AI in eCommerce: Benefits and Possibilities

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Olga Demidenko
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Oct 22, 2021

The first serious discussions of the possibility to build artificial intelligence took place in the middle of the previous century, and already in the 1950s, the first AI programs that were able to prove theorems in geometry and solve algebra problems were presented. At that time, people described those developments just as astonishing. But who could even imagine how many companies in the future would rely on AI-powered tools and use the benefits of this technology to reach their business goals?

With AI’s capacities today, it can transform different industries, making numerous processes significantly more efficient and easier for people. One of the examples of successful implementation of artificial intelligence in everyday operations is the usage of AI in eCommerce. When we talk about eCommerce development solutions, that’s not about human-like robots that many people usually associate with AI. That’s more about different algorithms and machine learning technologies that can revolutionize online sales and take buyer experience to a new level. So, let’s dive into this topic a little bit deeper.

What AI in eСommerce is

It is expected that AI will become the technology with the most substantial impact on eCommerce shortly. Its application within the industry is continuously growing. Today, 80% of customer interaction in eCommerce is handled by AI-powered features. Approximately 20% of users are ready to buy products via chatbots, while 40% of site visitors admit they turn to chatbots to get info about new deals and discounts.

Let’s not forget that the number of users who prefer online shopping to traditional stores is constantly increasing.

It is projected that by 2040, 95% of all sales will be made via eCommerce platforms.

It means that we have all grounds to suppose that the demand for AI solutions for eCommerce will also be rising.

The main benefits of creating AI tools for eCommerce platforms are accumulated around two key aspects.

  • The first is the business efficiency enhancement, which includes cost optimization, fraud detection, and buyer categorization.
  • And the second one is the improvements in user experience that can be ensured thanks to higher content personalization, better virtual assistance, and innovative search tools.

Though we can divide all the AI tools into two categories according to their primary functionality, let’s not even try to say which one is more important as only together can they help businesses reach their set goals.

AI features: What can they improve in eCommerce?

Below you can find a list of the areas where AI tools are usually applied.

  1. Personalized online shopping. Personalization is one of the main boosters for the improvement of buyer experience, which, in its turn, has a very positive impact on revenues of eCommerce platforms. Content personalization, AI-powered recommendations, and search systems are the key elements to reach this aim.
  2. Enhanced customer service. To offer high-quality products at pleasant prices is only one component of success. You should not ignore such an essential part of customer satisfaction as perfect service. For example, a chatbot or a voice AI shopping assistant can make people feel more comfortable during online shopping and push your sales higher.
  3. Better offer of products. AI systems can analyze what your potential buyers expect to get and will help you to offer exactly what is required. With advanced retail analytics, you will always know what your customers are interested in. Pricing optimization tools such as limited-time offer pop-ups, special deals, and various discounts will make your clients believe that your website can read their minds. Image recognition features will allow users to quickly find the products they are looking for, while auto-generated product descriptions will help you save your time and support your customers in making the right purchase decision.
  4. Website reputation. Fake products and fake reviews can very negatively influence the opinion of users who come to your platform to buy something. Special AI tools can monitor all types of content, add products to your platform and delete fake positions that unscrupulous merchants added. 
  5. Supply chain. AI-powered algorithms can ensure accurate demand forecasts and prevent situations when popular goods are out of stock. Artificial intelligence can also improve eCommerce businesses’ storage facilities thanks to such features as damage detection, predictive maintenance, and robots.
  6. Marketing and sales. Different types of AI features, such as task automation, online marketing campaign analysis, lead generation, and identification, help reach better deals close rates, increase traffic and user engagement, and get higher profits.
  7. Cybersecurity. Modern security tools strengthened with AI will protect your business and user data.

And here are the results of the recent survey (October 2021) in which eCommerce decision-makers from different corners of the world shared their opinion on the areas where AI can help their business. 

Benefits of artificial intelligence in eCommerce

Let’s summarize the main advantages of enriching an eCommerce platform with AI.

  • Significantly higher sales close rates 
  • Increased profits
  • Enhanced buyer experience and satisfaction
  • Higher website traffic
  • Better user engagement 
  • Increased number of leads
  • Facilitation of numerous tasks (like product description writing and website moderation) and reduced expenses on many procedures
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Optimization of supply chain processes 
  • Minimization of fraud risks
  • Precise forecasting
  • High-quality support service for buyers.

We will be happy to help you! Our developers will carefully analyze your requirements and offer a solution that will wow your customers.

AI eCommerce platform: top 5 tools to use

Of course, the list of modern AI tools for eCommerce is pretty long, but let’s focus on the most popular ones that are fundamental must-haves today.

  • Chatbots. An excellent online shop offers customer support 24/7. But it is practically impossible to organize such a service with your human resources only. That’s where a chatbot enters the game. These bots can provide clients with all the necessary information about the offered products and services and help solve the issues they may face during the shopping process. Moreover, modern chatbots can function like an AI shopping assistant and help people make buying decisions.
  • Voice commands. Imagine that a person can type nearly 100 words per minute and pronounce around 300 words per minute. That’s why there is no surprise that voice search requests are among the most popular features among internet users.
  • VR and AR tools. Currently, this functionality seems to be underestimated, but it is gradually gaining popularity among online shopping platforms. Yes, not all users have their own VR headsets that can be used during shopping, but practically all can switch on their smartphone cameras to see products in the natural environment.
  • Personalized recommenders. AI will analyze what your potential and existing customers are interested in and will recommend relevant products.
  • Predictive pricing features. AI-powered tools of this kind are based on Machine learning (ML) algorithms and data science that analyze user behaviors to change prices for products in real-time, following their expectations. Predictive pricing tools can also consider such parameters as the overall market demand and competitors’ pricing policies.

AI shopping: use cases

It is also quite interesting to look at separate tools and some relevant use cases of AI in the eCommerce industry.

While autocomplete is already a widespread thing that can’t surprise anyone, automatic synonym implementation is a more exciting application of this technology. For example, if someone is looking for “baby formula” but you do not have such a position in your catalog, this person will leave a website without buying anything. But the issue is that this kind of product is called “baby food'' on your website. And if a search system offers this category in response to the user’s request, this person may find what they need.

Another interesting case is visual search. People often don’t know the name of this or that thing, but they have a photo of this item. An AI-powered search system can allow uploading pics and can analyze them for offering similar positions.

AI search systems can also re-rank the results in such a way that most likely will lead to a conversion. For example, those products that are purchased more often than others will be ranked higher. Moreover, the system can show additional products usually bought together with those that users were looking for. For example, if someone is looking for sunscreen, the system may also show after-sun lotions as these two products are often bought together.

Product recommendations

While a user is looking for different products, AI can analyze the preferences and interests of a person to recommend the position that will have a big chance to attract the user’s attention. We are talking not only about the recommendations directly on a platform. AI can also help to send personalized product recommendations via push notifications and emails.  An AI system will send emails automatically when users may read them. It will also collect data on users’ reactions to the received info and their further behavior. As a result, a seller will have a good understanding of the buyers’ interests.

And, of course, such precise recommendations will bring better results and higher revenues to merchants.

Supply chain and logistics

Smart logistics presupposes getting and analyzing real-time information from RFID tags and sensors for managing inventories and predicting demand. ML algorithms can take into account both online and historical data to provide merchants with sales forecasts.

Especially now, when the world is still under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic measures and consequences, it is challenging for sellers to plan their inventory, but AI systems can help them monitor customer behavior and offer them those products and in those quantities as it is required. In such a way, merchants are better protected from additional expenses and losses.

If you are considering a plan to launch a platform for online shopping, we highly recommend you read our tips on building an eCommerce store prepared by our experts.

With solid expertise in the eCommerce business domain, we will help you rock the industry amid a steady growth of artificial intelligence in eCommerce.

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