Guest post by Raul Harman, Editor in Chief at Technivorz.
The ecommerce industry is expanding impressively fast. According to Statista, it is expected to surpass $4.88 trillion by 2021.
In such an overcrowded ecosystem, where the number of your competitors is constantly growing, it’s easy to lose ground. Therefore, to stay competitive, you need to focus on increasing user experiences.
Today’s customers expect their buying experiences to be simple, frictionless and, above all, highly personalized. And, to meet their expectations, many ecommerce brands turn to the implementation of artificial intelligence.
Here is how AI is changing ecommerce and giving your online store a tremendous boost.
1. Chatbots Offer Personalized User Experiences
Today’s online customers expect to receive more personalized user experiences from brands. In 2016, SalesForce interviewed 7,000 customers and learned that 57% of them are eager to share their personal information in exchange for more personalized deals and offers. Moreover, more than half of them would share their personal data to get better product recommendations and shopping experiences.
This is exactly where AI chatbots can help ecommerce.
First, they provide customers with real-time feedback, 24/7, which is what your customers expect of your brand. Statistics back me up on that. According to the 2018 State of Chatbots report, 64% of online users claim that 24-hour customer support is their most powerful feature, while 35% of them use these AI technologies to get detailed answers to their questions, problems, or complaints.
Second, chatbots personalize user interactions. They are constantly collecting customer data and feedback to personalize user experiences. Therefore, their answers are not only fast, but also highly relevant and accurate.
Let’s take the example of the Nike StyleBot on Messenger. Customers could use the bot to design their shoe design or look for previously uploaded designs. Through this highly interactive platform, they could further share their designs with their friends and even make purchasing decisions. This brought them higher click-through rates and conversion rates.
2. Enhancing Product Recommendations
When designing your ecommerce platform, your goal is to increase user experiences by making them more pleasant and customized.
This is why many popular ecommerce brands are using recommendation software to track customers’ interactions with their website, as well as their purchases.
For example, Amazon is just one of the numerous brands using AI to recommend targeted products and services.
They do so based on customers’ previous interactions with their brand. They track every aspect of a customer’s buying journey, from the products they viewed to their purchases and online reviews. They use this data to identify what kind of products are relevant to each user, as well as what are the best-selling products they may be interested in.
Amazon will, for example, remind you about the products you’ve viewed previously. It will also show you products related to the one you’ve put in the shopping cart. For example, if you buy a lamp, it will ask you whether you need batteries. Most importantly, this is an amazing up-selling opportunity for your brand. Namely, when a customer searches for a certain product, you can tell them what the most popular products in this category are and encourage them to pay more to get a better-rated product.
Amazon also uses AI to segment different customer groups and tailor email campaigns to the customers’ needs and preferences. To create customized and relevant email newsletters, they track each user’s browsing history and picks, assuming that these are the products they are interested in.
3. Simplifying Product Discovery Using Visual Search
With the adoption of mobile devices that is growing at an astounding rate, the way customers conduct product searches is growing. In addition to the traditional textual searches, visual search is expected to be one of the greatest digital marketing trends in 2019 and beyond.
According to the recent research study conducted by the Intent Lab, over 36% of customers have already conducted a visual search. Moreover, 50% of customers prefer visual information over text in the majority of categories. Gartner states that, by 2021, early adopter brands will redesign their sites to support visual and voice searches, increasing their revenue by 30%.
In other words, your customers don’t want to waste their time searching the internet like crazy to find the product they like.
This is where AI technologies and image classification can help. Namely, a customer just needs to take a photo of the product they come across and a visual search platform will tell them everything about the product, from the brand name to the links to the online marketplaces where they can find and purchase the product.
These tools will let you simplify and shorten the sales cycle and connect online customers with the brands and products they’re interested in.
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4. Helping You Manage Logistics and Warehousing
Artificial intelligence plays an immensely important role in managing warehousing and logistics.
There are robots used to help you manage your warehouse efficiently, saving you both time and money.
With the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence, warehousing becomes smarter. AI enables faster access to big data, helping you process massive amounts of data faster and make wiser decisions. With the help of these tools, you will be able to identify the repeating patterns in product demand and predict the rise in market requirements that will help you keep up with inventory levels.
As for logistics, you need to align it with the specific customers’ needs. Today’s customers expect products to be delivered to them as quickly as possible, at the low shipping rate. And, with the help of AI, this is possible, as it will streamline numerous repetitive processes. There are many tools that will help you optimize your transit routes, identify the inconsistencies in the management of the third-party staff, automate brokerage processes, and so forth.
5. Aligning Marketing with Sales to Boost CRM
Customer relationship management is a critical pillar of any online business’ success. And, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics help you get the most out of it.
Predictive analytics tools let you understand your customers buying patterns and habits and analyze your markets effortlessly. It lets you identify new opportunities for marketing and sales, helping you gain a competitive advantage and boost your conversion rates.
There are numerous predictive tools that may help you here. For example, Mintigo merges predictive insights, customers’ purchase intent, and sales guides, letting you interpret the data from multiple sources and maximize your chances of conversion. Moreover, it integrates with all major CRM platforms like Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, or Oracle Sales Cloud.
Over to You
AI is changing ecommerce in multiple ways. With its help, online stores will be more automated and user experiences will be more personalized.
With the use of chatbots and predictive analytics tools, online retailers will be able to understand their customers better and provide better, personalized user experiences.
Product recommendations and visual searches will simplify product detection and provide simpler and more personalized buyer journeys.
AI also lets you streamline your warehousing and logistics efforts, ensuring more accurate and faster product delivery.
How do you use AI to boost your ecommerce website? Tweet us know @Raul_Harman & @onlim_com .
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