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Is AI The Way Forward For Ecommerce Businesses?

Is AI The Way Forward For Ecommerce Businesses?

Content Can Become Personalised And Engaging Using AI In Ecommerce

It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence i.e. AI has been touted as one of the biggest things to change the ecommerce industry. Currently estimated by eMarketer to be almost 7.3% of all global sales, the ecommerce industry is using AI to push the envelope. With increasing competition, all e-commerce platforms need to find smarter ways to engage with customers and anticipate their needs.

One of the most fascinating ways AI gets used in ecommerce is in the way content is made more relevant, personalised, and engaging for consumers. Smarter marketing today allows us to use analytics to track the implicit and explicit behaviour of each user to create an interest graph for them. This helps a brand to publish content most engaging to them. Content is recommended across multiple channels like website, in-app, emails, push notifications, SMS, website chat.

It is a great solution to understand each and every customer and push only the content that matters to activate dormant users, bring old customers back, and increase conversion rates.

The real-time analysis of tracking all users on site, allows us to actually understand what might trigger personalised communication and access. Leading companies like Boomtrain, have programmes that allow AI platforms to develop such nuances faster.

It’s a boon to be able to create applications, which allow a personalised welcome to users, when they log online, use push notifications, and target relevant customers for product categories applicable to their preference. While online purchase is exciting in its own way, one of the most critical issues that all buyers face is the risk of purchase.

There is always a risk that what you buy will have an issue in terms of the actual item, versus image and perception, size and fit etc. Virginia-based men’s clothier, Ledbury, works with Clothes Horse and believes it is a great way to de-risk buying online. Ledbury’s return rate has remained at 7% since the adoption and 9.6 percent people who use Clothes Horse make a purchase, which is more than average conversion rates.

Recommendations For AI In Ecommerce

The biggest loophole in the industry today is the burden on the consumer to make the choice. With the hundreds of offers on grabs, most consumers get confused and disheartened. Current search engines can give you pages and pages of results, based on keywords and algorithms, which may or may not match the exact requirement of the consumer. The average search engines lack the capacity to understand nuances of language, as a human would.

However, with AI platforms, different user segments are dynamically created with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. These segments are then targeted by recommending the right product on the desktop and mobile websites during their journey of interaction. This creates a personalised experience for every single user as different users are shown different products in the recommendation sections. A great example of this was the US-based online retail store Blacks.

They used data and analytics as well as predictive forecasting to create a final page for what customers actually buy. The brand saw a 277% increase in sales post this one change. Similarly, at RockNShop, we have been able to use email, SMS and push notifications, to turn cart abandoners into cart purchasers. Results: 50% increase in conversions, 30% higher open rates and 55% higher click rates for emailers, cart abandoners to purchasers conversion increased by 60%

Online Solutions And Predictions

The future of search technology depends on the ability of brands to make consumers feel engaged with them. With notions like Siri, we have already had a taste of what it feels like to have a virtual assistant. However, today’s AI can be used to perform more complex requests and commands, when it comes to online shopping. The solution is powered y Size n Fit solving one of the biggest problems of the ecommerce industry.

Take the example of the International clothing brand, Guess. Guess.com is working Truefit and has seen 250% increases in the conversion rates for users of the widget compared to those who don’t use it. Guess.com has seen people purchasing more items and more expensive items. Size n Fit helps shoppers to find the apparel that fit and bring the confidence of purchasing to the shoppers which eventually helps in more addition to the shopping cart, increased conversion rate and less return rate. It is very easy to use for end users.

When any shopper visits the product page, an algorithm created by fit experts and data scientists calculates the personalised fit score, eliminating the need to try the clothes in the trial room. At RocknShop, we have already had 142 fit profiles, in the first month of implementation. Not only did this result in 47% increase in orders being added to carts, but also saw a 35% decline in orders returned.

The Future Of AI In Ecommerce

It’s a given that AI is only going to help all ecommerce platforms to push sales, increase engagement, increase customer satisfaction, as well as increase customer retention. It’s only a matter of time, before future-minded companies, increase the search to cart rate with the help of technology. The nuances of language, from grammar to slang to phrases will all be accurately predicted by AI, to understand the exact requirement of the consumer. We have found that our product recommendation widgets create much more interactivity with online buyers when they log in.

The more personalised our website, the more interactivity one has. The results speak for themselves, we have a 100% lift in onsite sessions per month, 250% lift in page views per month, 50% increase in session duration and a 35% decrease in bounce rates. In terms of the tricky question of consumer protection, in most cases, the predictive and recommendation AI programmes are only working to help create better choices on for consumers. Most ecommerce companies understand the sensitivity of data and would only be keeping a lid on the same. In many cases, the public would hardly benefit from knowing that red is your favourite colour!

Author

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Priya Sachdev is the founder of RocknShop - a curated online luxury experience site.

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