How to Gain the Most Results of your eCommerce with Artificial Intelligence

How to Gain the Most Results of your eCommerce with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence and eCommerce is the combination of the present and the future. A Gartner study predicts that more than 85% of interactions with online shoppers in large eCommerce will be handled without a human intermediary by 2020.

Artificial intelligence affects all the functions of companies engaged in the sector for what we could define as the ” data-driven revolution “. There is an added value in eCommerce brought by artificial intelligence that is now under everyone’s eyes and is represented by the improvement of the customer shopping experience.

Let’s find out all the other benefits brought by artificial intelligence to online sales and how you can ride this technological wave.

Artificial intelligence is increasingly part of our lives, our everyday life and our shopping habits. We have already seen this in the in-depth analysis:  sales and artificial intelligence: everything you need to know .

There is often debate about the ethical foundations of artificial intelligence in various fields of its application, and given the amount of data that it stores and analyzes in the case of online purchases, the issue is also delicate in this sector.

“Despite its name, there is nothing artificial about this technology – it is created by humans, built to behave like humans and it affects humans. So, if we want it to have a positive role in tomorrow’s world, it must be guided by human concerns.

The task of artificial intelligence is to improve and personalize online shopping experiences and consequently increase the ROI for those who manage to do so. Many large companies in the sector have in fact already started to exploit machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the effectiveness of their online stores.

Amazon started by leveraging machine learning to improve related purchase suggestions , and then went on to offer automated and recurring purchases with Pantry , for automatic monthly deliveries.

Starbucks allows you to book your coffee online and know when it will be ready, by interacting – via text or even via voice – with its My Barista chatbot. Chatbot which is therefore able to store user preferences and offer personalized suggestions for future orders; or complementary products to the Frappuccino he loves so much.

Entering this fast-growing online market must be the focus for anyone looking to expand their business. For those who are already present online with an eCommerce, the next step must be to catch up with trends and technologies to improve their results.

Here are the main topics concerning eCommerce in the field of artificial intelligence:

  • The added value of artificial intelligence in eCommerce
  • eCommerce and chatbot
  • Virtual Assistants – Virtual Personal Assistant VPA
  • Evolution of visual searches
  • Artificial intelligence in all company departments

9 Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence Ecommerce Convert Better

The added value of artificial intelligence in eCommerce

The level of personalization of the experience is the great added value of artificial intelligence in eCommerce.

Firstly, because it enables one-to-one conversations with consumers, but above all because artificial intelligence can analyze consumer data and then formulate suggestions in line with their “identity”, even anticipating their needs, thus creating personalized experiences.

User experience

A huge benefit for all companies that struggle every day to keep up with the customization requests requested by users, who want to see exactly what they are looking for, from where they are looking for it and in real time. According to a study by the Janrain platform, 73% of shoppers expect retailers to improve the accuracy of their search suggestions.

Customers have become intolerant of irrelevant content mainly because they find themselves operating on mobile where the attitude becomes more impatient towards low quality search processes.

In this regard, according to a Salesforce research, on average 68% of visits to eCommerce came from mobile, as well as 46% of orders.

And the forecasts are growing.

Therefore, it becomes even more fundamental to structure an excellent mobile experience and to be able to make the user always feel close to your store, regardless of where they really are.

The eCommerce that manage to do all this, and to collect intelligent data (think of local fashions for example) to offer geo-localized experiences and offers, based on the technology in use – mobile or desktop – or on the user’s location and location, obtain a level of customization not reachable otherwise.

Predictive sales analysis

Artificial intelligence contributes to the growth of an eCommerce also thanks to better sales forecasts. The predictive analyzes that artificial intelligence is able to do, in fact, are much more than the usual conclusions drawn from seasonal trends, and can even use data on weather forecasts or other events that would lead to the growth – or decrease – of the volume of visits to eCommerce in the very short term.

Finally, the eCommerce that use this technology eliminate the uncertainty and indecision of the online buyer, guiding him with artificial intelligence in all phases of his buyer journey:

  • Artificial intelligence suggests products recommended during the visit
  • A chatbot leads to putting products in the cart
  • A virtual assistant supports you in the ordering phase
  • Shopping preferences are collected and reused for step 1

And the post-sale phase?

 

The added value that artificial intelligence brings to eCommerce certainly does not end when the user makes his purchase. Thanks to the data on preferences and behaviors collected during the buyer journey, in fact, artificial intelligence can continue to guide the user, and therefore continue to maintain high engagement and purchase probability.

There are several ways it can do this:

  • With automated timed up-selling offers
  • With automated follow-ups
  • By handling refunds and complaints
  • By sending personalized thank you emails

eCommerce and chatbot

One of the first steps in this technological evolution in eCommerce was the application of artificial intelligence in the form of a chatbot. Chatbots are artificial intelligence-based programs that can offer specific responses to user requests . These programs are an integral part of the new eCommerce strategy for several reasons:

Personalized experiences – They contribute to the creation of personalized experiences and therefore to brand loyalty, and allow you to generate very targeted offers

Specific Answers – They offer answers to specific user questions, therefore they are not perceived as spam

Continuous Learning – Their ability to continually learn from conversations with users makes them better over time

Low cost – Their cost is almost exclusively due to the first phase of implementation, and is still less than the hourly cost of mega sales / customer support teams.

According to recent Oracle research, nearly 80% of global companies will offer the ability to interact with chatbots and virtual reality by 2020.

To date, it can be said that the usefulness of a chatbot for eCommerce is limited only by the imagination of those who adopt it, moreover, to implement one you do not need large budgets nor do you need to be a large company: it is in fact possible to start with a simple Facebook Messenger chatbot and thus make a first experience.

What is the goal?

Create a shopping experience as close as possible to the human-conversational ones of physical stores, and make it easier for the online shopper to find useful information or related products.The data confirms that users appreciate interacting with chatbots and virtual assistants (according to the Chatbot Report 2018, 15% of online shoppers in the United States have used at least one chatbot to interact with a company, and the trend is in growth).

 

The perplexity of the last skeptical users concerns the personalization of the shopping experience. Chatbots and artificial intelligence go precisely in this direction, to fill the gap of “humanity” that is missing from current online stores.

In the future of eCommerce, we will increasingly see the adoption of artificial intelligence in the form of personal assistants.

Virtual Assistants or Virtual Personal Assistant VPA

More and more eCommerce sites are starting to use chatbots with the aim of giving greater value to their customers through a personalized user experience. While for many customers this process is improving the shopping experience, others complain of conversations that are still not very conversational and too “robotic”.

  • In reality chatbots fail in their task if the conversation level is high and humans want to push it even higher.
  • Chatbots do not represent real artificial intelligence.
  • They cannot really understand the individual they are communicating with.
  • Most chatbots communicate verbally with a pre-set database of responses, they are not creating their own responses.

One study finds that 85% of U.S. consumers still prefer to shop in-store, i.e., in the physical world, rather than online.

One way to bring the retail experience to the online market is by implementing virtual assistants , real artificial intelligence applications. Thanks to deep learning and advanced language processing algorithms, so-called “AI-chatbots” do more than give automatic answers. They give smart answers.

The goal of these technologies is to create a mobile shopping experience, where they have long taken up the handsfree challenge, similar to an in-store conversation between a customer and a personal business assistant.

The virtual assistant will have the task of simplifying mobile or desktop search, providing information on offers, suggesting the appropriate clothes using the customer’s age and preferred styles, choosing related products (upselling), managing returns and reorders.

Artificial intelligence will help fill in all the existing gaps in the personalization and physical shopping experience that eCommerce does not currently offer.

Adopting a virtual personal assistant (VPA) is invaluable to anyone who has a business and is like hiring someone who never sleeps and keeps you up to date on what’s happening in your business. It is therefore an effective and meaningful technology for business: 31% of business executives told PwC that the impact of VPAs is greater than all other solutions based on artificial intelligence.

Evolution of visual searches

Using AI in eCommerce for personalized product recommendations goes a long way in bridging the gap between the fulfilling experience with a sales person in a real store and the solitary scrolling of pages on a website.

This is not the only gap to be bridged by artificial intelligence. Even the pleasure of sifting through displays and shelves in search of the right inspiration, considered by many to be one of the best things about real shopping, can already be satisfied by the online experience.

The future of purchases will pass from the visual with the possibility, already offered by Pinterest , to click only portions of the image to find information about the product. The use of these technologies is even more useful where a textual search becomes excessively complicated, having to decline into styles, shapes, materials and eras, all together.

Here, instead of typing: “modern sofa 3 squares from the 70s”; users can simply upload a photo and let the AI ​​sift through the company’s database for a perfect match.

Recent studies show that social media platforms are responsible for 3.2 billion daily visual shares, so it goes without saying that customers want to buy what they share. Ebay has understood this, it is in fact implementing features that allow users to use images from social media or other websites to find similar products on their site.

Artificial intelligence in all company departments, some examples

We have seen how artificial intelligence is changing the world of eCommerce and how it is creating value in the customer-company interface. However, the challenges do not stop there: companies are realizing that they have to keep up with the new technological frontiers in all business sectors.

Fortunately, artificial intelligence is still coming to their rescue.

In addition to directly impacting the customer experience, AI transforms the back-end part of eCommerce, which is marketing, logistics and warehouse. Artificial intelligence improves marketing and planning, can analyze millions of products traded on the eCommerce platform, and provides forecasts of sales volume with high accuracy.

Smart sales forecasts help companies better manage logistics costs by being designed to see what went wrong and what is best done to improve business growth. ECommerce platforms reach customers all over the world and inventory management must be done so that sales data are always compliant with inventory data.

Artificial intelligence and robots can help improve the speed and efficiency of warehouse operations , reduce employee chores and thereby cut costs and increase revenue. Marketing itself is also increasingly involved in this transformation, and shopper data-driven segmentation is one example.

Until yesterday, in the absence of specific information on certain customer metrics (such as gender or age), marketers used their intuition, intelligence and experience to complete the segmentation.

Artificial intelligence, today, is able to distinguish customer segments by exploiting even more subtle criteria, such as particular product preferences or purchasing behaviors.

Albert , for example, is “the first fully self-contained digital marketer,” using algorithms for audience targeting and analytics to create personalized marketing plans.

Another benefit of AI for eCommerce marketing is review analytics.

Customer reviews are the very foundation of online sales. Customer feedback is the key to identifying weaknesses and improving the product or service. Timely reaction to positive and negative reviews helps a company build customer loyalty and prevent negative publicity if something goes wrong.

Machine learning algorithms can analyze review content and extract valuable data from page descriptions and reviews. The text of the review also reveals a lot about the reviewer, his identity based on demographic characteristics (age, gender and geographic location), reputation, social profile.

Artificial intelligence can easily link this data to processed buyer persona and modify previously developed operational models. However, we are describing a scenario of complex data that requires an all-encompassing approach.

It basically involves extracting keywords and understanding sentiment from reviews, social media, survey responses, call center transcripts, chats, text files or spreadsheets and any applications that can be accessed via API, and then put everything into a system by obtaining organic and functional information for business objectives.

This is only possible thanks to advanced machine learning algorithms.

One of the most demanding but also fundamental marketing tasks is to write accurate and SEO oriented product descriptions: a very time-consuming and budget-intensive activity, which involves more specialized resources and which grows with the increase of the catalog.

Artificial intelligence is now able to analyze key product features to independently create optimized descriptions.

You can imagine what it can mean for eCommerce managers to be able to create descriptions of their products, complete and optimized for SEO, in a totally automated way.

There’s Ginnie , who using artificial intelligence and content writing software automatically transforms raw product specifications into engaging, unique and optimized content. With artificial intelligence as a support, marketing can finally break away from its daily chores and devote itself completely to the most strategic activities.

In addition to Albert, mentioned above, who can autonomously implement marketing plans and objectives geared to the buyer persona, Cortex has also developed its “intelligent scheduling”, to publish content on social networks at the optimal time for obtaining the best results, as well as tracking competitors so that operations can adapt to their actions.

 9 Reasons Why Artificial Intelligence Ecommerce Convert Better

  1. Machine learning anticipates customer needs

The Starbucks example cited earlier teaches.

The user does not feel a number and is more likely to come back and become an ambassador of the brand or product.In addition, for companies the value of the individual personalized experience is high: a Salesforce research , conducted on 150 million online shoppers, quantifies the average value of these orders 10% higher than traditional orders, and an expense per visit 5 times. higher.

  1. Limit abandoned cart with better virtual customer service

Virtual assistants are considered 35% better than humans at answering questions during the purchase phase, and 52% of users would be willing to switch brands if they were to feel treated like anyone during their online visit.

Artificial intelligence also makes it possible for a completely different checkout experience for the user , who therefore has a greater propensity to complete his purchases without abandoning his full cart. Let’s think, for example, of the greater speed of the entire checkout phase, or the greater security offered; to the most intuitive interfaces and messages with personalized promotions.

  1. Best recommendation systems / related products

Artificial Intelligence eCommerce leverages machine learning to increase sales. The user is offered related products increasingly in line with his tastes and preferences, the upselling of complementary products is offered with increasing consistency. According to the Salesforce research cited earlier, product recommendations generate 24% of orders and 26% of revenue.

In addition, the average time spent on the site of those who clicked on a suggestion jumped to 12.9 minutes, compared to 2.9 minutes on average for those who did not click on it. Marketing and artificial intelligence: current situation and future developments

The future of sales is in artificial intelligence. The era of automation evolution and chatbots has begun. We interview Antonio Giarrusso of Userbot

  1. Artificial intelligence can exploit image search data

If artificial intelligence is still unable to grasp all the nuances (are we sure?) In the language of keyword research, this problem does not arise in image search. 1In addition, the shopping experience is very visual   for users, who, if they cannot touch them, look for images to see with their eyes.

Search by images has also increased exponentially in recent years. Being able to analyze the data of these searches and combine them to help users in the purchase phases leads to guide their choices and increase sales performance.

  1. Chatbots and virtual assistants guide online shoppers

The guide provided by a virtual assistant or an advanced chatbot leads to a strong reduction of the cognitive load, the so-called “overwhelming effect”: the overabundance of superfluous information, or the scarcity and difficulty of finding useful information during the purchase phase.

This leads to a drastic reduction in the bounce rate, exponentially improving retention.

  1. Increase in site search conversions

Thanks to artificial intelligence, personalization and site search come together.

The conversion rate of buyers who click on a suggestion after a site search is 2.1 times higher than users who just click on the suggestions.

  1. Price optimization and dynamic pricing

Artificial intelligence allows eCommerce to diversify the prices offered to users according to their propensity to buy.

In fact, the so-called dynamic prices consist precisely in seeing buyer A propose a price X, and buyer B a price Y.

This differentiation is made possible by the amount of data processed by Artificial Intelligence, which allows it to:

  • Optimize the price for each eCommerce product
  • Offer the best price to each user
  • Optimize the price based on the date and time of the visit
  • Offer the best price by location and technology of origin of the user
  • New call-to-action
  1. Artificial intelligence filters “fake reviews”

False reviews is a very common problem in eCommerce.

A very serious problem as reviews, whether true or false, influence users’ purchase decisions.

Artificial intelligence comes to the rescue by recognizing fake reviews, filtering them and thus restoring users’ “trust” in the veracity of the reviews.

How does she recognize – and how good is she at it – fake reviews?

Research from Cornell University conducted on 800 hotel reviews has shown that artificial intelligence is capable of unmasking false reviews with 90% accuracy.

This is because it is able to find the common patterns behind fake reviews:

  • They contain many more personal pronouns
  • They have many more verbs
  • They are too specific
  • They tend to repeat the same on multiple sites
  • They are much more subjective
  1. Save time and money for companies

Bots and virtual assistants allow a reduction in the opening of support tickets ranging from 20% to 40% depending on the target market , and according to McKinsey the savings of US companies in annual customer service salaries reach 23 billion dollars.

Time and resources that can then be used elsewhere.

A concept, that of saving time and resources, which perhaps finds its most exasperated expression in the automation of all the warehouse logistics of online stores.

In fact, it is also here that artificial intelligence is leaving its technological footprint, upsetting and revolutionizing the way warehouses are managed behind eCommerce: from storage on the shelves to shipping, everything is robotized and managed in order to obtain the possible saving of time and money.

How to increase the results of your eCommerce with artificial intelligence?

  1. Work on the data you have
  2. How do you collect and manage your users’ data?
  3. This must be your starting point.
  4. The chatbot will manage them, but before you feed them you have to be sure of their organization.
  5. Ask yourself these things:
  6. What data do you collect about your users?
  7. Can you improve the way you collect them?
  8. How do you catalog them?
  9. How do you currently use them?

Example: do you collect data about your users’ preferences and tastes in terms of shoes? How do you take advantage of this today?

  • A chatbot can offer them the news that best suits their tastes, or suggest the best complementary socks.
  • Are you looking for new ways to collect your users’ data?
  • The social listening is one of the best roads to take.
  • “Listen” to your network and conversations on social networks, and don’t just do it on your pages or site.

How can you scan the entire network for mentions of your brand?

Artificial intelligence comes to your rescue here too: there are now numerous tools that allow you to receive data on searches, mentions and comments relating to your brand, online and on social networks, in an orderly and automatic manner.

  1. Get started with a chatbot integrated into your CRM

Before thinking about how to create it, you need to go through these fundamental steps. Set the objective of the chatbot and share it with your collaborators

List all the features and features it must have (take a cue from your users’ frequently asked questions)

  • Choose his personality (also based on your type of clientele)
  • Put his decision tree on paper
  • Be creative (many chatbots also use “unconventional” languages)
  • Then we come to the creation phase.

Depending on the type of chatbot you have identified as necessary for your business, you may or may not need programming skills. Among these we have some important case studies applied through HubSpot, one of the most powerful around, together with Drift.

  1. Offer innovative and personalized shopping experiences

We have seen how the key to everything is the personalized experience. According to Accenture research, a consumer is 75% more likely to make purchases from retailers who recommend products based on their past purchases or who call them by name. It is in achieving this goal that the difference between a normal eCommerce and one that uses machine learning lies.

But how does this customization translate operationally?

Start by inserting a dedicated section on the individual product pages of your eCommerce, which shows consumers other products that might be useful to them. Look for the best way to show tips in your case, in your business reality. Ask yourself what the user’s purchase path is and where it is best to reach it with suggestions.

  1. Simplify and guide the user journey, even after the shopping cart

Find the right balance between not making the user feel too abandoned to himself and suffocating him with attention. Analyze the various steps of your sales funnel to understand where you have room for maneuver.

For example, the famous fashion and clothing brand H&M, begins with a mini questionnaire directly in the chat that profiles the user by asking him / her gender, age, clothing style and tastes and then directs him to the product catalog more in line with these answers. Or, do you ship items home? Why not think of a package tracking bot, which allows you to track the shipment and keeps the engagement and consideration of the brand high.

How companies increase results with artificial intelligence

Whether it is artificial intelligence, deep learning or machine learning, companies that adopt these technologies not only achieve immense growth but forever change the paradigms and dynamics of their business sectors. Systems that remember customer preferences, understand speech and text (they understand customers), drive personalization, streamline processes, and create fast, convenient and memorable customer experiences halfway between the real and digital world.

What does the future hold for eCommerce and artificial intelligence?

The eCommerce with Artificial Intelligence implemented are the current new benchmark in the market, but the amount of technology and know-how needed to reach them risk frightening and discouraging. The gap between those who have already implemented artificial intelligence and those who have not yet done so is increasing. This is because artificial intelligence brings more and more value over the long term, but many companies don’t have – or think they don’t have – the means to start exploiting it.

So how can this technological gap be bridged?

Start by remembering two key things:

  • You don’t need to apply everything right away, on the whole site
  • Artificial intelligence must be an ecosystem of people, processes, data and technologies in order to function.

Do you think you miss people?

Rely on third-party partners for launch phases, the right data tools, and so on.

Act step by step and get closer to the mentality behind the success of the largest companies in the sector:

  • Work on the data you have
  • Set yourself a manageable strategy and SMART goals
  • Experiment with your way of implementing user suggestions
  • Test which elements implemented work best in your case

And what we have seen is a small part of what artificial intelligence can do for your eCommerce, all that remains is to adopt this technology more and more and fill the gap with the big players of the present.

In a few years, perhaps, it will be the same artificial intelligence to write an article about itself. In these days a rumor is circulating about the intelligence created by Elon Musk’s team, which apparently would be too dangerous to be made public precisely because it is able to generate content at the level of human ones …

What does this have to do with eCommerce?

For example, that product descriptions may be self-generated by the artificial intelligence itself, or that the “non-humanity” of its responses in Live Chat will no longer be perceptible. And who knows in what other ways the evolution of Artificial Intelligence and chatbots will integrate with our lives and shopping habits (think of voice searches, IoT …), how it will upset them without us even noticing.

 

 

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