AI in E-Commerce

E-commerce

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AI in E-Commerce

E-Commerce is a necessity and not a luxury anymore. With widely available and easy to use SaaS platforms, it has become convenient to set up an E-commerce business. According to a 2017 survey report, 48% of people brought their groceries online, and 11% did all of their food shopping through an internet-capable device. Some studies suggest that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2040; e-commerce is opening the doors of opportunity to countless entrepreneurs. For the business that has already started on its E-Commerce journey, there is always a consumer demand for more. In this article, we will discuss a few emerging AI in E-Commerce trends to look out for. With so many options and technology enhancements, each business can continue to chose what works best for its market and customers.

Chatbots

Customers today mostly don’t care whether they are working with a person or a robot to get their support questions handled. Companies today are reaping the benefits of advanced automation and improved customer experience, provide by the Chatbots.

Digital self-service tools to answer simple queries are becoming immensely popular because they provide a quick answer to common problems, and customers don’t have to speak in long sentences to explain issues to these bots, unlike with a real person. Some say that it is killing the human connection, while a few others argue that it is reducing the human toil and repurposing workers to jobs that require advanced decision-making skills.

Average wait time with a bot is less than 30 secs, which, when compared to an average wait time for a human assist, is 5 mins. Bots on an average are 20X faster to respond to a customer, as compared to a human agent.

While we at Synapse build custom solutions with bots, our learnings indicate, that business that comes with a clearly defined and established workflows, tend to improve and scale faster with Chatbots.

Voice Search

According to a NASDAQ report, The global smart speaker market grew at an impressive pace of 44.9% to reach 28.6 million units in Q3 2019 as per data by Canalys. Voice searches are gaining popularity and are becoming an integral part of digital-homes. Almost 22% of US smart speaker owners have purchased something using their devices. 

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Within the last year itself, there have been considerable advances in voice technology. Contact center artificial intelligence [CCAI] is one such area of growth. This solution provides a level-one bot assist to the customer, followed by an automatic level-two support hand-off to a human agent if needed. The solution reduced customer response time and makes the process much more efficient for the entire enterprise.

Our work with Google DialogFlow and other underpinnings of the contact center AI solution, have taught us a thing or two about the complexities of human conversation. Companies like Google, AWS, Alibaba are bringing in human-like interactions to the voice market and making it easy for customers to build their custom solutions on top.

According to some forecasts, by 2021, early adopters of the technology who have redesigned their websites to support voice search capability will increase revenue by 30%.

Personalization and Localization

Personalization is the practice of creating a personal experience for each customer through tailored recommendations based on data such as search queries, browsing behavior, purchase history, and geolocation.

Personalization is growing in importance with mobile voice-related searches, as they are three times more likely to be local-based searches, such as “pharmacy near me.” Overall, 22% of consumers say they are satisfied with the level of personalization that they are currently receiving.

One of the significant benefits of personalization is that it can help increase businesses’ profits by 15%. This is partly because 75% of customers are most likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name and recommends products based on previous purchases. After implementing personalization, 93% of companies see a rise in conversion rates.

Though all forms of personalization are essential, localization is especially important. Localization is a type of customization where content is specifically altered to a customer’s IP address.

study by Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of people want to buy products in their native language, and 92.2% prefer to shop and make purchases on sites that price in their local currency.

Omni-channel Marketing

Omni-channel marketing develops a multichannel approach to sales, allowing customers to make purchases through nearly all possible established avenues. At this point, most brands are not just selling solely on their website; they are selling on various e-commerce platforms, as well as social media and in brick-and-mortar shops.

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AI – A Continuum

According to a 2017 survey by Square and Mercury Analytics on US business owners, common channels where brands sell their products and services include:

  • Brick-and-mortar shop (56%)
  • Website (34%)
  • Pop-up shops, events, and markets (26%)
  • Facebook (25%, but 40% as a whole on social media, including platforms such as Twitter and Instagram)
  • Amazon (16%)
  • Others (22%; includes eBay, Alibaba, Etsy)

Your company needs to target multichannel shoppers as they spend three times more than single-channel shoppers.

Mobile Wallet

Mobile wallets are one of the emerging trends in the market. That’s because mobile wallets offer speed, convenience, and security for consumers.

While mobile wallet payments only accounted for $75 billion in 2016, it is forecast to reach $500 billion by 2020. That represents an annual growth of around 80% over five years. 

Prevalence of mobile apps improved security, and digital authentication and mobile point-of-sale are some of the contributing factors to the rapid growth and mobile wallet popularity.

Augmented Reality (AR)

As per a general definition – Augmented Reality [AR] is an interactive experience of a real-world environment. Computer-generated images, texts, and sounds are superimposed on the world around us to create a virtually interactive environment. 

One of the major concerns with online shopping is that customers cannot view the product firsthand. AR bridges the gap and helps customers better visualize products they are interested in. Today AR is not just limited to the fashion industry today but has gone as far as real-estate business as well. 

AR has become a test-bed and feedback system for Omni-channel marketing as well. It allows companies to experiment with new shopping experiences and gather real-time feedback of customer interaction with the product. It is expected that by 2022 over 120,000 stores with be using Augmented Reality (AR), offering a richer buying experience. 

Closing Thoughts

It is very important first to understand the user demographics using the E-commerce solution and then leverage some of the AI trends to increase revenue. With a better market and customer understanding, it’s possible to start tapping into the multi-trillion-dollar marketplace.
Strong estimated growth in e-commerce means that even if your brick-and-mortar business is able to ignore it now, by 2021, you’re going to be struggling if you refuse to adapt to the evolving purchasing behaviors in a world increasingly dependent on mobile devices.