A lot of us get intimidated by the words Artificial Intelligence (AI). Most believe this is a topic best discussed by people seriously involved in the science and tech industries. However, many may not be aware how AI affects our daily lives, more specifically, our online consumption experience.
Complex as the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ may sound, the fact of the matter is that it eliminates many of the complexities of modern marketing. In the simplest terms, AI can be understood as the set of computer systems that are able to perform tasks requiring human intelligence.
This makes AI one of the of the top investment priorities of most firms in the eCommerce industry because it enables online retail giants to utilize the wonders of machine learning to cater to the growing volume of customers. It allows firms to access a wide array of organized data, which is then processed and analyzed to give online shoppers an enhanced and more personalized shopping experience.
To give you a quick view of these exciting, fast-paced trends of our time, here are 5 AI tactics that will help you get started on AI for your eCommerce website.
Chatbots are one of the biggest, game-changing tools powered by AI. Through natural language processing (NLP), Chatbots are able to comprehend and respond to both voice and live chat interactions with customers. NLP chatbots serve as customer service representatives without needing an actual human as chatbots can be used in major messaging applications by embedding it in a page. Chatbots give customers a fast and easier time to reach online businesses by using the same messaging platforms customers use daily.
Software developers are taking advantage of the demand for chatbots, with platforms like Drupal 8 offering modules that make it easy for users to navigate sites through pre-defined conversations with bots. As an added plus, the best among them offer integration with Facebook Messenger bots, Alexa, and other chatbots.
2. Recommendation Engines
Most often utilized by businesses that sell directly to consumers, product recommendations and predictions (see Amazon's Real-time Product Recommendation Engine) prove to be an effective personalization tactic that is easily implemented.
Recommendations give customers a unique shopping experience by analyzing their online behavior. This lets customers have a more relevant interaction with the page as recommendations show them that they are catered to as individuals and not with a one-size-fits-all interface.
The recommendation engine tactic works by gathering information on what the customer has browsed, purchased, and what has been browsed and purchased by similar customers. The most important part of the recommendation engine is to be able to show customers relevant offerings for each individual.
A clear example of this principle in action would be the Acquia Commerce: a product that offers a simple way to create personalized buyer experiences, integrate their commercial content across various platforms and streamline customer profile data from a wide range of sources.
3. Image and Voice Search
Enabling eCommerce search engines to think the way humans do, the AI usage of NLP is not just limited to chatbots. Some businesses that aim to improve eCommerce have focused on the visual elements of search. They have described this software as “artificial intelligence with a vision.” This enables developers to create smarter apps that see the world as real people do. Through advanced image and video recognition, businesses are empowered to develop customer-centric experiences for the individuals.
Because the AI software can manage and sort a significantly larger volume of data compared to actual humans, this machine learning allows the software to automatically tag, organize, and visually search content by labeling features of images and videos.
Take Alexa skills for instance --businesses can take advantage of the product’s voice search function and place their content front and center. The skill function integrates well with Drupal, and it’s led to some pretty clever marketing solutions.
4. Customer Intelligence
The purpose of the AI software is to gather as much data as it can about the users of the platform. A large volume of data ideally provides the AI with the necessary information needed to make an “intelligent output.” In order to gain real-time, transparent, and actionable insights, eCommerce firms must: collect, store, and analyze the ever-growing volume of data; be able to convert the data into actionable intelligence; use the intelligence gathered to connect with customers depending on where they are situated in the customer life cycle.
Gathering customer intelligence is one of the most significant purposes of AI software. Usually carried out in the early stages of the cycle, gaining customer intelligence equips eCommerce firms with necessary information on nearly every aspect of its customer behavior. This enables firms to make educated guesses on where each individual is in the customer life cycle, the customer’s preference for particular kinds of products, and the customer’s revenue potential.
You can find a good illustration of this in the thriving community built around integrating Drupal with business intelligence (BI) tools. With more and more developers collaborating to build with the technology, gathering data on customer preferences will only get easier.
Basic business dynamics will tell you that it is costlier to recruit new users of a product than to maintain and retain current users. AI gives firms the opportunity to make the most out of user retention through retargeting. Executed in a variety of ways, retargeting focuses on re-engaging shoppers and finding a way to invite them back to your website for another opportunity to make purchases on your website.
The continuous advances in AI make for endless possibilities in the eCommerce industry. Significantly affecting the way eCommerce businesses attract and retain customers, a survey by Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, 85% of a client’s relationship with a business will be managed without the need for human interaction. While retail giants have had the advantage of an early experience with the AI revolution, smaller eCommerce teams can now do the same. As AI becomes more sophisticated through time, eCommerce businesses are now able to improve consumers’ shopping experience by harnessing the power of AI.
For instance, Drupal integrates with numerous remarketing tools like Facebook Pixel and the slate of remarketing solutions offered by Google. Businesses are already taking advantage of AI when it comes to remarketing --and their options are only going to get wider from this point forward.
More and more businesses are now investing in AI to counter the hindrances of product growth such as trimming down operational costs, making way for more accurate product matching, and generating legitimate product reviews. Although the AI technology is still a long way from being perfect, eCommerce firms continuously work towards improving their tools to keep up with the market demand. Collaboration among companies also paves way for sharing their AI competencies, which then creates more sophisticated AI tools.
The role that AI plays in our daily lives may be unnoticed, yet it is highly significant. From platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat to online shopping apps, we can be sure that as a driver for exponential growth, AI technology will dominate the digital age.