Electronic commerce or e-Commerce is a term used to define the transfer of information across the Internet. We can see the majority of e-Commerce sites are using shared hosting along with Shopify or WordPress. and Ranging from customer based retail sites to companies specializing in trading services and goods electronic commerce is, at the moment, one of the most critical aspects users should consider. Allowing us to electronically exchange products and services regardless of the conventional barriers of distance and time e-Commerce has seen a rapid growth over the past five years, and the success is not showing any stopping signs.
Because digital transactions have almost become a staple or a standard method of purchasing goods, leading firms have started to explore with artificial intelligence (AI) –in the hopes that they will be able to secure customer loyalty and further enhance their brand’s competitiveness. In fact, many personalized online experiences we see today are powered by AIs.
Why Use Artificial Intelligence?
This type of technology has been proven capable of letting e-Commerce websites recommend products and services which are tailored to individual needs and wants –using images and conversational language in the same way in which they would typically interact with a person.
Because AIs represent a new and improved way of personalizing a customer’s journey, they add incredible value to retailers and their end goal. In fact, research by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has shown that personalization strategies see sales gains of 6 to 10%. In other words, results point to the idea that AIs are capable of improving profitability in retail industries -adding around 59% more value to the goods and services people are interested in.
1. Create a more efficient sales process
Once upon a time, sales techniques involved dusting off your latest version of Yellow Pages and cold-calling potential clients possibly interested in your services. Fortunately, we have moved away from this type of sales process, but we are still heavily bombarded by ads from newspapers, TVs, or even social media.
Nonetheless, if you wish to tailor your problem-solving approach and create a strong message that can reach customers, then integrating AI into your CRM might be the ideal move. One example of a company that has understood the endless possibilities is the North Face. This large e-Commerce retailer makes use of an AI called Watson, which is designed to help online shoppers choose their perfect jacket. By using questions such as “when will you be using this jacket”, or “what climate conditions will you be in”, or “what is your favorite material”, the AI technology can ultimately scan through hundreds of products. Afterwards, it will come up with a list of matches –all based on real-time customer input and research criteria.
2. Improve recommendations for customers
Through the use of artificial intelligence, brands can scan through terabytes of data and ultimately predict customer behavior, offering useful recommendations to individual consumers. For example, Starbucks is one brand that has heavily relied on this technique, using previously gathered data to deliver personalized suggestions to its customer base (i.e., My Starbucks barista –for placing voice commanded orders). Similarly, Amazon can make strong recommendations based on your previous activities and similar purchases. Netflix follows the same trend, sending both TV and movies recommendations based on previously watched categories (i.e., drama, horror, or thriller).
The used algorithm is a complex combination of account information, third-party, data, purchase history, customer preferences, personal inputs, and contextual information. All these factors come together in helping AIs deliver even more personalized recommendations and messages to each customer.
3. Combat fake reviews
Online retailers will be the first to tell you about the painful reality of receiving counterfeit reviews that can damage their brand. It’s no surprise to find out that consumers are continually flooded with different products and ads, some of which they might not even want to know about. However, if you do have your eyes on the prize, chances are you will rely on word of mouth.
In other words, if your friend swears by a product, you will be more inclined to believe you will also have a positive experience –in many cases ending up buying that same product. In fact, according to research conducted by Dimensional Research, a staggering 90% of all participants revealed that reading online reviews is the primary determinant of whether they will purchase something or not. Similarly, 86% admitted that they would not buy an item following a wide range of adverse online review.
To help cut through the wide forest of fake reviews, AI is now equipped with an in-house learning system that boosts reviews marked as helpful by other users –reviewing several characteristics which could point to whether a review is fake news or sincerely trustworthy.
4. Make the most out of your store workers’ time
Some consumers simply prefer in-store experiences, and there is nothing wrong it that. Nonetheless, brands need to be adaptive and create or replicate the same helpful expertise that you might have online.
A primary example is Lowe, a home improvement store that introduced the first autonomous robot designed to help customers with their overall experience –back in 2014. Named LoweBot, the friendly and intuitive AI was able to greet customers at the door, afterward guiding them through the store and helping the pick relevant products that they wanted, even letting them knock about stock available and future ordering dates. Although this may seem counter-intuitive and lacking a personal touch to the overall shopping experience, it offers store workers the options of freeing up their time instead of waiting for a customer to enter the store. In this way, the more experienced staff can engage in more meaningful interactions with those already present in the store or those requiring particular attention.
There is no doubt that AIs have already had a significant impact on e-Commerce and the way the retails industry works. With the sales process having evolved, AIs are a means of ensuring that consumers will no longer be offered services or products that are not relevant to their needs or wants –changing the way we view direct interactions, enabling us to harness employees’ talent for better use, and ramping up your revenue!