How is AI Helping E-commerce Businesses Improve UX & Get More Sales?

how is AI helping e-commerce businesses
Business / eCommerce Development

How is AI Helping E-commerce Businesses Improve UX & Get More Sales?

Ecommerce has come a long way over the last two decades. In a business where change has been the only constant the goal for online stores has been to create a real retail store like experience for their users. While they have succeeded partially in this we are standing at an inflection point where customer experience is all set to take a new meaning.

The industry is undergoing a new evolutionary cycle thanks to Artificial Intelligence or AI as it is popularly called.

Over the last two years leading online stores have been busy embracing AI into their systems in a bid to improve user experience and generate more sales.

There are two things that almost every ecommerce store has i.e. a large inventory and lots of customer data. Not too long ago most stores employed data analysts to turn this data into meaningful information. But with the exponential growth in the volume of data it has become near impossible for data analysts to come up with accurate suggestions and forecasts to increases sales.

how is AI helping e-commerce businesses

This is where Artificial Intelligence can generate information in real-time which is helping stores improve their competitive edge.

You may have already come across the use of AI while shopping on the leading stores.

Today most stores have Chatbots that welcome you and help you find the product or service you are looking for. It is estimated that over 85% of communication between stores and their customers won’t need a human element in the future.

Similarly advanced image search lets you find a product immediately on the store even if you don’t know what it is called. If that sounds straight out of science fiction, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Let us now see the scope of AI in future ecommerce and how it will improve user experience and sales.

Personalizing the experience

Every customer is different and comes with different requirements to a store. In the traditional brick and mortar retail store a seasoned salesman would read the customer within a few minutes and work on offering a highly personalized experience to them.

This was missing in ecommerce stores as all the customers were welcomed and catered to the same way.

It is changing with AI as stores have been able to adopt a customer-centric approach based on tons of data they have collected over the years. Returning customers are being treated in a more personalized way by these stores which is helping in increasing sales and also earning loyalty of the customers.

Presales and After sales experience

We mentioned about Chatbots earlier and they are surely the best use of Artificial Intelligence. You may have had to wait endless minutes to talk to a customer care executive or your chats weren’t replied on time.

how is AI helping e-commerce businesses

What Chatbots do is solve most of the general queries that customers have before buying a product or after buying it.

As the amount of customer data and behavior records grows the Chatbots are also becoming smarter. In fact they can solve more than half the queries that an average customer has and do it in quick time.

It is helping reduce the work load for the customer care executives and allowing them to respond faster to a customer’s query in cases where Chatbots don’t have the answers.

Engaging customers

One of the biggest challenges for online stores in the past was engaging customers after they had brought a product. Sending newsletters with recommended list of products or announcing new product launches via email was tried in the past.

This process naturally was resource intensive and yet it could never offer hyper-personalized recommendations to the users.

AI does it with ease. The fact that it can process data for millions of customers and read their behavior and buying needs it can easily engage customers by personalizing the content for them.

Recommending the Right products

Not all customers log into an online store knowing what they wish to buy. While they may have a broad idea on the item they are looking for browsing through dozens of products only adds to their indecisiveness.

how is AI helping e-commerce businesses

How they wish they had the services of a traditional salesman to guide them into making the right choice. This is where AI steps in and recommends the right products based on past searches, the customer’s budget preference, popularity of the products and dozens of such parameters.

Recommending the right product allows online stores to convert more visits into sales and this also improves the customer’s experience in terms of getting over their indecisiveness.

Related: 4 Mind Blowing Tips to Design a Compelling UX

Predicting future purchases

A man’s anniversary is approaching and like all ‘good’ husbands he has completely forgotten to buy something special for his partner. What if an online store were to remind you of your impending gift? Well that’s exactly what AI does it recommends future purchases at the right time.

No, AI isn’t reading your mind but your past activities at the store to suggest you the products you need. Similarly when your child’s diaper stocks are likely to run out you might get an alert on your phone and this helps both the parties. Isn’t the wonderful?

Helping manage inventories

Nothing disappoints a customer more than seeing the term ‘Sold Out’ or ‘Not Available’ on a store. Along with the customer’s disappointment it is a potential loss of business opportunity for the store.

AI can be used to do away with such instances or keep them at minimum. Detailed study of historical data, rising popularity of products, emerging needs etc. can help stores improve their inventories.

As the volume of data increases it is nearly impossible for humans to arrive at the right forecast for product sales and Artificial Intelligence is slowly taking over the task of inventory management.

As ecommerce stores see their sales figure soar the challenge is no longer in terms of numbers about achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction. This is where AI is helping drive ecommerce to the next level.

The possibilities with Artificial Intelligence are immense and going forward we are likely to see greater adoption of this technology in all spheres of ecommerce.

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