AI in Ecommerce

Artificial intelligence (AI) is such a common phenomenon and so intrinsically connected to our daily lives in this modern day and age, there is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of it. How we can apply it in the world of ecommerce, and recent trends in AI, are the caveat of this article.

It is an accepted fact now that artificial intelligence is THE next big thing with predictions of over 85% customer interactions to be managed without a human by 2020, catalysed by Google and Microsoft already investing actively into AI initiatives. Some upcoming trends pertaining to AI in the world of ecommerce are illustrated below.

Customer-centric search

Making e-commerce search engines more customer-centric and responsive to the way humans think helps improve sales as well as user experience. Often, consumers are dissatisfied and leave e-retail platforms midway, when they find an increasing number of products that are irrelevant to their original search.

This can be tackled by adopting natural language processing to zero in on and contextualising the search results for online shoppers. Image and video recognition can also be utilised to make the customer experience smoother and much more convenient. The novelty of visual search capabilities further lures shoppers and helps them find exactly what they are looking for and other relevant complementary ones based on colour, size, fabric, brand, etc.

Retargeting potential customers

Ill-managed customer data and the possibility of human error have resulted in, according to statistics, at least 33% of market leads being discarded and not followed up on by the sales team. AI can definitely help in this situation. The customer’s shopping experience can be much enhanced with the help of facial recognition, taking note of consumer’s dwell times, activity, etc. and creating a database out of it.

Efficient customer relationship management

Sales messages and problem-solving solutions have the maximum impact on the consumer if they are put out at the right time and from the right media platform. Integrating natural language learning and voice input through AI systems can help Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to identify and solve problems, and answer customer queries much faster and more efficiently.

Chatbots

As AI technology is evolving and becoming more sophisticated, so are the techniques adopted by e-commerce retailers in capturing attention. AI capabilities have been integrated to develop ‘conversational commerce’. With the conflux of visual, audio, written and predictive capabilities, retailers are constantly trying to one-up each other in a bid to keep up with the rising needs and demands of the consumers.

‘Chatbots’ have been created by incorporating artificial intelligence to simulate a conversation with the consumers online, opening up the avenue of ‘conversational commerce’. Chatbots can help make the ordering process as well as customer service almost entirely automated and cut down on the costs at the same time.

Virtual personal shoppers

The concept of personal shoppers to help consumers shop online is a relatively new development. Combining the benefits of in-store attendants who help a customer find their perfect fit while clarifying all their queries, as well as the comfort of just adding items to your cart in an online shopping platform from the comforts of your bed, virtual personal shoppers are your best bet!

Though due to its novelty, the system does have its issues, including the lengthy registration process, ticking of many boxes, and providing a bunch of keywords, to make the most of it. Flipkart, Macy’s, Amazon, have all come up with or tried to come up with, solutions overcome this roadblock, focusing on their “user-to-seller” chat application and refining it further.

Artificial intelligence is no doubt taking the world of e-commerce by storm- gradually changing the dynamics of the retailer-consumer relationship beyond recognition, where the majority of the business is conducted through an AI intermediary.

Overall, the introduction of AI has made the functioning e-commerce platforms much smoother, boosting the satisfaction of both retailer and consumer, and optimising the interfaces to harness maximum productivity and satisfaction.

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