I am a bit tired of hearing the same tired discussions on omnichannel in e-commerce conferences. Omnichannel was a thing in 2010 but now it is part of the hygene and best practice e-commerce companies are relying on artificial intelligence.
Using AI, businesses understand customers better, offer relevant products at the right time and through the right channel. AI also enables businesses identify competitors’ strategies by enabling faster and more reliable analytics. Business Insider predicts that 85% of customer interactions will be controlled without a human until 2020.
And how will AI change e-commerce? Here are the top use cases:
Improving product and pricing
An improved e-commerce product results in additional sales without new marketing activities.
Has it happened that just as you are browsing a product, a limited-time offer pops up on your screen. This can feel like the system reading your mind to prepare the right offer at the right time but it is essentially applied statistics.
A cool example in this category comes from Pinterest, the image sharing social network. Pinterest allows users to select an item from any online photo and then use Pinterest’s image recognition software to identify similar items.
pinterest visual search engine
Along with finding matching products, an AI system can provide shoppers complementary product recommendations based on product attributes like size, color, shape, fabric, or brand.
For more info, you can check out our dedicated section on visual e-commerce.
Improving customer experience results in higher revenues for e-commerce companies and personalization is one of the most important levers for personalization. To learn more, check out our detailed article on the topic:
Chatbots and voice assistants
Digital asistants like Siri and Alexa are playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives. Similar assistants and chatbots can offer your customer real-time answers for their questions, solve their problems and even identify cross-sell opportunities.
For example, North Face is piloting IBM Watson as a sales assistant. Watson asks customers question like “where you are going to wear this jacket?” or “which time do you choose to wear this jacket?”. After obtaining responses, the program generates targeted recommendations.
Answers to questions like “Which camera is better for indoor photography?” can reduce significant friction and encourage more customers to buy.
Review and forum moderation
Customer reviews became cornerstones of online shopping. Fake reviews can easily erode customer trust. Some e-commerce companies use AI to challenge with this issue commonly called “astroturfing”.
For instance, Amazon is fighting with “astroturfing” with AI. Amazon system ensures that prominence and weight of verified customer purchase reviews are boosted.
Fake products can negatively impact the consumer’s perception for the original company. Al can also help spot fake products. 3PM Marketplace Solution helps marketplace owners ensure that their merchants provide original products with the help of a self-learning algorithm.
Retaining and upgrading existing customers
Recommendation systems are probably the easiest way to turn AI capabilities into sales, that’s why companies have been investing in better recommendations since 2000s. To learn more, check out our detailed article on the topic:
Mintigo, a predictive marketing brand, offer AI solutions for marketing, sales and customer relationship management systems. As Chief Product Officer, Atul Kumar explains: We offer predictive intelligence and content-based sales strategies that help firms engage customers in an operative and effective way.”
For instance, Getty Images used Mintigo to obtain which companies use Getty Images pictures on their site and figure out which brands use Getty Images competitors’ images. With this intelligence, Getty Images understood its market share and started winning new businesses.
With so much potential, AI will be more impactful in e-commerce area in the coming years. If you don’t use some of the solutions we mentioned to power your business, this may be a good time to start that. Just let us know the area you are interested in and we can help you choose the right AI partner for your e-commerce business.