The only reason you haven’t heard about Artificial Intelligence is if you have been closed in a box or have your head buried under the sand. It is the biggest invention after mobile. It is not a hidden truth people are not always very welcoming to inventions. This was the case with artificial intelligence. People were afraid that machines will take over the world. But now they seem to be having difficulty spending a single day without it.
We are surrounded by AI-powered devices from smartphones to smart doors and security cameras to smart search in websites and mobile apps. Most of the business leaders believe that ecommerce is very crucial in the competitive business environment. Studies show that around 72% consider it an advantage for the business. Technology titans like Google, Microsoft are investing billions in the AI field to stay ahead of the competition.
Ecommerce is growing just as fast as the AI technology. The revenue of ecommerce is expected to reach $4.5 trillion. These figures have grown from rapidly out-growing the predictions. The integration of AI with ecommerce is probably the best thing that happened to the business. The use of AI in ecommerce and business range from smart self-checkout counters to smart searches to customer services al the way to marketing and inventory management. Ecommerce experts have predicted that by the year 2040, 95% of business will be conducted without humans. Leading businesses have already adopted AI technology to help them provide the best possible customer experience. The North Face, a renowned clothing brand has partnered with IBM Watson to provide world-class customer experience. The use of AI is helping ecommerce vendors in making decisions about products and marketing. As AI works automatically and reduces the interaction of human with interfaces directly reduces the ecommerce website maintenance costs.
Ecommerce is a customer-centric business form. The vendors in ecommerce don’t have the liberty of engaging with the customers as physical vendors do. They can’t help the customer in the process of finding a product by the assistance of a store boy. So the search feature of an ecommerce website must be efficient because in ecommerce if the customer can’t find the product they can’t buy it. AI-powered search featured work and think like humans. Auto-correct search features provide the user with suggestions based on their history and trends. This feature prolongs the session of the customer on the website increasing the chances of conversion.
The conversion rate of ecommerce websites is around 2-3%. One of the very big reasons is that people don’t get what they actually search. The AI-powered smart search features provide results closest to human expectation. Many of the smart search tools focus on utilizing natural languages to process user search and improve customer search results. These features provide extra product suggestions to customers matching their previous history increasing the chances of conversion.
Customer search is not confined to textual search anymore. Visual and audio search is also spreading like wildfire. Voice recognition is everywhere. Most of the consumers that use mobile are using virtual assistants. These features rely on voice recognition to provide assistance to customers. According to studies around 60% of the users that have voice assistance use it to make a purchase online. These purchases reached $1.8 billion in 2018 and it will reach $40 billion in the years to come. It is predicted that by the year 2020, 50% of searches will be through voice command. Websites like Pinterest offer image recognition where you can search with the help of images. These features provide results to the customer based on size, color, shape, brand, etc. The does have to surf the internet to find a product they liked somewhere on social media they can just drag and drop the image and find matching or same products.
If I say that AI-powered chatbots are the future of ecommerce customer service it would not be wrong. AI-powered chatbot with human supervision is the best customer service the vendor can offer to the customer. Ecommerce conversion is very much dependent on the customer service you offer to the customer. One of the main advantages of ecommerce is that people can have access to product and services anywhere and any time they want. Moreover, as ecommerce is a global market, people from different regions access ecommerce website at different time. But they will not take into consideration that you might be resting at the moment.
This is where AI chatbot come into play. These chatbots with the base guideline provided by the vendor can work 24/7 without a break. Another benefit of chatbots is that they minimize human error in customer service. The latest AI chatbots can sense the mood of the customer and change their behavior accordingly. This is not the limit of there capabilities these bots can process orders and inquiries. They are very helpful when managing return customers. Cart abandonment is a very major issue for ecommerce vendors. AI chatbots can be very helpful in this situation as well, asking the customer about the problem and try to solve it and log it for future use.
Ecommerce has become the goto plan for every business owner in the world because of the many benefits that come with it. That is the reason why more and more people are turning toward it. This is resulting in an increase in competition. Every ecommerce vendor is trying to provide advanced features to their customers in order to stay in the game. Moreover, shopping trends of online customers are changing in a matter of days. Young buyers change their preferences every day and it gets very difficult for the vendors to keep up.
AI integration with ecommerce websites provide the vendors with useful information and real-time insight to provide up to date services to customers. AI work with big data to provide information about customer preferences, search history, and previous purchases. These features help ecommerce vendors develop products and marketing strategy. AI technologies and tools have been used to predict upcoming trends, outcomes, and products.
Pricing is another very important decision in business. AI-based smart analysis and real-time insights have proven to be of great assistance to ecommerce business owners. AI apply countless approaches including cross-price elasticity, cross-promotional elasticity, halo relationships and numerous other forms of data to decide an optimum price to stand out you from the rest of the flock.
Automated Marketing and Personalization:
In ecommerce being visible means being successful. To achieve that a strong and productive marketing strategy is very important. Customers are always looking for a personalized experience. By providing a good and targeted message to customers with the right message at the right time ecommerce vendors can create a sense of personalization in the minds of the customer. Surveys have shown that people prefer product suggestion to come into their inbox instead of at every touch point causing irritation to the customers. Automated marketing provide useful suggestions about the new products to the customer depending on their previous history.
Automation with ecommerce is used to provide personalized customer experience. When the user logs in to their account or visits the website, a welcome message is displayed to the customer and a welcome back message whenever the customer logs back in after some time. AI systems help ecommerce vendors to provide a better loyalty program to the customers by sending them the new product suggestion and discount offers before everyone else.
Smart advertising tools provide cost-efficient advertising tools to vendors that offer extra features. These tools use language close to humans and give an intelligent analysis of customers based on responses. They involve pictures and likes from social media platforms to design a more accurate and compelling ad.
The biggest difference between a traditional and AI-powered inventory management system is that the traditional inventory management system is dumb. All that the traditional management systems can do is tell you what you have in the warehouse and what you used. The most it can do is print a report of the inventory.
AI-powered smart inventory management systems can do all of the functions that a traditional inventory management system does with an extension that it can tell you what you will need in the future depending on the products in the inventory and the data of sales. It can reorder the products from the suppliers or manufacturer without the extra help of the supervisor and inform the authorities of the order it placed.
There is no doubt about the fact that we can’t ignore the importance of AI whether in business or in real life. AI is not taking over the operations of the people, it is helping them perform these tasks in a better and convenient way. Ecommerce is a global market with billions of customers all across the world accessing your business at different times but you can’t be available for them all the time. That is where you will be needing the help of AI supported tools and technologies to run your business more smoothly and provide your customers with the best experience.