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Marc Takeuchi Posted by Marc Takeuchi on December 03, 2019

What You Need to Know About eCommerce Websites & Artificial Intelligence

What You Need to Know About eCommerce Websites & Artificial Intelligence

How AI, Chatbots, and Voice Are Changing eCommerce As We Know It

Self-driving cars, digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, and robot vacuums are among the many examples of artificial intelligence (AI), voice commerce, and robots that we see these days. Just 10 years ago, these technologies would have seemed like something out of a science fiction movie. But now, they are embedded in the fabric of our daily lives. According to Gartner, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with enterprises without human interaction.

AI, chat bots, and voice commerce have the potential to help eCommerce merchants process information and orders in a faster and more efficienct manner. AI is the area of computer science that focuses on building intelligent machines that can replicate the thought processes of humans. Chatbots are a form of AI that people can interact with through text or voice. Customers use voice commerce to interact with a merchant by speaking to their device rather than typing into it.

For eCommerce merchants, one of the benefits of chatbots is that you don’t always have to have an employee available to speak or chat with customers. Many of the common questions and concerns that customers have can be answered or handled by a chatbot. What’s more, eCommerce merchants that have international customers can rely on chatbots that adapt to any language or dialect based on service area. This prevents language barriers from becoming an issue and allows eCommerce businesses to become more global.

How AI Technology Affects eCommerce

AI, chatbots, and voice commerce have changed the way we shop online. These technologies affect payments, logistics, purchasing, security, fulfillment, and inventory management. ECommerce companies now have a massive amount of data at their disposal that they can filter and analyze in order to more effectively promote, upsell, and market to their customers. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, eCommerce merchants can also provide accurate customer support without having to hire human customer service agents.

The following are some of the many ways in which AI, chatbots, and voice commerce are changing the landscape of eCommerce as we know it.

1. Chatbots are replacing human call centers

Chatbots are programmed to answer human questions. Unlike human customer service agents, chatbots don’t have language limitations. The cost of using chatbots is lower in the long run as well.

When responding to queries from customers, chatbots use decision trees to discover the intent of customer questions and deliver the correct answer. They utilize machine learning to create branches from the root question. These chat bots get better at answering questions over time.

Chatbots that use Natural Language Processing (NLP) understand natural language and can be used as virtual assistants for customers who visit your eCommerce website. Chatbots can also be programmed to test A/B test messages and used for cross-selling and up-selling campaigns.

2. Voice will be used more in eCommerce shopping than text

Before we know it, voice commerce is going to be just as commonplace as smartphones. Ordering items online using voice is fast, convenient, and efficient. Nowadays, people can’t be without their smartphones, so naturally, the next step from here will be for people to use their voices to place orders on their smartphones without having to type or click around.

The number of people using digital assistants is expected to increase to 1.8 billion by 2021. Large technology companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are leading the way when it comes to developing digital assistants and voice commerce. Customers can purchase tens of millions of products using voice commands on Amazon’s smart speaker Echo. Amazon Echo owners make Amazon purchases an estimated 6% more often than they did before they got the device.

The branding opportunities in voice commerce are significant. ECommerce companies can use jingles and sound bites to enhance brand recognition when targeting voice commerce.

3. AI has revolutionized eCommerce

AI has improved eCommerce in a number of different areas, including the following:

  • Create automatic product descriptions
  • Automate marketing campaigns
  • Create real-time business intelligence and analytics to help eCommerce business owners understand and analyze traffic, transactions, and other information related to their eCommerce stores
  • Send direct messages via chatbot when customers have abandoned their shopping carts to remind them that they still have items in their shopping cart
  • Automate the most frequently asked questions and their responses with chatbots to help customers find the information they seek
  • Predictive analysis has made it possible for customers to find closely related items based on their purchase and search history
  • Predictive analysis also helps merchants match inventory levels with predicted future demand

All in all, AI, chatbots, and voice commerce have the capacity to enhance the user experience of eCommerce websites significantly, in addition to helping business owners manage customer relationships more effectively and profitably. Shoppers can find what they want more quickly, and retailers can better track shoppers’ behavior and make targeted offers. It’s a win-win situation.

Want to learn how AI can help your eCommerce website? 

To learn more about how AI and other new technologies can be used on your eCommerce website, contact us today for a free consultation!