Artificial Intelligence has finally emerged from the shadowy realm of university labs and science fiction to splash down right in the heart of mainstream society. This seemingly rapid ascent has been bolstered by an unlikely (even pedestrian) bedfellow: online shopping.
Artificial Intelligence can go deep. Like, really deep. Its networks of software and hardware essentially mimic the neurons in our brains, analyzing huge swathes of digital data and drawing insights from the patterns they recognize. They adopt tasks, such as identifying pictures and recognizing voice commands, and then they leverage their biggest advantages—speed and volume—to quickly master these tasks, even outperforming humans in some cases. As complex as AI can be, it can also be applied in service of simpler, more focused goals, such as making it easier for your customers find relevant products in your online store.
If you’re an eCommerce provider, your business depends on your ability to connect users to the products they want. This is a big challenge in a world where product offerings and consumer behaviors are both moving targets. But it turns out, hitting those moving targets is something AI excels at. There has never been a better time to embrace your new robot overlords and make them your partners in creating a more user-friendly and more profitable venture.
1. Refined Search Capabilities
One business area that is ripe for refinement and reinvention is your website’s search capabilities. Previously, websites have relied on static (human-guided) algorithms that did a poor job of adapting to new content and shifting user behaviors, and as a result, they did a mediocre job of narrowing down the user’s search queries.
2. Analyzing Big Data
Why is this crucial to the survival of your eCommerce store? Big data gives you an insight into consumer trends, helping you to provide a solution to a problem that your customers may not even know they have. You will also be able to determine product attributes in real-time and then determine which ones need to be discounted or replenished and which ones are likely to be relevant to a specific search query.
3. Personalized Online Experiences
AI can provide intelligent engagement at every single customer touch point, something that would require way too much time for a human workforce. It can do this by identifying clusters and patterns in information, such as similarities between customers, past purchasing behavior, browsing history and other common threads. With this information, your eCommerce store will be able to offer proactive guidance, such as providing your customers with a personal shopping assistant and customized the sales experience based on their behavior in real-time, while they are on your site.
4. Product Cataloging
If you can pair a beautiful website with highly efficient product cataloging, then you will really make some happy customers. AI can play a vitally important role in product cataloging. Customers today expect more insightful and accurate product information from their retailers, and if you don’t meet their expectations, you could find yourself losing out to a competitor. 30% of American adults say they would purchase goods from an online retailer they’ve never even heard of before if they display detailed and accurate product info.