What is Artificial intelligence (AI)?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines.
The term “artificial intelligence” is used to describe machines that mimic “cognitive” functions. Functions related to the human mind, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.
AI textbooks define artificial intelligence as “any device that perceives its environment and takes actions to maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals”.
AI systems can sense, reason, act and adapt. Enabling flexible solutions that can understand context and respond to unstructured data such as text, images, speech and video.
AI can be used to enhance a customer’s online shopping experience.
How to use AI for eCommerce
AI gives businesses of any size or budget a competitive edge.
Many eCommerce businesses are using AI to better understand their customers, generate new leads and provide improved customer experience.
Giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft are investing in new AI initiatives. It’s expected that AI will continue to expand.
Google, for example, purchased the start-up DeepMind for more than $500M. The artificial intelligence company specializes in machine learning for positive impact. This is just one of many expected acquisitions as the potential of AI becomes a reality.
Other major eCommerce companies such as Amazon and Walmart have demonstrated their focus on developing artificial intelligence as a new source of business.
A recent study suggests that as much as 85% of customer interactions will soon be made without a human.
Five ways companies use artificial intelligence in eCommerce
Powerful and practical ways that businesses are using AI for eCommerce.
- Customer focused search
Customers may abandon an eCommerce shopping cart if the product search results are irrelevant.
To address this problem, you can use a form of artificial intelligence called natural language processing. Which will narrow, put in context and improve eCommerce search results.
Your eCommerce search engine can think more like the way humans do.
AI Software is catching up with human skills and is now able to understand language and images. Machine learning and AI-driven search can convert browsing into buying.
Help customers find what they want, even when they can't describe it.
Shoppers are experiencing better search results as new AI software enables visual search abilities. Customers can use images to search and discover similar products from your catalog.
An example is Bing's Visual Search, which allows users to upload or select an image. Bing then shows similar items using image recognition software.
It’s not just Bing introducing new search experiences with AI.
Advanced image recognition empowers many businesses to develop a customer focused experience. Enabling customers to find items they would like to buy much easier.
Visual search makes it easy for shoppers to search for things, even when they are hard to describe.
AI software automatically tags, organizes and searches content by labeling image features.
Custom training allows you to build models where you can teach AI to understand any concept. Whether it’s a logo, product or category.
You can then use these new models, in conjunction with existing pre-built models (e.g. general, color, food, wedding, travel etc.) to browse or search media assets using keyword tags or visual likeness.
As well as finding matching products, AI is enabling shoppers to discover products that compliment each other. Whether it's by size, color, shape, fabric or even brand. The visual search abilities of this software are remarkable.
By getting visual cues from images, software can assist customers in finding the products they desire. For example, a customer may like a friend’s new outfit. By analyzing an image, AI enables the customer to find similar items at eCommerce stores.
Intelligent Product Search turns shopper frustration and site abandonment into active carts and converted sales. It understands context and intent to deliver more relevant results – and happy shoppers.
- Re-targeting potential customers
According to Conversica, at least 33% of marketing leads are not followed up by the sales team. This means that qualified potential buyers interested in your product or service, fall through the cracks.
Many businesses are overwhelmed with customer data that they do little or nothing with. This is a goldmine of intelligence that could be used to enhance the sales cycle.
Businesses are using artificial intelligence to analyze customers’ interest in products. Customers can then receive special offers based on their interest.
For example, after a customer browses a product on your website, they get a notification on their mobile device, informing them about your sale for that product. They can then make the purchase directly on their phone, saving lots of steps.
When a customer views a product, a list of related products can be generated for them to consider.
With AI, eCommerce retailers are making great progress in their ability to re-market to customers.
- Identifying better target prospects
AI arms eCommerce businesses with timely intelligence to solve business challenges such as lead generation.
AI for marketing, sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems enable predictive marketing. With AI software, companies can generate more qualified leads by better understanding and predicting customer behavior.
Marketing Profs reports that businesses that implement AI see 59% better sales close rates, 58% increased revenue, 54% more traffic and engagement, and 52% higher conversion.
AI software can identify high quality prospects. This gives sales teams a competitive advantage to win new business. Practical sales intelligence is delivered at scale across millions of potential customer records. This wouldn't be possible at these volumes without AI and machine learning.
- Creating a more efficient sales process
Thankfully, most companies have moved on from old sales techniques such as picking up the Yellow Pages and annoying potential customers with cold-calling. Customer’s lives are now influenced by a variety of different mediums from online ads to social media.
If you want to create a strong sales message that reaches customers at the right time on the right platform, then integrating AI into your CRM system is the way to go.
Many AI application enable natural language learning and voice input. This allows a CRM system to answer customer queries, solve their problems and identify new opportunities for the sales team. Some AI-driven CRM systems can even multitask to handle all these functions and more.
Amazon, the well-known eCommerce platform, is an example of a company using AI to better understand their customers. By using AI, they enable online shoppers to discover items they otherwise may not be aware of.
They achieve this by analyzing vast amounts of data. Software scans thousands of products to find matches based on real-time customer input and its own data, such as similar customer purchases.
There is little doubt that AI impacts eCommerce and has evolved the sales process with new data. The changes will help to ensure that customers will only be offered appropriate products and services.
The sales process is changing with businesses responding directly to the customer. It's as if businesses are able to read the minds of customers and it’s all thanks to the data processed with AI.
- Creating a new level of personalization
Personalization is nothing new for eCommerce, if you've shopped on Amazon then you know. With artificial intelligence, new levels of eCommerce personalization are possible.
AI can help you to surprise and delight customers, while also helping grow your average order values.
AI based personalization for eCommerce uses a multi-channel approach. New AI systems help businesses analyze how customers interact online.
Whether it's a mobile app, your website, or an email campaign, AI software can monitor channels to create a universal customer view. This unified customer view enables eCommerce businesses to deliver a seamless customer experience across all platforms.
AI-driven systems are essential to eCommerce success.
AI is enabling far-reaching changes to the way businesses deal with their customers. Gaining faster access to information and harnessing data for better use.
Artificial intelligence enables businesses to provide a more personalized eCommerce experience. Shopping made easy.
AI enables eCommerce systems to analyze interactions and target offers to a single customer. An experience every marketer dreams of providing.
Sales teams are now empowered with information never seen before. They can personalize the sales cycle. AI-driven applications can engage the right prospects with the right message at the right time.
AI technology has an enormous and beneficial impact on eCommerce. It has changed and improved the way customers find products online.
Contact us to learn more about improving your eCommerce system with artificial intelligence and machine learning.