What do customers want in 2018? Nothing new: prices they can afford and a place where they can find what they need and buy it easily. While you deal with the first part on your own, there is something new to help you with second one. Have you heard about artificial intelligence?
Technology that gets better with every time you use it
Artificial Intelligence is designed to give your customers what they want, when they want it. AI can make your store feel like a magic place: everything is geared towards this specific customer and every product you offer is the continuation of their thought.
It is not only about science fiction, and is already closer than you think. The market size for AI in the nearest future 38.8 billion USD. This figure is predicted to the year 2025. Here are somу killer facts to understand the tendency:
- Right now, 57% of all ecommerce companies already started working with AI.
- This is a half of the market, so predicted 85% of the customer support being robots seems to be true by 2020.
- Retailers report 30% growth after they started using AI-driven technologies in their business.
In this article, we will talk about AI perspectives and give you ideas that can make your business prosper.
Personalization: make customer feel at home
AI is the second to none yet technology to serve your customers with personalized content of their taste. A brilliant customer experience includes getting exactly what you need the moment you need it. And how do you know what your customers love? You ask them! By asking your customers to list their preferences, or to choose an option from a few, you get a detailed portrait of each customer and clear demographic of your overall audience. But today, the exhausing analyzing of the results and search for the “one fits all” algorithm is over. You can pass the data you have to the AI and it will create endless variations of your catalog and home pages, based on the customer location, age, sex, products they searched and already bought. Recommendations bar on your product page can transfigure average purchase size of your online store, and still leave the best impression.
Customer experience: create human-like interaction without humans
One word: chatbots. A robot is a perfect employee — it doesn’t need salary, is always on duty and can teach itself constantly. AI is widely used for 24/7 support. And this is not surprising, considering 44% of customers in US would prefer a chatbot assistant over an actual human. Communicating with a machine is often more relaxed than talking to a real person. It is no longer a problem if a customer goes on a shopping spree in the middle of the night, and wants to know right now if you have these oven mittens in blue and if you ship them tomorrow morning. AI wouldn't forget anything that the customer have said, and will never ignore or miss the message addressed to it. But if your customers still browse your catalog on their own, make sure it is perfectly organized. You can use Drag and Drop extension, which allows you manually manage product positions.
Search and navigation: let your customers describe what they want
And AI will do the rest. Trying to type in or select multiple search parameters from your phone is a task that requires effort and concentration, and voice-activated search search is a relief for everyone who wants to shop around when driving, out of town or in any kind of situation when they need something as soon as possible. But don’t give up on regular search: when voice search fails, it will back you up. Enhance it with features like Search by Category.
And if your customers are lost for words, you can try to guess their thoughts by asking for a picture. Visual search is not the most polished feature, and successful brands like ASOS or Pinterest already use it.
Mobile ecommerce: be ready to sell from any device
Mcommerce was the first to feel the growing demand for AI-driven services. In US only, 62% of customers have purchased something with their smartphones in the least 6 months. With the mobile shopping boom, retailers strive to optimize their online stores to meet the needs of the mobile device users. This is fully justified, considering that mobile sales will be 90% of total revenue by 2020. Why so?
The thing is, the comfort ecommerce offers is addicting. No one got time to sit in a chair with a cup of coffee and a laptop and spend time on thorough browsing. But the smartphone is always in your hand and it has got Internet connection. Same goes for other wearable technology like smartwatch: it is more handy to control them by voice on the go.
Inventory management: make your supply delivery relevant
Ecommerce sphere is constantly changing. It is impossible to put everlasting management practice into work, especially for shipping and inventory where there are too many factors that interfere the workflow. Weather, seasons and many other reasons encourage your customers to buy from you, and the same factors make them reconsider purchasing. But there are good news — with the development of machine learning, you can turn information about your audience behaviour into inventory management directions and sell more specific items on specific occasions.
Are you keeping up?
Ecommerce is evolving, and the gap between mobile and desktop trends begins to fade. One way or another, demand for personalized mobile experience will find its way to you. If your business is still not familiar with the benefits of AI and mcommerce, you still have time and tools to create a customer experience worth making a purchase.