How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect eCommerce in the Future

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Over the past decade, there has been an exponential rise in the integration of artificial intelligence in many areas of our daily lives. You encounter it every time Amazon recommends a product for you, or when Google predicts what you are looking for before you're done typing it in the search box. AI is also likely to be the first thing you talk to when you call your bank to check your account.

Because of AI's efficiency and ability to give consumers a one-to-one experience, its use will continue to grow. A Gartner Study predicts that by 2020, as much as 85 percent of all customer interactions will be done without humans.

If you own an eCommerce store, it's essential to make yourself aware of these trends and decide on how you will apply them to your business.

Take a look at some of the ways AI is changing eCommerce:

Provides More Personalized Customer Experience

One big advantage of using AI is how much it can personalize a customer's shopping experience. A good example is The North Face's collaboration with IBM to assist customers in finding the right jacket.

[Image of user interface via TheNorthFace.com]

When customers visit The North Face website, IBM's Watson pops up to ask where and when the jacket will be used. The AI will also ask follow-up questions based on the answers the customer gives. Once it has enough data, it will scan The North Face's inventory and recommend several jackets based on its relevance to the client's answers.

Boosts Customer Trust and Exposes Fake Reviews

Online reviews have a big impact on whether a consumer will make a purchase. Unfortunately, not all reviews are made by people who legitimately bought a product. This can affect a site's algorithms and result in mistrust between buyers and sellers. AI can combat this dilemma. Let's take Amazon's example. Its AI puts more weight on verified customer purchases while also taking into account reviews that are marked “helpful” or new.

Making sure that the reviews consumers read on your site regarding your products are trustworthy is essential to building your reputation and brand loyalty. Customers will also be more willing to return and buy more if they know the reviews they're reading are genuine.

Makes Search Easier and More Customer Focused

As a consumer, you've probably experienced seeing something that you want but have no idea what it's called, who makes it, or even if it's on sale. AI is now making it easier for you to find the information you need, thanks to its enhanced capabilities to interpret, classify, and understand images.

Pinterest has already been making use of AI technology with its enhanced visual search tool. Now, if a cool pair of shoes catches your eye while looking at Pinterest, you'll be shown items that are visually similar to it.

Image result for pinterest visual search tool gif

The tool reduces the time a consumer will spend searching for an item. It also boosts conversion rates and retargeting options for businesses that market their items via the platform.

Improves Inventory Management

AI is also making a big difference in how companies manage their inventories. People who work in retail understand how difficult it is to keep shelves stocked, track everything accurately, and ensure that inventory is up-to-date.

Inventory management traditionally utilized a hindsight perspective, something that doesn't work in today's dynamic online marketplace. AI technology uses predictive analysis to assess what demands will likely rise and gathers key information about factors that are driving this demand.

AI's machine learning feature also means that the longer the company uses it, the more it learns about the business, its customers, and site visitors. It will then get better at accurately predicting what items the company requires in its present inventory and what it will need in the future.

AI is becoming a driving force in how businesses cater to their clients' interest and needs. With it, eCommerce platforms can give more personalized services, provide better recommendations on products and improve trust between the customer and the brand. 

[Featured image via Pixabay]
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