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Data-powered solutions

How will AI impact the e-commerce industry?

Irina Linnik
AI
© Shutterstock / grapestock

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing many industries, including e-commerce. This article examines some of the biggest trends in e-commerce that have appeared thanks to the growing use of AI technologies. Using these technologies can set your enterprise ahead of the competition and give you the edge you need.

E-commerce, one of the biggest industries in the world, sees major changes due to the advancement of technology. Artificial Intelligence, in particular, led to changes not only in the manufacturing processes but in customers’ expectations as well. Modern customers crave lightning-fast and personalized services – and AI can help e-commerce keep up with these demands.

In this article, we’ll have a look at the biggest trends that appeared in e-commerce thanks to the development and growing popularity of AI.

Smart virtual assistants

As mentioned above, shoppers love personalized services.

In fact, they love them so much they are ready to wait more time for a personalized product or share some personal information in exchange for the personalized offer. This is where store owners can use AI-powered virtual assistants for a better shopping experience.

Such assistants “learn” about the customer’s previous purchases and, based on them, can draw certain behavior patterns that will most likely occur in the future. As well, these assistants usually ask shoppers certain questions and the answers will eventually lead to a successful purchase.

SEE ALSO: The Limitations of Machine Learning

So what makes AI virtual assistants so valuable? The answer: they basically perform the role of a sales assistant in a physical store but do it much faster and more accurate due to AI learning capabilities.

Smart inventory

Machine Learning is a subset of AI and can help store owners manage their storage in a more efficient way.

Just think about it: you take a picture of your inventory and the app tells you what you are missing by scanning the image. Object Recognition can be used for that and it may indeed leverage the whole inventory experience for the store owners.

Another important benefit of using ML for store management is the opportunity to build forecasts and predict which items will be needed the most in the future, and which will see the lowest demand.

Such optimization of inventory management processes will lead to fewer financial losses and higher customer satisfaction. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on your business and its growth.

Accurate product search

All users on your site use the search bar to look for a specific item. But what if they already have an item in mind and want to find the exact one? What if they want to see similar items?

This is where ML steps in and saves the day. 

Image search is one of the e-commerce trends expected to grow really big in the next few years. There are a few valid reasons for that.

Visual search is more precise and customer-centric than a keyword search. As well, visual search can be performed faster. As a result, we see some companies already trying their hand at visual search in order to please the users and surpass the competition.

One of the best examples of using visual search in e-commerce is Pinterest Lens – a “Shazam for products”, as many call it. The idea is simple: you either take a picture of an item or upload it and the Pinterest system will immediately find similar products or relevant items that can go along with it (based on existing data in Pinterest).

Such an approach towards shopping can be called somewhat revolutionary. It is upselling – yet, it is so personalized that shoppers gladly accept it, craving more.

Data-powered marketing

The Holy Grail of any marketer is knowledge about the exact customer’s future behavior in order to tailor an offer to it. AI technology seems to make it possible.

One of Machine Learning’s strong suits is the capability to build accurate future forecasts based on historical data. The precision of these forecasts is usually very high, so for e-commerce marketers, AI may become the key to the customers’ hearts.

SEE ALSO: The ethics of AI – dealing with difficult choices in a non-binary world

With the help of AI, marketers will be able to learn how, when, and where the customers will shop in the future, what kind of products they will be interested in, and who will make the biggest part of the target audience group.

Artificial Intelligence will transform marketing into the delivery of the right offer to the right people at the right time – and this is something all e-commerce entrepreneurs crave.

Summary

E-commerce store owners must not overlook Artificial Intelligence technology, as this is the key to delivering superior customer experience. Considering the level of competition between stores, it’s critical that store owners keep up with high customers’ expectations in order to stay competitive and grow their business.

But it’s also important to make sure that your store can handle the expected load and the desired add-ons, so it would be best to consult and hire a Magento developer to help you tackle this issue.

Author

Irina Linnik

I am an e-commerce and digital marketing observer, currently contributing to Onilab – a Magento development company. My goal is to create informative and compelling content to help my readers navigate through the vast and ever-changing business environment. With over 5 years of experience in writing, I have helped numerous companies communicate their message across various channels.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinnikIren

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/irina-linnik-35970554/


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