What seemed like science fiction is already a reality in many sectors. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an unstoppable market and it will be difficult to conceive of the future without its development. In fact, it is already impossible to understand today’s world without smart technologies. They make our lives easier without us not realizing it, even in online sales. AI in eCommerce is here to stay and satisfy the eagerness of many companies to outperform their competitors. Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, explains some of the latest trends in the AI space for online retail.
In the era of omnichannel, eCommerce has become one of the preferred sales channels and online shopping is a solid alternative that promises to leave traditional systems behind. Digital commerce is growing. Online companies are looking for new formulas to continue beating their own brands, improve the reach and performance of their business. “New strategies, models and technologies are capable of optimizing Internet purchases and enriching the customer experience,” explains Duarte. “There are the great challenges: in fields as diverse as logistics and in the ability of eCommerce to meet users, relate to them and satisfy their demands.”
The race to master new technologies has begun and the results are beginning to be seen. However, it is still early to anticipate the consequences that it will have beyond what is already evident: we drive intelligent cars (or they drive for us), we talk to virtual assistants who recognize our voice and know our tastes, we pay for the purchase, we unlock devices and enter concerts by the face, we see the series recommended by Netflix, the products that Amazon suggests to us and more.
There are three main areas that concentrate some of the fundamental challenges for eCommerce companies, which directly affect the needs of consumers, the purchase process and the more or less efficient delivery model of online orders. The first is personalized user experience. AI in eCommerce helps sellers deliver personalized buying and selling experiences by analyzing customer consumption patterns. The key is the quality of the data available and the ability of each company to examine the data effectively.
It is about knowing more and better consumers, segmenting the target audience, establishing profiles that allow designing campaigns and exclusive messages for each client based on their habits and preferences: search history, online interactions, purchases and shopping characteristics shared with other customers.
Deep learning is a subcategory of machine learning, a technology that seeks to mimic the human brain, process large-scale data sets, and create patterns for decision-making. It recognizes norms of behavior, attitudes, tastes, intentions, preferences and allows to offer personalized and more precise recommendations.
eCommerce delegates to algorithms, which learn with practice and intuit from experience what will be the outcome of the purchase process. Companies react earlier and automatically; they optimize the online journey of the client, make it more attractive, more comfortable, adjusted to their real needs. States Duarte, “One of the examples of the application of this type of technology to eCommerce is that of Retail Rocket, which has a tool that accesses the technology of big data and predictive analysis of the highest level, and implements it in online stores in real-time. In addition, it offers eCommerce solutions to customize the web and email marketing channel.”
Technologies that mimic the functioning of the human brain, automated computer systems capable of solving problems without the need for a person to intervene, are providing a great resource for customer service operations. In this case, AI in eCommerce offers natural language processing systems that are already applied in areas of customer service and sales assistance, for example, through social networks.
Chatbots are increasingly able to simulate fluid, accurate and natural conversations over the Internet with flesh-and-blood users. They automatically learn from their interactions with customers and hone their skills. They represent an economical and efficient alternative, which allows to implement virtual assistants for the management of orders, resolution of doubts, orientation during the purchase process, collection of products, preparation of market reports.
AI is becoming an integral part of the eCommerce landscape and is likely to continue to weave its way into all facets of operations. As the technology is improved and new solutions are developed, online retail will become easier but, at the same time, more sophisticated.