Artificial intelligence, usually shortened to simply ‘AI,’ is a branch of computer science that renders machines capable of doing tasks that typically require human intelligence. It can solve problems, give and accept commands, and execute tasks normally performed by humans. In the last decade, breakthroughs in science and technology like deep learning have allowed us to make enormous strides in the development of artificial intelligence. This has resulted in the creation of technological devices and features that use AI to make our lives easier – think smart home assistants, drone robots, or e-mail and social media filters that eliminate spam or false messaging.
While artificial intelligence certainly sounds futuristic, it’s actually much more present in our everyday lives than most people are even aware – this includes in the eCommerce sector, where AI has truly revolutionized the way we shop online. Online retailers use AI to better understand how customers shop, and to anticipate their needs and wants so that shoppers can more easily find what they’re looking for. In fact, artificial intelligence has become so commonplace in eCommerce that if you’re not using it, you risk falling behind.
Here are our top suggestions for incorporating AI into your online store:
Personalization is a key component of any online business’s marketing strategy, but artificial intelligence can help bring the personalized online shopping experience to the next level. We know that shoppers spend more time and money in a store that offers a personalized experience, so it’s crucial for online businesses to get it right – and AI can help you do that.
Artificial Intelligence can uncover a shopper’s intent in real time thanks to algorithms that analyze browser history, interactions with products or brands on social media, past purchases, and even the length of time that a customer spent on a website. This data can then be used to make personalized product recommendations, or even customize specific elements of a product page or website to suit that particular customer’s needs and preferences.
Related to the point above, AI can deliver product recommendations based on user-generated data. AI can also get those product recommendations in front of your customers. For example, AI tools can make certain that your online shop is customized for each individual who visits it – meaning that every person who visits your website will see a unique homepage that displays product recommendations based on their browsing history. An AI recommendation tool can also display targeted ads for recommended products on the sidebar or top and bottom banners of web pages.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate AI into your online shop is by using an internal search engine that supports natural language searching. Natural language searches are exactly what they sound like: internet searches carried out using everyday, conversational language. Though it may sound relatively simple, natural language search is a relatively new phenomenon made possible only by developments in artificial intelligence. Since the 1990s, search engines have operated mostly through keyword-based searches.
A keyword-based search attempts to break down a query into its most important terms. If a customer searches “denim skirts for women,” the search engine will identify “denim,” “skirt,” and “women” as the most important terms and provide the results it believes to be the most relevant. However, natural language searches enable the customer to enter whole questions, so rather than searching “denim skirts for women,” someone could instead ask, “What are the best denim skirts for petite women?” This provides clearer insight into the customer’s true intent and allows sites to use AI to respond to customers’ needs accordingly.
Because artificial intelligence can so easily determine user need and intent based on their online activity and the advancements in natural language searches, AI tools can help deliver more precise and relevant search results to users. This is one of the most beneficial effects of incorporating artificial intelligence into your online shop; today’s customers expect to find exactly what they are looking for, and quickly. It’s up to you to implement the tools and resources that will anticipate what your customers need and deliver on the results – and AI can help you do exactly that.