The eCommerce industry has been host to a steady stream of innovations since the very retail website has gone live, and it’s no surprise— new technology starts getting attention when it can be used to raise business profits, and there’s no better avenue for testing than online retail.
Right now, the popular topic is the Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the eCommerce giants are investing heavily in finding countless new ways to use smarter systems to make more money.
But how exactly is AI affecting the eCommerce industry as a whole? Let’s take a look.
What does AI mean in this context?
We’re not talking about conscious robots or anything so dramatic at this point, to be clear. In most industries, AI is used to refer to any kind of system designed to mimic human thought patterns and behaviors, and generally associated with proactivity.
More often than not, AI systems are now built to have a solid understanding of natural language, allowing them to interpret and act upon spoken or typed instructions. Think about Amazon’s Alexa product, for instance: it takes instructions, processes them to figure out what was intended, and takes action accordingly. Go for Amazon great indian festival sale 10-15 october 2018 offers list.
These two things—more human-like designs and the ability to parse human language—are behind all the biggest advances.
Online marketing is getting smarter
Digital marketing takes many different forms. There’s influencer marketing, PPC advertising, social media advertising, content marketing, eCommerce app development… any method that can be used to reach people is viable for marketing. And because of advances in AI, today’s marketing methods are vastly smarter than their predecessors.
Consider the impact of programmatic advertising on PPC, for instance. Instead of paying a certain amount to display your ad in a certain place for a certain time, it’s entirely possible to set your parameters (how much you’re willing to pay for a click, what demographic you want to reach, etc.) and let an advertising network make split-second decisions about the best times to display your ad.
Then look at influencer marketing. Where before you would do manual research, investigate possible influencers carefully, and still be unsure about their value, you can now automate much of the process. AI can select viable candidates based on follower counts, engagement, and relevance, profile them considering how their followers view them and what kind of content they tend to share, and reach a conclusion about the right choice for a given product or service.
On the topic of content, that can also be optimized through AI, meaning you don’t need to delve into analytics data to determine how well a piece of content is performing for you. You can leave an AI system to analyze the data for you and reach a conclusion about relative value and ROI.
Businesses Are Becoming More Efficient
Efficiency savings are incredibly important for businesses, particularly those large enough that tiny improvements can save them huge amounts of money, and AI is pushing widespread improvements in efficiency through the automation of some key elements.
For example, look at how inventory management is changing. Through automated inventory management tools, companies can keep track of their stock, generate context-driven prices and deals, and order new products at the best possible times without needing human intervention. In the process, they do away with the threat of human error. AI systems don’t get tired and accidentally forget to place orders, nor do they commonly constitute workplace hazards.
Customer Service Standards Are Going Up
In the long run, this will probably be the biggest AI-led change to the eCommerce industry, and that’s because good customer service has always been a huge drain on retailer resources. Every complaint requires a personal response, every query must be answered, and every return must be dealt with promptly and thoroughly.
Though the implementation of AI, online retailers can make customer service so much faster, easier and more effective than ever before, making customers happier and freeing up the time to work on other areas of the business.
Chatbots are ideal for fielding particular questions or requests that appear on a frequent basis. They can tell a user whether an item is in stock, give them some more information, log a support ticket, process a return or place an order, all without the user needing to leave the chat window or the retailer needing to get involved at all.
What’s more, they’re a lot easier to implement than you might think. Not only will most chatbots easily integrate with all kinds of platforms and content systems, but some eCommerce builders are creating their own in-house chatbots. For instance, Shopify lets you set up a simple retail site and immediately install its Kit virtual employee to answer questions and even provide you with advertising suggestions.
Competition Is Getting Heated
The inevitable result of all of these possibilities is that retailers are having to work extra hard to keep up with everything, which is mostly making things better for customers. Brands that don’t use chatbots are behind the curve, and with chatbots taking care of the mundane customer-centric tasks, companies are learning that they have to make their human-led communication worthwhile to keep interest.
Look at how many companies now have entertainment-focused social media accounts. No one will bother reading boring content if they know that there’s no practical benefit to it, and marketing teams need to adjust how they approach the content writing.
Overall, with AI rewriting the script, the eCommerce industry of the near future is going to offer a level of convenience that we could only have dreamed about a decade ago. It’s an exciting time to be a customer or a retailer!