How Artificial Intelligence can Impact E-Commerce Today
E-Commerce is one dynamic sector that has revolutionized the way a consumer shops for goods and services in an online world. E-Commerce as an industry has grown into such a big part of our lives. The industry is worth over $22 trillion globally and continues to rise. In 2015, the Chinese e-commerce market generated an estimated $562 billion in sales, with shopping named as the fastest-growing online activity among Chinese consumers.
By 2020, Gartner predicts 85 percent of customer touch points will be managed without humans, and as soon as 2018, cross-channel bots will be able to recognize the voices and faces of customers.
AI is helping e-commerce players in simplifying image search, automated meta-tag generation and real-time recommendation; and thus, making it possible for companies to engage with customers for a longer duration and grabbing their attention with more than what they came looking for
The basic goal of every E-Commerce company is to bring the best of offline shopping experience to the online shopping, by offering the consumers a seamless way to discover the products they are looking for.
Project Mira, also addresses similar complexities, albeit for Indian shoppers and their apprehensions with online shopping.
Mira was a result of the shift in the shopping trends of Indian customers and how they searched for what they wanted.
With Project Mira, if someone searches for an air-conditioner, Flipkart now asks buyers about what kind of AC they want, the tonnage, room size, brand, and such, just like an executive in a brick and mortar would.
AI in eCommerce is already moving forward
Intelligent agent technology is the next logical step in overcoming some shortcomings in e-commerce. Namely, successful computer systems underlying e-commerce require judgment and the knowledge of experts such as buyers, contract negotiators and marketing specialists
The three main functions performed by this automated agent are:
- Matching buyers and sellers (determination of product offerings, search of buyers for sellers and sellers for buyers, price discovery)
- Facilitating transactions (logistics, settlement, trust)
- Providing institutional infrastructure (legal, regulatory)
Visual Search and Image Recognition
It is an AI driven features that enables to search by using an Image instead of keywords. The query image can be uploaded or insert via an URL. The results return visually similar items in the product catalog based on attributes such as color, shape, patterns and more.
Recommendation is widely used by E-Commerce industry to help customer to find their suitable product on online platform. Recommendation algorithms work in multiple ways. For example, Amazon.com recommends its users depending on their activities on the site and past purchases. Netflix recommends DVDs in which a user may be interested by category like drama, comedy, action etc. eBay on the other hand collects user feedback about its products which is then used to recommend products to users.
Whether Siri, Google Now, or Cortana, an increasing number of people are opting to communicate with search engines through spoken conversation, rather than more traditional text. Voice powered search can make shopping literally interactive, enabling the customer to have a real time seamless voice conversation with the virtual shopping assistant on the E-Commerce platform.