How Will AI Influence the eCommerce Industry?

By James Tredwell on July 6, 2020

When artificial intelligence plays on the eCommerce team, this duo is in it to win it. The thing is that AI is getting better at what it does each and every day, meaning that with its help, online store owners can make their website stronger, improve the understanding of their clients and their needs, as well as end up selling more to them. But how does this work?

Can you imagine that just when typing in a request in the search bar as you’re looking for something, say, in Google, AI is already doing its magic? We don’t even think about it but the results that you’re given straight off could be that very personalized pick that’ll suit your tastes.

Furthermore, AI is smart enough to rearrange products in the catalog page grids to show a person those items that he/she may like first basing assumptions on their previous searches or buys. Consequently, another person browsing the very same catalog page could have a different pick. In both cases, the users become a lot more likely to actually buy something. Nice, agree?

That said, on this page, we’d like to introduce you to the way machine learning and AI are used in eCommerce and will dwell upon how this technology is changing the industry of online retail. Let’s begin.

Using AI to get to know your target audience better

Among the first things that artificial intelligence is already doing to change the eCommerce industry is analyzing your customers from cover to cover using big data. This means not only collecting information on who your buyers are and where they are from, but it’s also about organizing this information in a way so that it can be used to the most of it.

By processing data on the items that a client has bought or browsed before, AI makes pretty precise conclusions regarding their tastes and preferences. This way, it pitches them personalized product selections, featuring things that a customer could most likely buy (as opposed to just cross-selling things to complete the order).

For instance, numerous online retail stores are already using such sections on their product pages as “You may also like” or “You may be interested in the following items”. These personalized blocks show those products that could be to the taste of the customers.

That said, among the undeniable strong sides of AI is its ability to create the “portrait of the customer”, capturing what this specific person needs. Having this information in the arsenal, it jots down behavioral patterns to improve the customer experience, and, at the same time, gets rid of the “show everyone the same thing” approach. Of course, in many cases, you’ll need to turn for professional help or hire dedicated Magento developers to customize such sections of the website, but this step towards personalization leads to the growth of sales. And the best part is that AI is only improving its skills!

Finding out which products combine well

Keeping a close watch on those products that complement each other and sell well together may get trickier as your product lines grow and inventories expand. Therefore, having mentioned cross-selling in the previous section, it is worthy of notice that artificial intelligence plays an important role in automating these processes too.

With the help of AI, tracking those items that become commonly purchased together becomes easier, as those combos that sell well could be then pitched by the system to product pages and appear in other parts of the website. By displaying things that look good together, for example, a great matching top to the jeans that the shopper has added to their cart, there’s a higher probability to sell more products to a single person at a time. This changes the user’s behavior of browsing, urging them to check out a couple of more items than planned initially. In much, it’s fair to say that such selections affect impulsive buying as well.

Be that as it may, with having this matter taken care of in eCommerce automatically, it becomes simpler to sell more and increase the average order size.

Making more accurate trend hypotheses

Your business has to evolve in order to grow and be compatible. Therefore, one more point of how AI is changing the eCommerce sphere deals with the changes in customer behavior and trends. For starters, AI is capable of assisting you in identifying the trends, i.e., it can help you make explicit decisions when predicting where to move on next, say, in the upcoming season.

Let’s assume that this spring most of your customers preferred to purchase many berry-colored accessories, ex. belts, handbags, and scarves. Based on the trend, you can predict that items of the same color range have a great chance to sell in the summer, for instance, pink and purple sunglasses, bracelets, and earrings, as they’ll go well with the items that were recently purchased.

AI analyzes such streams and can assist you to use them to your profit. Such assortment can influence what your customers will buy, in much impacting their apriori choices and growing the average check amounts.

Assisting clients round-the-clock via Chatbots

Customer support is another skill that AI uses deftly. Unlike actual customer service specialists who have limited working hours, chatbots are easily trained to be available 24/7. In the eCommerce field, Live Chat is an indispensable helper, capable of answering the shoppers’ frequently asked questions in real-time.

The greatest thing about such virtual assistant support is that it is provided in the format of dialogue. Moreover, since customers often have similar questions, pre-written scenarios that the chatbot follows make communication quite effective.

As such, you can pick up your chatbot’s skills by giving a full script with numerous variations. Those cases that it can’t handle yet are taken care of by employees but are jotted down for further processing.

Empowering the search bars

Another outstanding ability of AI deals with fast and efficient product searches. This is fancier than search autofill! As such, the feature of uploading an image to find items that are similar to it are already a common thing on many eCommerce websites. The visual search that finds the items based on resemblance is an incredible time-saver that, by all means, increases customer satisfaction.

Topping that, a number of online retail websites are working on accepting and properly processing the requests of a person’s voice assistants (such as Alexa or Siri) in order to allocate the needed things in the store. Accordingly, Amazon can be stated as an example of where this is possible at the moment.

Implementing augmented reality to change the game

Without a doubt, the powerful AR technology that was designed to provide potential buyers with the opportunity to test out or try on a product without having physical access to it is a pivotal moment in eCommerce. Hundreds of companies around the globe are making use of such functionality in order to skyrocket the user experience and sell more products.

Some niches that are taking advantage of augmented reality on their websites include cosmetics and beauty products, house decor and furniture, shoes, and accessories, among others.

Gifting the chance to look at the product and whether it matches or not just by turning on your device’s camera is a real hit as of late. For example, shoppers can put on lipstick or earrings using this functionality. Without a doubt, this immediate try-on removes lots of doubts, and buyers checkout the liked items with more enthusiasm and confidence.

Final word

Summing up all the above, when the artificial intelligence capabilities are paired up with eCommerce, a promising duet is formed indeed. With the power of AI used properly in online retail, it becomes much simpler to understand the necessities of the customers, predict trends, and enhance the overall user experience. All of that can surely lead to larger turnovers and help businesses expand.

Author Bio. :- Alex Husar, CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in expert Magento development and Salesforce. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering.

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