Online retail is a very competitive field. Therefore, business owners are fighting for customers’ attention in every possible way: offering a personalized approach, unique products, attractive prices, and much more. Artificial intelligence (AI) powered solutions are among the effective tools to help meet customer needs and increase sales.
So what does the customer want, and how do you satisfy his needs? AI capabilities can help you understand this. Such technology makes it possible to personalize sales and increase customer loyalty. More and more brands worldwide, from big names to local ones, successfully integrate AI into their sales processes. Recent statistics show that the profit from using these technologies is overgrowing and will continue to grow in the future.
What Do You Need to Consider Before Implementing AI?
The basis for the success of implementing AI in eCommerce is the high quality of the marketplace. Non-optimized sites and outdated applications are generally not capable of supporting AI solutions.
Why is that? For instance, if the loading speed of your site or application is very slow or if they are not user-friendly, visitors will immediately close them. Therefore, investing in AI technology will turn out to be a waste of money.
So in many cases, it may be necessary to first turn to a Magento Development Service Provider (or to another, depending on what platform your site or application runs on). And after comprehensive optimization, you can think about implementing AI features.
But how exactly is artificial intelligence used in eCommerce?
7 Ways to Use AI in Online Sales
There are many ways an eCommerce business can benefit from AI integrations. Let’s overview seven important tools for developing your business and boosting your sales, provided by AI features.
1. Audience Research & Analytics
One of the benefits of AI is the ability to analyze high volumes of data. For online sellers, this means getting to know your target audience better and learning about their preferences.
Various research conducted with the help of AI helps eCommerce business owners to:
- identify new segments of potential customers;
- study their habits and behavior patterns;
- note multiple trends;
- and determine many other vital things.
Then, based on the data obtained, you can make essential conclusions that’ll allow you to apply the necessary changes more effectively and thereby grow your business.
Did you know that AI can combine already known information about the user with presumed data about his future choices and analyze it? As an example, see how Slickdeals store leverages this technology.
2. Boosting Cross-Sales
One of the fantastic things about AI is making small selections of items for upselling sections. So instead of offering random items or products from the same collection, you may provide customers with goods that are truly complementary to the product they have chosen.
Specifically, AI analyzes which combinations of products are most frequently ordered by customers whose preferences are similar to the person’s tastes. It also collects data such as previous purchases, browser history, etc., and then precisely selects suggested products.
Here’s an excellent example from the official Victoria’s Secret site. As you can see in the screenshot, there is a “Pairs Perfectly With” section at the bottom of the product page. A customer is offered to buy related items to complete the look based on the browsed item (in our case, pajamas). The section suggests slippers, a robe, a bra, and other items. This increases the chances of raising the average check.
It is impossible to implement this useful function manually, considering the massive number of products of the brand. So artificial intelligence offers help. It selects related products based on the analysis of collected data.
3. Personalized Selections of Items
The process of choosing personalized items works on the same principle. Based on the analysis of data on the preferences of a particular customer, AI selects products that match his taste and offers them to him.
Take a look at a screenshot from the official Fossil website. The “You May Also Like” section suggests the potential buyer items corresponding to their taste.
4. Useful Chatbots
How do you get and keep shoppers’ trust? Undoubtedly, the essential mission of eCommerce is constant user support, prompt help, and answers to their questions. AI-based chatbots help to automate and speed up this process and reduce the workload of human sales managers.
Of course, chatbots can only solve a limited number of customer problems, unlike human employees. But their undeniable advantage is that they answer users instantly and 24/7.
The AI-bot is usually capable of learning to respond to common user questions and solving frequently recurring problems over time.
As an example, let’s look at the chatbot on the Zenni Optical website. It can run a consistent dialogue with the user. Plus, it answers frequently asked questions and solves tasks such as helping with selecting the right frames or checking the status of the order.
5. Convenient Voice Search
AI is also essential for implementing a voice search system. After all, not all customers like to search for things the old-fashioned way (by typing text). Many eCommerce companies adopt this feature to ensure that their customers get the most out of their websites and applications.
To give you an example, look at the Amazon Alexa-powered app Ocado. The voice assistant will help you add items to your cart, keeping your hands free.
6. Image Recognition Search
One more current trend in online sales is the implementation of image-based search technology. For example, let’s say you liked a dress you saw on someone else, and you’d like to get something similar. How do you find it? Take a photo or screenshot, upload it to your favorite online clothing store’s website, and let AI find look-alike models for you.
Take a look at a screenshot from the Glami website, which sells clothes, shoes, and accessories. If you upload a photo to the search box, AI detects all the elements of the fashion look and offers a selection of similar items that you can buy.
7. Virtual Try-On Possibilities
Another valuable way to use artificial intelligence in combination with augmented reality is virtual try-on. This tool is prevalent in many areas of eCommerce but is most common in clothing, footwear, accessories, and cosmetics retail.
The integration of this feature will allow customers to check out how a particular product will look on them. It will make it easier for clients to decide on making the order, which will lead to an increase in profits.
The virtual try-on feature usually gives users two options: involving their device’s camera or uploading a photo. Implementing this technology will allow the business owner to save on physical testers and reduce the costs associated with customers returning products that do not fit or suit them.
Let’s look at how this feature works in combination with image recognition search in a Chanel app called LipScanner. The user can scan the shade from any photo, and AI will identify the corresponding Chanel lipstick shade. You can then virtually try on that lipstick yourself.
To Wrap Up
Nowadays, there is no doubt that AI is being used successfully, especially in such a competitive and rapidly developing field as online sales. At the same time, all predictions suggest that the use of this technology will continue to expand over time.
To keep up with your competitors, it is worth considering the implementation of AI technologies. It will undoubtedly help to meet the needs of your customers and therefore increase your sales.
About the Author
Alex Husar, chief technology officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in developing PWAs, Magento migration, and Salesforce development. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.