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The Place Of Artificial Intelligence In E-Commerce

The future is here: Artificial Intelligence is fast becoming an important tool for eCommerce merchants looking to provide an improved customer experience.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may seem like a distant concept to most, explored in futuristic science fiction movies as an idea of what lies ahead in the world of science and technology. But AI is far closer to reality than many like to believe. It is moving into our everyday lives, as business owners and consumers.

According to Business Insider, 85% of all customer related communication will be dealt with through AI. It is changing the world of eCommerce, and looks set to take over in a number of ways.

Personalization

While it may seem counterintuitive to use technology to build personalization in your brand, AI has been proven to offer customers a more personalized experience. Through its ability to analyze large sets of big data in a short space of time, it can pick up customer behaviors, patterns and preferences that humans are unable to do. Group patterns, as well as a single customer patterns, can be identified in order to offer and provide relevant suggestions to consumers.

Netflix is the perfect example, where AI is used to track user preferences based on what they most often watch, while suggesting more series and movies to match these behaviors. If a person watches a large number of historical-based dramas, for example, shows and movies within this genre will be suggested. Netflix doesn’t over do it though, and will suggest other genres from time to time to keep the user informed of what else they have to offer.

Analysis

Data can often be misinterpreted, sometimes due to human error, but also because the amount of data is too great for a human team to look into. The data available to help a company understand stock levels for example, can be analyzed and interpreted accurately by AI, products needing to be stocked up can be identified , while highlighting which products aren’t selling. It could even be used to indicate what products would be perfect for your next sale.

A system created by IBM, known as Watson, is used by companies to analyze a large amount of data, providing stock levels, buyer preferences, and which product prices may need to be reduced. This not only helps a brand understand what stock they do have, but also what stock they should have in the future. This program can also ask customers questions in order to provide them with a range of products best suited to what they’re looking for. This improves a brand’s offering based on real-time information.

Customer service

Chatbots are no longer a new feature of the online world, but instead they’re helping the eCommerce world to provide a better form of customer service. Not only do chatbots provide a service that is highly scalable, compared to a contact center that can reach a limit to the amount of humans available for customers talk to, but they also provide another way to capture vital information about customers that can be used to improve a service. If a certain issue comes up regularly, a company can identify it and make adjustments. If a large number of customers are frustrated about a lack of alternative payment methods for example,  a company can look into what they could do to add more payment options to their website.

One of the most well-known examples of a chatbot is Amazon’s Alexa, that can be used by companies to provide customer service through voice recognition, list creation, music and podcast streaming, and providing news related information like the weather and traffic. The system allows customers to remotely take control of their consumption of online services.

AI is certainly changing the face of sales by allowing companies to target customers in a more effective and focused way. The days of consumers being faced with irrelevant adverts, unhelpful product suggestions and long waits for answers to queries are slowly fading, as AI harnesses the use of advanced technology.

Contributed in collaboration with PayU.


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