The Gist:

  • Better understanding. Ecommerce allows companies to better understand customers’ interactions with their brands.

  • Jump in. Don’t be afraid to use AI and machine learning. Recent technological breakthroughs provide a myriad of CX capabilities.

  • The right tech. When it comes to implementation, companies must find the best fit for their use cases.

Evolving technology means more breakthroughs in customer service. With the increased use of digital communication channels, companies continue to expand their customer service offerings beyond traditional phone and email support to include chatbots, social media messaging and self-service portals. 

Recently, Forbes reported the global ecommerce market is expected to total $6.3 trillion in 2023. With all the buzz focused on ChatGPT and other forms of generative and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), this technology is transforming ecommerce experiences in numerous ways. In the CX world, it’s helping customers streamline their online shopping experience, helping them find personalized products faster and more efficiently.  

Ecommerce Matters

Customer experience is a broad umbrella, covering both online and offline experiences from the first time a customer hears about your company to post-purchase and follow-up inquiries. Ecommerce is a crucial aspect of customer experience because it shows how customers perceive all their interactions with your brand.

The physical inability to inspect a product can be a disadvantage of digital business and online shopping. Setting the right expectation and creating a frictionless experience for the customer is critical. Customer dissatisfaction might result in cancellations, carts abandoned, returned goods, negative feedback and buying from a competitor.

The experience can be transient, but how the customer felt can stick with them. Customers want a seamless experience with a brand every time they interact with it. For example, 79% of shoppers shop online at least once a month, according to Oberlo. And that means all of those customers want to be happy with each of their ecommerce buying experiences.

Related Article: AI’s Role in Digital and Retail Personalization, Part 1: The Big Picture

Transform and Enhance Ecommerce With AI & ML

AI and machine learning can greatly improve your ecommerce customer experience. Here are a few integration tips to ensure success:

Personalize Product Recommendations

AI algorithms can analyze user data, browsing history and purchase behavior to provide personalized product recommendations. This makes the shopping experience more efficient and convenient for customers, which increases the likelihood of them making a purchase. Amazon, Netflix and most online supermarkets provide great examples of personalized recommendations.

Use Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

Chatbots and personal assistants are easy to access, always available and can be accessed on-demand. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide instant customer service and support 24/7. They can handle a wide range of queries from answering simple questions to processing orders and resolving issues without the need for human intervention.

Visual Search

Visual search technology and QR codes use AI algorithms to analyze images and match them to relevant products. This makes it easier for customers to find what they're looking for, even if they can't describe what they want in words.

Learning Opportunities

Prevent and Detect Fraud

According to CNP, $48 billion is expected to be lost to ecommerce fraud in 2023, which is why implementing some sort of security is key. AI-powered fraud detection algorithms can quickly detect and prevent fraudulent activities like credit card fraud and identity theft. This protects both the customer and the business from potential losses.

Optimize Prices

AI algorithms can analyze customer data and market trends to determine the optimal price for products. This helps businesses increase their sales and revenue while providing brands and customers with competitive pricing.

Manage Your Inventory

AI algorithms can analyze sales data and predict demand to optimize inventory management. This reduces the likelihood of out-of-stock situations — which leads to lost sales and dissatisfied customers — and reduces customer churn.

Employ Social Media Commerce

Social media commerce is expected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2026, according to a Global Industry Analysts market study, so it makes sense to integrate AI/ML to supercharge your brand. Advertise to target user segments, sell and promote products, improve and extend customer services and engage in conversations while building and managing your community.

Related Article: AI in Ecommerce: True One-on-One Personalization Is Coming

Final Takeaways on Using AI & ML in Ecommerce

Choosing the right technology and vendor can get your AI & ML integration underway flawlessly. Companies should evaluate different vendors and conversational AI technologies to find the best fit for their use case, budget and technical capabilities. In addition, they should consider factors like language support, integration with existing systems and customization options. 

Transforming your ecommerce strategy and experience with AI/ML will improve the customer experience, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and efficiency — all while reducing costs and optimizing business operations. 

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