Artificial Intelligence expected to reshape e-commerce in 2018

2017 has been a year of technological advancements, notably with the acceleration of innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Major companies like Pinterest, Google, Bing and Facebook launched visual search capabilities and invested in voice-activated systems. In 2017, AI has paved a permanent way into various sectors and according to research, it will dominate the e-commerce industry in 2018 and for years to come.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Coined in 1995, AI refers to machines that stimulate human cognitive processes and mimic the human brain. Thanks to AI, machines can learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. From chess-playing computers to self-driving cars, AI has weaved its magic across various fields. Max Tegmark, the President of the Future of Life Institute, believes that amplifying the human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before, provided that we keep the technology beneficial. According to Business Insider, 85% of customer interactions will be done without a human by 2020.

While AI has been embraced by several industries, the e-commerce sector deserves a special mention for adopting AI in order to get closer to their customers.

E-commerce sector embraces AI for the better

Oliver Tan, Co-Founder and CEO of ViSenze, an AI company that bridges content and commerce through visual search and discovery states that the future shopping experience will be dominated by Artificial Intelligence for years to come. This is because the e-commerce sector has adopted AI to enhance services and to provide a richer customer experience.

Indeed, the online retail industry has been changed significantly with the adoption of AI. By offering an amazing range of benefits to both online retail companies and consumers, AI is becoming an indispensable feature in the e-commerce industry. Furthermore, it is in the best interest of online retailers to embrace AI because the current online marketplace has become increasingly saturated. Moreover, no matter how good your marketing efforts are, there is always room for improvement.

AI is personalizing the e-commerce shopping experience

The online marketplace is highly competitive and with customers being empowered and informed, it is more difficult than ever to satisfy them. However, AI can help online companies create a more personalized customer experience by analyzing vast data sets quicker and better than a human being. AI-enabled machines can identify clusters and patterns in data, including similarities between customers, buying behavior of consumers or credit checks. By analyzing behavior after and before the purchase, companies are able to provide a more personalized experience that suit the needs of customers. This results in a form of intelligent customer engagement at every point of contact. Therefore it would be interesting to merge AI with your CRM. Staff can resolve customer problems and identify new opportunities. A report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals that retailers who have embraced AI saw sales gains of 6-10%.

Target specific customers thanks to AI

AI helps retailers target specific customers with specific messages at specific times. Facial recognition is being used in many companies to deter shoplifters by scanning their images on CCTV cameras and to capture customers’ dwell time in the shop as well. AI is allowing retailers to remarket their products to customers and giving them what they really want. Sales are being increased as retailers are reading the minds of customers through AI.

AI will improve visual search capabilities

AI makes it possible to search and shop with images. With automate image classification and product tagging, there is greater alignment in search results. For example, Aware is an AI-powered shopping experience for a mobile-first world. The system uses images, not words, to analyze buyer choice and intent. This helps you provide your shoppers with the products they want without any hassle.


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