Search is becoming more customer-centric
Image recognition extensions for sites like Pinterest could be powerful for eCommerce platforms. This technology has the ability to identify a particular product or suggest similar variations — which is exciting for brands that sell products such as clothing, textiles and furnishings. AI has the power to provide suggestions on what could work visually with a particular item. For example, does this top go with these trousers, or will this piece of furniture work with that wallpaper?
This turns the way customers make purchases on its head. So, instead of searching a website and filtering what they have on offer, customers can approach search with the mentality of “I know I need this — what have you got that matches?”
While this may reduce time on site, it could make searching much easier and more user-friendly. If implemented correctly, the results could increase conversion rate and improve retargeting opportunities.
The customer experience is becoming even more personalised
It’s a common misconception that the advent of AI will mean a less personal experience for customers. While 82% of people agree that content tailored to their specific needs or industry is more valuable, marketers face a number of challenges in delivering a personalised experience. These include a lack of internal resources, ability to gain insight from their data quickly and having too much data to handle. AI could go some way to answering these challenges.
AI can automate the analysis of a huge amounts of customer data, far more efficiently than humans. By collecting and analysing data through eCommerce platforms about customer behaviours, patterns, purchase habits and tastes, brands can deliver highly targeted and personalised campaigns.
Predictive intelligence makes it possible to present the most relevant information, offers and campaigns to customers and target each stage of the customer buying cycle. This could result in a more efficient use of budget and higher ROI for your campaigns. Ultimately, AI brings us closer to one of marketing’s ideals: relevance at scale.
Machine learning can tackle fake reviews and build customer trust
Online reviews have a massive impact on consumer buying habits. According to a recent survey, 90% of respondents said that online reviews influence their buying decisions. Perhaps more importantly, 86 percent of people said that negative online reviews influence their buying decisions.
AI has the potential to combat fake reviews, which can undermine users’ trust in genuine reviews and skew algorithms on shopping sites. Take Amazon, for example: they use AI to tackle fake reviews and inflation of their product star ratings. Developed in-house, their machine-learning algorithm weights verified customer purchases more heavily. Their system also takes into consideration reviews that that are new or marked as ‘helpful’ by other customers.
Encouraging trustworthy reviews is central to building brand loyalty and reputation. Ensuring that your reviews are genuine and useful is likely to entice visitors into making purchases and encourage future return visits.
AI can increase customer lifetime value
The speed and quality of customer service can significantly impact on an eCommerce brand’s revenue. A recent survey found that participants ranked customer service as the top factor impacting vendor trust.
Chatbots can respond to customer requirements instantly, without being intrusive. They also have the potential to provide fast and frictionless solutions to customers’ problems. Companies that are already using this technology to enhance the customer experience include eBay, Amazon, IKEA, FedEx and Vodafone.
Live chatbots support real-time interactions that are personalised to the customer. They offer the opportunity to deliver simple self-service solutions to customers, cutting overheads and creating a more efficient service. As customers are making more positive interactions with your brand, their more likely to come back and make future purchases — particularly if the data gathered from chatbots is used to further personalise the user experience, making shopping easier and more intuitive for customers the more they use it.
To wrap up
The data you collect through your site is powerful. Artificial intelligence has the potential to strategically target and personalise your marketing efforts. Used in the right way, it could make your brand’s operations more efficient and improve your customers’ interactions with your site. In the future, we are likely to further automation of processes, freeing up manpower to deliver creativity and strategic direction.