In today’s technology-driven world, companies are continually searching for ways to make the user experience more enjoyable, and this is particularly true for eCommerce stores. This is why many vendors have implemented the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms such as chatbots, to help their consumers with the buying process – and you can too.
Here is what you need to know about Artificial Intelligence and how it can benefit your eCommerce business.
Improves Buying Experience
If you have ever purchased an item online, then you are aware that the process can be a bit tedious. It often takes a considerable amount of time to find the right product. However, with the arrival of Artificial Intelligence in eCommerce, the buying process can be significantly expedited.
One of the primary reasons for this increased efficiency is how AI has the ability to personalize the buyer’s experience. This personalization comes from two things. First, we have the AI’s extraordinary capabilities in analyzing extremely large data sets and making decisions based on the information. Second, we have the chatbots’ intuitive conversational interface.
When your customer purchases an item online, all the data related to the transaction is stored in a database, which is owned by your eCommerce company. AI can then access this data and use it to predict which items they may be interested in based on location, price, and an array of other criteria. For instance, if someone is considering purchasing an item from your store, AI will be able to analyze their past purchases to determine what item they will are most likely to buy. Not only will it base the output on your consumers’ specific buying habits, but will also take into account all the data gathered from millions of other users. AI uses this data to make accurate comparisons and assessments.
There are multiple companies that are developing Artificial Intelligence programs to aid customers, and one example is Staqu. The startup known as Staqu is focused on creating an AI platform that will be able to match products images to aid customers in finding the products they are searching for, even if they do not know the name of the item.
Another company that is paving the way for AI on a more analytical level is Reflektion. Reflektion was founded in 2012, and since then they have been developing systems for deep-learning in a cloud-based environment. In the end, the company hopes to provide easily deployable solutions that will increase product views and conversion rates, with limited investment.
In addition, eCommerce platforms such as Shopify come with Artificial Intelligence based plugins that will notify Facebook users when their favorite products become available in stores. Soon, intelligent customer engagement will be experienced at every point of contact.
Acts as a Virtual Assistant
In line with the idea of improving the buying experience of the user, Artificial Intelligence can also act as a sort of virtual assistant. If you are familiar with shopping online, then you may have encountered issues, such as out-of-stock products and shipping problems. And while these bots may not be able to ensure that products are always stocked, they can notify you when the items become available for purchase.
In addition, many of these AI programs can access the related shipping information, and thus, keep you privy to the location of the package and its estimated arrival time. In fact, Amazon has released the increasingly popular Echo, which uses technology from the Alexa platform to assist customers with purchases and transactions. The Echo allows customers to ask questions about specific products, prices, and it will notify users when items are expected to arrive.
Decreases Operating Costs
Even though eCommerce businesses have always relied heavily on technology, before the introduction of Artificial Intelligence platforms, there was still the necessity for staff dedicated to processing orders and interacting with customers. This meant that companies had to worry about high wage costs and whether they had a sufficient number of employees to meet the demands of their customers.
By using chatbots, eCommerce companies can efficiently address the concerns of customers within a certain time period. The fact that Artificial Intelligence platforms are becoming so intuitive means that they can typically resolve issues without the assistance of a human, and at the very least, they will help to direct a user to the correct service representative.
Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence can alleviate strain on your shipping department by providing customers with an interactive means of verifying shipping information.
Instead of users having to talk directly to a representative about shipping costs and arrival times, customers can interact with the chatbot by asking questions, such as “When will my package be delivered?” By taking advantage of this, eCommerce businesses can then dedicate more resources to improving other facets of the company.
Is AI Right for Your eCommerce Store?
There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence platforms are going to play an increasingly prominent role in the eCommerce world. As it has been shown, there are several advantages to implementing AI that can significantly help your eCommerce business.
The foremost of these is the ability to enhance the user’s experience while shopping. AI can aid customers in finding products that will meet their needs, while at the same time introducing them to items they may not have considered previously.
In addition, chatbots can act as a virtual assistant by notifying customers of out-of-stock products, offering alternatives, and informing them of shipping rates. Furthermore, chatbots allow businesses to interact with customers 24 hours a day, increasing the likelihood of retaining potential customers. Keep these points in mind when considering the use of Artificial Intelligence for your eCommerce business.
Michelle Deery is a team member of Heroic Search in Tulsa. She specializes in writing about all things eCommerce including development, strategy and pricing.