The new era of eCommerce – the growth of AI

By | January 13, 2017

New era of eCommerce is going to be powered by artificial intelligence

New era of eCommerce is coming, the era of artificial intelligence. I wrote few articles on AI so far, for example Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence and Robot learning to walk – a glimpse of the future with AI.  The whole thing about AI is so influential and breathtaking, that we simply have to keep an eye on it. People not closely following achievements in computer science might not be noticing it yet. But in few years time, maybe even sooner, it will to be all around us. It will change many aspects of business and everyday life. And it’s happening fast, faster from year to year,  it seams. It is one of those big things that happen every few decades or so. Like the invention of the first Intel microprocessor for example. Or the first PC. Or the world wive web. When one such big thing is coming, it is hard to imagine how it is going to reshape everyday life and business, ecommerce included, of course.

RedStag, a fulfillment service company has posted an article on topic of influence of AI on ecommerce.

New era of eCommerce

New era of eCommerce [image credit: RedStag FULFILLMENT]

RedStag exposed these key elements to be most influential for ecommerce, according to their findings:

  • Personalization of customer experience. With the help from machine learning and BigData analytics, programs can predict customer expectations and adapt their interactions with users. Like an experienced human salesman, knowing which information to provide and which items to offer to certain type of buyers.
  • Virtual buying assistants. Can be a software on your mobile or desktop device. It can pop up an alert, for example, when it finds a good deal for an item you’ve been looking for lately. Or it can show you messages with additional information about products you browse for. Like you would visit a brick and mortar store, taking a friend expert with you, to give you some advice on what to buy.
  • Making conversation and improving order fulfillment.  Voice recognition programs, the chat bots, can interact with customers providing them assistance. Similar to human support assistants Except for one important distinction: artificial intelligence enabled programs can analyze gigabytes and gigabytes of data, learn from it and over get better and better in supporting customers.
  • Analyzing Big Data. This can bee seen as the fuel for the points listed above.

The features of AI can be seen as some kind of replacement for interactions with human salesmen, support assistants and so on. As already mentioned above, the key difference is in machine capabilities to analyze data from millions of similar interactions from all over the globe. A programs in US can instantly learn from experience with a customer in China. Taking into account all regional habits that could influence customer’s behavior. And this does not apply just to stores in making better sales. It goes also to the benefit of buyers. 3d party, independent services can provide help for shoppers when they browse online stores. Online shoppers read product reviews and forums before making buying decisions. Artificial intelligence can provide that help too, but by scanning forums and reviews of the whole world! Plus, it can act as a technical expert on the subject of products being bought. All that instantly, while customer is browsing. Fair enough for the customers. Good or bad shopping experience of a customer in China can influence buying decision of an US customer the next second after it was recorded to the database. Not just the technology itself, but the way how it is going to change shopping behavior, will trigger the new era of ecommerce.

Sources: The Growth of Artificial Intelligence in E-commerce