Years back, the world was completely unaware of the success of AI in the eCommerce industry. Undoubtedly, applications of AI have embedded themselves into our businesses and lives in a wide range of ways. Businesses can not only make faster decisions but also automate and optimize operations to drive better business outcomes.
Having said that, global eCommerce sales are anticipated to reach $4.88 trillion in 2021. Moreover, the global Pandemic has changed the way people shop, which uplifted the demand for online shopping even more. As it meets consumer needs without any physical restraints whatsoever.
Returning to what we call “normal” will most likely occur later in the year — since consumer behaviors have drastically shifted from physical to digital. AND maybe things won’t change at all.
The shift we have been in may not be irreversible because digital transformation is all about saving time and money while eliminating geographical boundaries. On the other hand, eCommerce is assisting social distancing policies while facilitating economic revival in the country.
Therefore, eCommerce industries increasingly move towards AI initiatives (vocaldotmedia/futurism) to improve the entire customer experience. There are a finite number of things AI can do single-handedly. From managing hundreds of online sale orders every day to processing transactions, opportunities to leverage AI are endless.
AI not only assists and compliments the people involved in business but also speeds up processes to avoid customer drop-off rates.
The Rapid Advancement of AI systems
Among other industries, AI has greatly impacted the eCommerce sector. Retailers have started to integrate the power of Artificial Intelligence with their marketing campaigns and strategies, consequently making marketing efforts more efficient, thus optimizing business performance.
AI was the only missing ingredient to get a higher ROI in the retail industry.
Online businesses were using intelligent automation to improve efficiency and reduce costs, initially. But now, AI is introducing newer ways of doing business online. AI now has the capabilities to increase operational agility, improve decision-making processes, and enhance the customer experience.
Enhancing customer experience is the future of the eCommerce industry — it depends on better customer experiences. Also, eCommerce is reaping the benefits of automation by providing customized shopping recommendations and personalization options.
To survive in the era of competition and constant digitization, businesses need to use technological advancements to deliver unmatched customer service.
Benefits of AI in the eCommerce Industry
- Enhances user experience along with products
- It helps customers and companies make better decisions
- Marketing and workflow automation
- Optimizes company processes
- Assists in identifying competition and new markets
AI in eCommerce: The Possibilities are Endless
Apart from personalization and recommendations, AI-powered chatbots and predictive analysis are also making a difference. AI in the eCommerce industry allows online businesses to understand customer buying patterns and how they engage with your products.
Smart analytics help businesses to identify the competition and the best way forward. Over 80% of executives in the retail industry expect their companies to utilize intelligent automation applications in 2021.
It’s finally time for online businesses to embrace AI to strengthen their positions in today’s competitive marketplace. So let’s see how AI is reshaping the eCommerce industry.
1. Personalization for better customer experience
Personalization is one of the most powerful ways to influence consumer behaviors. But it used to require much more effort on behalf of the company in previous years. But now, the availability and advancement of AI coupled with marketing automation have given rise to sophisticated market segmentation, which is less costly and faster to implement.
How can AI improve your personalization strategy?
Smart machines can now profile and classify customers based on the data they passively or actively input or provide through digital platforms, known as digital footprints, which are now named personalization.
Personalization, on the other hand, is directly related to the relevance of the content. Based on customer data and past purchases, eCommerce platforms can run retargeting marketing campaigns. Now, this relationship of behavior analytics and automation is termed as digital nudging, which as a result, can help businesses to redefine or reframe their services.
The access to consumer data helps companies create personalized experiences, from product suggestions to promotions which enhances the sales cycle and the revenues altogether. Artificial Intelligence understands customer shopping preferences. Say, for example, if a customer has spent a noticeable amount of time on a pair of jeans, this information will be stored.
Next time they may receive a push notification on their handheld devices, informing them about the sale for the same product category. From there, customers can directly make a purchase, saving time and long processes.
Benefits of providing personalized product recommendations
- Increases the number of returning customers.
- More customer retention and conversion rates.
- Offering a personalized shopping experience.
- Ability to send personalized email campaigns.
2. AI-driven chatbots for Conversational Commerce
A wave of technologies has changed how consumers expect to interact with businesses. eCommerce is all about building relationships and experience within the existing and potential customer base. Therefore AI chatbots are the new normal. Undoubtedly, businesses are fast adapting AI chatbots to improve how they engage with their customers. Chatbots are becoming a necessity for transforming the customer experience.
There are many ways in which chatbots can revolutionize the online business landscape.
- Chatbots in eCommerce can provide round-the-clock customer support.
- They also help businesses save operational costs.
- They are great with customer interaction and keeping them engaged on the website.
- Conversational bots save customer’s time by providing instant solutions.
- They are highly scalable to meet the demands of growing businesses which brings in more productivity and customer satisfaction.
- Help discover products according to their preferences.
- They act as your concierge or personal virtual assistants.
Consumer needs are rapidly evolving; intuitive AI chatbots are helping companies keep up with the shifting demands.
Apart from providing top-notch customer service, AI is enhancing eCommerce through:
- Natural language processing (or NLP) to interpret voice-based communication with customers.
- Problem-solving techniques to offer better solutions.
- Self-learning abilities improve with every customer interaction.
Chatbots are a way of driving the conversation with consumers to complement conversational commerce. They are not only efficient and but, according to research, they will also save over $8 billion for businesses each year by 2022. Therefore, many retailers will be taking advantage of such an opportunity in the coming years.
One of the many Chatbot use- cases
Businesses can integrate chatbots with their shopping carts. It has a great deal of potential as it can retrieve product details and quantity that consumers ordered. This way, a chatbot may be able to provide accurate promotions and information to customers the next time they land on your online store. Chatbots are becoming quite popular in the travel and tourism industry as well and are one of the prominent mobile app development trends (invozonedotcom) of 2021.
3. Facilitating voice search
How many websites do we see that are facilitating the functionality of voice search? Not many, I am guessing. But surprisingly, Voice-based shopping is expected to reach $40 billion by the year 2022. Therefore, Artificial Intelligence, with the help of speech recognition, is going to revolutionize online shopping.
As it is not only convenient but exciting too. Some of the biggest giants, such as Google and Amazon, are increasingly opting for voice assistants to assist customers worldwide. They are also adopting multilingual approaches to broaden their horizons. The application of voice search is not limited to playing songs or checking weather updates. Voice search practices are also making searching and confirming purchases easier, offering accuracy and convenience.
Voice search is a game-changing innovation that will offer an amazing customer experience in the future.
Deep learning can effectively convert speech to text, offering accurate results, enhancing the web search experience.
Through intelligent algorithms and data patterns, voice search is redefining the online shopping experience. Additionally, voice search is expected to become more engaging and communicative in the coming years with advanced AI technology.
The scope of AI-driven eCommerce for Marketers
Ultimately, AI is bound to improve our online shopping platforms. It can help marketers to design data-driven campaigns that are actually relevant to consumers based on their interests and search results which could boost profitability rates for retailers.
Through AI predictive analytics, marketers can predict what customers will be more likely to buy in the future, products they are least interested in, devices or channels they prefer for online shopping, the price brackets. Based on these patterns, targeting customers through marketing initiatives can be implemented. Moreover, marketers can scale their marketing efforts altogether.
The bottom line
AI in the eCommerce industry plays a massive role in bringing in innovative solutions and better customer experiences. Personalized shopping and product recommendations, chatbots and virtual assistants, and voice search are some of the most talked-about use cases of artificial intelligence in eCommerce. But the list doesn’t end here.
All the more reason why eCommerce businesses should consider AI applications for better results as it enables them to become more customer-centric in their approaches. Because at the end of the day, customers can make or break your business.
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