Only a few years ago, word of AI being integrated into our technology would’ve caused an eyebrow raise amongst many, if not mass uproar. But these days its adoption has been seamless and incredibly deficient in hysteria and panic. This is largely due to our understanding of what Artificial Intelligence really is and how its use can not just benefit our industries, but have the potential to completely revolutionize them from the ground up.
This is especially true for the e-commerce industry. Since its inception when broadband internet gained traction and widespread coverage, the e-commerce industry has been charting a slow but upward trend across the board. It doesn’t matter if you’re charting its implementation, use or revenue, the trend has been mostly identical. Rewind only a decade and the rising popularity of Amazon, and the charts seem to grow exponentially all of a sudden.
This year in September, Amazon boasted 150.6 million mobile users on its platform. Now the number on its own is impressive, but when looked at on a broader spectrum and compared to the second highest – Walmart that had 76.45 million users – the extent of their dominance comes to light. And this is no coincidence either. Amazon understood well before their competitors the advantage AI integration could provide them, and that’s exactly what they’ve been banking on since.
It’s no surprise that Artificial Intelligence is fundamentally changing the rules of the ecommerce business. And it aims to “do away” with certain aspects of your business. These are typically the repetition and monotonous areas but they’ll accomplish this without distorting or causing any forms of inconsistencies with your communications. The simple fact of the matter is this: AI is helping organizations in a myriad of ways and drastically improving and streamlining various processes.
But as things stand today, AI is still very much in its infancy and still has a lot of room for development and growth. This is due to the fact that not a lot of companies are willing to utilise artificial intelligence in their processes. And a great majority of businesses who are, aren’t adopting it across every channel. And this is exactly what AI implementation requires to be successful on an end-to-end basis. While there’s no harm in using AI in point-solution tools, the advantages that a centralised personalisation engine can bring are immense. This is where the disparity in implementation lies.
As mentioned earlier, Amazon is a prime example of utilising AI in its ecommerce endeavours – but for many, it’s an extreme and unrivalled one too. Not every business can employ AI powered drones for shipping and deliveries, but there are use cases that are within the grasp of most. Let’s look at some of the most efficient, convenient and applicable ones:
Chatbots are AI-powered technologies that are very similar to chat boxes traditionally run by your customer service teams. An AI chatbot eliminates the need for a human at the end of the discussion when a query or complaint comes in through the chat service. A study done on the utilisation of chatbots online suggests that by the end of 2020, 80% of all online stores would have implemented chatbots into their websites and apps. While the number may be higher than expected by most, the use of chatbots is already becoming the norm across the industry.
Chatbots have a lot going for them too. They’re faster and more accurate at delivering information on products, and are available around the clock. And unlike their human-centric counterparts, AI chatbots are relatively inexpensive to set up too. And besides the obvious advantages, chatbots can be automated to contact actively browsing visitors on your website, can communicate in many global languages and collect valuable data and insights for you to interpret and utilise.
The drawbacks? Chatbots aren’t sophisticated enough to hold conversations at a natural pace as a person would. They can often be stuck in loops when queries are formulated in complex or confusing ways and still have teething issues in terms of their understanding. But we’re inclined to believe that consumers are more likely to appreciate timely information even if the conversation gets robotic and dry. And as for the latter problem, AI feeds on data. The more companies implement chatbots, the better they’ll get.
Following in Amazon’s cue, many ecommerce companies have since made use of PREs on their websites and apps too. And why not? Amazon makes over 35% in its overall revenue from product upselling and cross-selling. And the technology that powers this drive is its very own product recommendation engine. AI algorithms can accurately place relevant and similar products according to the consumer’s shopping and browsing trends, thus increasing more online time on your website and increases the chances of them purchasing more products.
A common place to display recommended products is at the bottom of product pages, in purchase receipts delivered via email or while the consumer is checking out. And if you’re looking for PRE technologies, EPICA AI, Magento 2 and Beeketing have incredibly powerful AI-powered alternatives for you to integrate.
As product supply and demand shift, their prices do too. This is no new phenomenon and airline companies have been using this concept for the longest time. This is now becoming commonplace for ecommerce companies as well. Where human pricing experts would manipulate prices before, the use of AI is making the process simpler and more accurate.
Dynamic pricing through AI ensures that your sales figures remain consistent across the board and have shown to increase profitability too. Uber has mastered this format and even notifies its users of price hikes and by how much. More often than not, its consumers are happy to pay the extra fee simply due to the increased transparency. There’s a lesson in there.
Regardless of which implementation you opt for, artificial intelligence in ecommerce is here to stay and has only now started to ground itself in the industry. The advantages and the numbers it generates have become a driving force for the online marketplace revolution and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So whether your goal is to increase profits or connect better with your customers, AI might just be the technology for you.
But implementing artificial intelligence in ecommerce platforms can be tedious and difficult for most first-timers. This is where ARFASOFTECH expertise comes in as the premier web and mobile technology company. If you’re looking to integrate AI in your business, give us a shout and we’d be happy to go over the nitty gritty details with you.