AI and eCommerce

How AI is shaping the eCommerce market

If 2018 has been the year for anything, it has been the year that artificial intelligence or AI has gone from something that we are used to seeing in movies like “Terminator” or “iRobot” to something that is accessible to the everyday person. 

AI has impacted the eCommerce market in a big way. From more complex search algorithms being introduced to online marketplaces to make search results better to voice-activated smart speakers having  AI technology to help users shop online. With this huge impact on the eCommerce market, here are three things that AI is doing wonders for in the eCommerce space. 

With algorithms taking over so much control of the eCommerce process, it is vital for brands to ensure that none of this automation is damaging them. Services like our sales tracking service will help you to define the whole picture of how your brand is being portrayed online. 


Predictive sales

“Deep learning” may seem like a buzzword that doesn’t really associate with anything, but the actual tech that backs this makes the shopping experience a lot more efficient for eCommerce users in 2018. AI has made it possible for algorithms to analyze huge data sets which then go on to make predictions about what users will search for or buy. While this process is nothing new, the algorithms that back up the process are becoming more advanced, leading to better suggestions. You may think you have never been a target for predictive sales, but you probably have without even realizing it. Just going to your Spotify home screen will show you how much deep learning algorithms really are a part of your life. All of the suggested shows are suggested to you based on what you have previously watched or interacted with. This is the same for shopping patterns on platforms like Amazon and eBay and you will probably notice that you often get suggestions on your home screen that match things you have previously purchased. Where AI comes into the process is by monitoring things you “regularly buy” and suggesting them, and also monitoring items frequently purchased together and recommending the pairing to you – and to finally buy it automatically.

It isn’t only the consumer that AI benefits when it comes to deep learning. Using these algorithms mean that companies can predict what products will sell faster or in a larger quantity and keep their stock to a minimum without it harming the user experience for the customer.


Recommendation engines

Recommendation engines work in a similar way to predictive sales, but they are more geared towards what you have been searching for and not purchased. A lot of retail companies like Amazon employ the use of recommendation algorithms to show you products based on what you have recently searched for or what you have interacted with. Many programmatic advertising solutions used by eCommerce companies drop a pixel on your browser after you have visited a certain page, which then goes on to generate a list of the products or services you will find the most interesting the next time you visit the site. None of this would be possible without the AI algorithms that work in the background to analyze all of the data and create a picture of you as a person and what products you might deem interesting or be likely to buy.


Warehouse automation

One of the most expensive aspects of running an eCommerce company is the movement, storage and management of physical stock. Large companies like Amazon employ thousands of people across the world to ensure that customers get their products on time. Recently, however, some companies have started to look towards using AI to minimise the cost of these processes. A Bejing company called Jingdong  employed robots in their warehouse to take care of the parcel sorting, packaging and categorizing. They found that this very quickly increased their cost efficiency, and the delivery schedule was improved. With Amazon looking to use drone delivery in the very near future, AI looks set to become a huge part of the eCommerce process. Companies like LG are already dipping into using AI to make the eCommerce experience run more smoothly for their customers by implementing “smart” software into fridges that can perform a number of tasks including telling you when something is low and making an order for it.  With regards to the eCommerce process as a whole, AI and deep learning will improve the customer recommendations that are made which will result in a higher conversion rate for and brands using retargeting as a sales method.