The ease and speed at which cloud-based eCommerce firms can deploy artificial intelligence solutions have led to a proliferation in its use. Today, it is becoming an integral part of the online shopping experience and is a key driver for success for the companies that have adopted its use. Here we look at the different ways that online stores can benefit from AI.
- Voice Search
Users around the globe have embraced AI-enabled voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant because of the ease with which they help us to do things. Increasingly, this has included searching for and buying products. A study from Juniper Research predicts that voice assistant eCommerce transactions will grow from £4.1 billion in 2021, to £17.5 billion in 2023 – a rise of 320%.
eCommerce companies that make use of AI voice search, building it into their websites and apps, can benefits from this high growth area, especially as its evolution is making it better at natural language programming so that it is more able to understand, respond and communicate naturally with users.
- AR and VR experiences
There is a limit to which product images are of benefit to online customers. A piece of furniture might look great in the setting advertisers have placed it in the photo, but users wouldn’t know how well it would look in their own homes. The uncertainty this creates can prevent shoppers from buying.
Thanks to AI, technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) now enable users to virtually put online items in their homes or even wear them, to see what they would actually look like. Ikea does it with furniture, Specsavers does it with glasses and numerous other eCommerce stores have followed suit.
- Better product recommendations
AI-enabled product recommendation engines have been around for a while and are exceptionally useful. They analyse a wide range of data, including the user’s browsing and shopping histories, the behaviours of similar consumers and current shopping trends to present highly personalised product recommendations that are far more likely to lead to a sale.
Today, these technologies continue to advance. One problem with recommendation engines is that they often show us what we have looked at in the past when, today, we are searching for something entirely different. Recent advances mean that recommendation engine algorithms are now much better at understanding user intent and can use real-time data to better show us the products we are currently wanting to find.
Another area of development and one taking eCommerce by storm is the use of visual AI. This is the ability of product search technologies to analyse product images to identify the item’s specific features and qualities and thus identify the best products that match a user’s search. This is far more accurate than analysing text-based database tables and provides users with better recommendations and improved user experience.
- Data-driven agility
The eCommerce market can change quickly. Supply chain issues can arise, and products can go out of stock or out of fashion. To stay on top of the game, companies need to be able to adapt quickly when such changes happen. Indeed, where possible, they need to be able to predict when changes will happen so they can plan ahead.
AI enables online stores to do these things. It can analyse supply chain, inventory, search, sales and returns data, in real-time, and provide up to the minute insights about potential supply problems, current stock levels, product demand and product satisfaction. With this information, companies gain the agility to make changes early to avoid pitfalls and take swift advantage of new opportunities.
- Improved fraud prevention
Another study by Juniper Research predicts that global online fraud will cost eCommerce companies over £300 billion over the next five years. It is no surprise, then, that eCommerce firms, together with payment gateway providers and others are looking at ways to prevent fraud from happening.
Today, we are seeing the development of AI-enabled fraud prevention and chargeback correction platforms. These cloud-based technologies use AI to detect fraudulent orders, fake addresses and other false information inputted during payment transactions. In addition, they are able to learn from their evaluations to understand patterns in fraudulent behaviour so that they automatically flag and halt suspicious transactions from taking place.
As you can see, cloud-based AI is bringing a wide range of benefits to eCommerce companies. It helps them provide better experiences for customers, helps them manage and steer the business in times of change and helps them fight against fraudsters.
If you are considering migrating to the cloud to benefit from AI-enabled eCommerce technology, take a look at our cloud hosting packages.