How will Artificial Intelligence turn around E-commerce industry for the good?
Love or hate, you can no longer ignore Artificial Intelligence. Like a shadow that follows us silently, AI has found its way into our daily lives. Sometimes we know it is AI in action, yet sometimes we don’t know. Computers have become so intelligent that they can mimic a human’s action and trick us into believing them.
Now this is an explosive revelation. Gartner, the global Think Tank estimates that by 2020, at least 85% of customer interactions will be handled by machines, without any sort of human interaction.
Think of the benefits it can bring to businesses. Especially digital businesses like eCommerce.
“Online retailers are scrambling to partner with or adopt new AI technologies to help facilitate customer interaction to try and match and even surpass the typical in-store experience.” says, Keenan Baldwin, co-founder of SiteZeus, a pioneer in machine learning and artificial intelligence based SaaS product.
But, not everything is awesome with Artificial Intelligence. Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur on a mission to put man on Mars had earlier during the year tweeted that Artificial Intelligence is potentially dangerous than nuclear bombs!
Any software program that if uncontrolled can potentially harm the world. Like viruses and ransomware that has often taken our world and made us feel puny in front of its power. For eCommerce stores, the one of best options to secure stores is to configure their websites with a SSL certificate. A cheap Comodo EV SSL certificate will do that trick.
However, as time passes AI will grow in strength and we will need advanced security measures to restrict it from doing from something obnoxiously harmful to mankind.
While one side these terrors seem to loom around AI, there is another part of the world which shows a rosy picture of eCommerce, manufacturing, healthcare, crime control and several other industries benefiting significantly from AI.
This post is an exploration of that. We are going to talk specifically about how an eCommerce business can maximize its sales and customer experience with the help of AI.
A shopping consultant that knows you like your best friend
Your best friends knows what color you love the most. They know what sleeve cut and fashion label excites you. They also know what doesn’t suit you.
An AI bot will know much more than that. It will also know your exact size, the style that you have been researching online for the past few days and the budget range within which you wish to close your purchase.
AI bots will revolutionize eCommerce by suggesting highly personalized product suggestions that customers will buy without a second thought.
Have you noticed? In some upscale online stores you tend to find it easy to find products that help you ‘complete the look’. It is almost like somebody knew what you will be looking for and kept it ready for you.
That is Artificial Intelligence at work. There are AI programs and integrations in the market today that provide product suggestions to customers based on their recent buying history and preferences.
For instance, imagine you are trying to find a boot. Based on your clicks, the AI learns continuously your preferences and showcases products that best match your preferences. It directs you to the products straight away helping you get what you want without going around in rounds.
Simplified Order Fulfillment
Despite the advancement in order fulfillment management solutions, customers still continue to feel the brunt of order mismanagement. There are plenty of instances when order vanished, were cancelled automatically or were never processed on a timely basis. Above all, customers often do not get a proper response when they want to know their order status.
AI bots with contextual awareness can converse with customers, pick up their order information and fetch relative information from the CRM software. They can also look at the past order behavior of the customer and tailor-make the responses to make the customer feel secure about the order’s progress.
Data churning at massive scale
eCommerce stores host and process data on a massive scale. They have to process orders, manage customer payment, synchronize logistics and shake hands with dozens of other solutions and their data.
It is literally a mathematical mayhem that goes over the head of humans. Data churning is essential to know stock movement, customer’s buying habits, predict future demand and to plan future procurement. Ai bots take upon themselves the heavy chore of running through massive amounts of data to arrive at meaningful information.
IBM Watson is a classic example of this. AI bots like IBM Watson helps enterprises arrive at a single solution by correlating several structured and unstructured data. It showcases data in a single dashboard that helps business owners to take quick decisions.
Voice based Virtual Assistant
Baidu’s launch of a speech recognition technology in late 2014 was the flag off point for a future that was largely voice based. Baidu proved that it was possible to integrate uservoice commands to online stores and carry out shopping transactions. While this technology might seem far and distant today, advancements in Artificial Intelligence is making it possible.
Soon, you can log in, place order and checkout using your voice commands. You don’t have even have to go through the trouble of scrolling or clicking on products. No more lengthy checkout pages. It will all be done in a flash with the intelligence of an Artificial Intelligence bot.
The Road Ahead
We are inching towards a future where AI robots will replace most of the mundane tasks that we find difficult or cumbersome. They will simplify our daily lives and also reduce on dependency on uncertain and futile efforts. From shopping to data analytics and everything in between, Artificial Intelligence will be a game changer. And, eCommerce will also be one of the biggest benefactors of it.
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