How AI is affecting eCommerce
70% of US millennials say they would appreciate a brand or retailer using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to show them more interesting and relevant products. This proves that there is a strong market for the inclusion of AI, even though this technology is still in its infancy.
Large brands, such as Netflix and Amazon, already use AI to provide personalized recommendations to users based on previous habits. However, as this technology develops, AI will influence more areas of the eCommerce industry.
Automated customer communications
Finance digest predicts that by 2025 95% of customer interactions will be handled by machines instead of human beings.
An AI automated system will reply to phone calls, emails, social comments and chat queries much faster and more efficiently than human counterparts, allowing for human talent to be focused elsewhere – maybe in more creative roles in which AI cannot yet excel.
Primitive forms of this technology have already been implemented within some companies. Chatbots for businesses such as Uber, Bank of America, ClearScore and Pizza Hut are already using this technology to great effect.
Improved sales through personalization
The artificial aspect of AI implies a negative and dehumanized experience, whereas in reality AI is going to be a key part of personalizing the sales process and improving the overall customer experience.
By analyzing vast data sets quickly and efficiently, AI can identify patterns and clusters in the information. For example, similarities between customers and past purchasing behavior.
These insights provide actionable sales intelligence that sales and marketing departments can use to improve the overall experience for this and other customers, therefore improving sales over time.
AI is not the only thing that’s evolving; omnichannel marketing is also growing at a rapid pace. Soon the two will combine and create an effective remarketing strategy.
It’s predicted that CCTV will no longer be used just for catching shoplifters, it will track customer movements too. It will calculate the consumer’s in-store dwell time, and the amount of time spent looking at specific items. AI will then step in and bridge the gap between the brick and mortar store and the eCommerce site, and present special offers through your computer based on those items.
Streamlined sales experience
By integrating AI into your CRM, you will create a truly streamlined sales experience.
If your CRM enables natural language learning and voice input – such as Siri or Alexa – your CRM will have the opportunity to answer customer queries, solve problems and even identify new business opportunities. This is done through a completely automated system, so there’s no need for human interference.
North Face is pioneering this approach by using IBM’s Watson. To help the consumer find the perfect jacket online, it asks questions about when and where it will be used through the voice input system. Watson then scans through the product list and conducts its own research (e.g. precipitation levels or harsh weather) to find the best product for that situation.
AI is rapidly changing the face of eCommerce by making it part of the omnichannel customer experience. As this technology develops, more transformations will occur. eCommerce brands simply have to wait and keep on top of these technologies to make sure they stay relevant in the new age of AI.