AI is revolutionizing so many aspects of our lives. From the way we operate appliances in our homes to the way that children play with toys. AI is also starting to have a significant effect on the way eCommerce businesses attract and retain customers.
In fact, a survey by Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of a client’s relationship with a business will be managed without interacting with any human. For a better understanding of how AI is shifting eCommerce, check out the five applications below.
1. Visual Search
In the past, most customers have used a text-based search in a search field to look for an object the want to purchase. Today, however, eCommerce businesses are taking advantage of visual search – a technology that uses AI to analyze a photo that a shopper submits, then find products that match that image.
One eCommerce company who is dominating visual search is Neiman Marcus. The company uses visual search technology to allow app users to take photos of objects in the real world, then locate similar ones in the Neiman Marcus catalog.
2. Voice Search
In addition to using images to search for products they want to buy, shoppers are now adopting voice search. It is the ability to search for items using speech. Voice search uses AI to understand what is spoken and to get better at recognizing voices and phrases.
Voice search was popularized with voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, which has made it necessary for eCommerce retailers to re-optimize their pages so they can handle voice-based searches (which are often delivered in more sensical, structure-based form, rather than in keyword form). A study by comScore predicts that by 2020, at least 50% of all web searches will be conducted by voice.
Amazon’s voice-controlled home automation speaker, Echo, now allows users to make online purchases using voice search technology. Shoppers who have a device integrated with its Alexa technology can make orders using spoken commands.
3. Online Personal Shoppers
Personal shoppers are no longer just a luxury service for high-end consumers. Today, thanks to AI, consumers can take advantage of virtual ones online. Online companies can leverage AI technology to recommend and curate items a shopper would like, without having to do any of the work themselves.
There are several online personal shopper technologies, including Shoptagr and Mona. These bots use big data, collected in real time, to “learn” users’ shopping habits and personal taste.
The North Face is one online retailer harnessing the power of virtual personal shoppers. With the help of IBM Watson, the company is using AI to recommend the perfect jacket to people searching for one.