in filtering fake reviews and promoting positive buying decisions from the customer.
With more ecommerce businesses cropping up every single day, chances are that their use of AI will drive the technology to advance and cater to resolving other problems that haven’t been addressed currently. Either way, this would be something to look forward to in the future.