In the current era of digitalization and globalization, where technology is undoubtedly disrupting almost every other industrial sector, the e-commerce segment is of course no exception. The pandemic-induced dramatic change in consumer behavior and market dynamics, and thus the accelerated emphasis on “online-first” and “digital-first” shopping experiences, have fueled the ushering in a brighter future for the new era business ecosystem, in which many of the newest and emerging technologies are already playing, or are set to play, a central role in the times to come.
Artificial intelligence AI is probably one of the biggest technological frontiers that have largely contributed in recent years to the positive reshaping of e-commerce and online shopping. In particular, AI has proven to be a boon for creating top-notch, tailored and personalized shopping experiences across a plethora of online shopping, e-commerce and m-commerce marketplaces for consumers. ‘today.
Through the optimal use of AI and related technologies, e-merchants or digital sellers today are able to learn, track and analyze regularly and consistently the online behaviors of their customers. customers, and at the same time use AI-powered predictive analytics to predict with near-precision accuracy their future purchase decisions, resulting in increased repeat purchases and customer loyalty over a period of time . Additionally, AI coupled with automation also enables sellers to share personalized offers, product recommendations, and deals with potential and existing customers or target audiences.
Not only does artificial intelligence help e-retailers to dramatically improve user experiences and internal efficiencies in demand forecasting and business intelligence, but also to make better pricing decisions for their products/ offers and optimize product placements. Cutting-edge analytics capabilities enabled through the use of AI can even allow small and medium-sized local merchants to order just the right amount of stock they need at any given time, so their brick-and-mortar stores don’t get bogged down. never end up with too much or too little in terms of inventory. Similarly, for e-commerce players or online-only brands, AI can be used to enable better warehousing and inventory management to optimize profits and manage product returns. transparent manner. D2C (Direct-To-Consumer) brands can also achieve significant benefits with AI-based imagery and semantics, and natural language processing (NLP) – a subset or emerging branch of AI – can greatly help them in writing product descriptions and features to better position their products.
On the other hand, AI acts as an enabler for today’s consumers to connect with the right products to meet their needs, in the right place, at the right time. There are many other futuristic and transformative uses of AI that can be applied to revolutionize the entire online shopping ecosystem – a prominent one among them being the growing foray of online sellers into the realm of AI-based “conversational commerce”, primarily through the deployment of chatbots.
In fact, in today’s age of hyper-connectivity, where many brands promise 24/7 service and deliveries, AI-powered chatbots can be a great way to interact, engage with customers and increase sales through personalized offers, regardless of the hour. when they visit your online store! AI-enabled chatbots or apps can also be used to respond to consumer complaints or needs without any manual intervention. Another interesting use case for AI can be creating smart bidding platforms for e-commerce that aggregate local retailers and at the same time deliver the cheapest choice products to consumers, who can enjoy the best of both worlds in terms of online as well as offline shopping.
Since AI wonderfully enables computer programs to actively understand and analyze human speech and human shopping behavior, it may prove instrumental in the near future in helping modern shoppers research and find products online in a manner similar to seeking help from a customer service representative. in a physical store. It is crucial to realize that the capabilities of AI in the area of online shopping are constantly expanding and continually improving year on year with the further optimizations and advancements in areas such as computer vision and machine learning.
Globally, already well-known companies like Amazon and Netflix are reaping the benefits of being early adopters of AI. India must not and certainly will not be left behind; and it is high time for Indian companies or brands in the country’s e-commerce and online shopping space to embrace this new reality and prepare for the coming technological revolution which will be ushered in mainly through AI and d other technologies.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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