Most of us think of the term artificial intelligence, which we’ve all been getting familiar with for a while now, as intelligent machines with advanced, human-like capabilities. Artificial intelligence, whose application fields are getting wider and wider each day, will also be a game-changer in the future of e-commerce, which is a big part of our modern lives.
Spread of eCommerce
To give a brief definition, eCommerce is the act of buying and selling products or services through the internet. Ecommerce has been rising since the 90s, but with the rapid development of digitalization, it has now become an inseparable part of our lives. Especially with the boosting effect of COVID-19, it is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
The most solid reason why eCommerce is so popular is that it is convenient and efficient! We're all so busy with our daily tasks and responsibilities. At least being able to remove grocery shopping or paying the bills from our to-do lists spares time to handle another issue. You can buy anything 24/7 on any device and easily return it as well.
Another reason to be obsessed with eCommerce is the endless options that it provides with a click! When you decide to purchase a product or a service, you will get thousands of offerings literally from all over the world. Furthermore, you can easily compare them on any scale in a few minutes. Globalization and digitalization go hand in hand. The more we get digitalized the less we hit physical and geographic barriers. Here, these facilities, which we’re getting used to day by day, will shape the future of eCommerce.
Along with the convenience and the world full of options that eCommerce presents, probably the best part of it is customization. Ecommerce platforms offer us a personalized experience by optimizing our preferences based on our behaviors and previous choices.
Statistics also suggest that eCommerce is here to stay. According to Statista, the number of worldwide digital buyers is expected to reach 2.14 billion by the end of 2021. The same research shows that this number was 1.52 billion in 2016. This means that in the future of eCommerce the volume of the business will continue to increase and optimizing and controlling operations will get harder for the business owners.
Future of eCommerce
Online commerce is expanding and it needs to evolve with the consumers’ demands. To be preferred by the consumers among all other competitors, you need to give the consumer a reason to choose you.
Focus on the Customer Experience
Focusing on the customer experience is the best method to grow continually since it also boosts the possibility of loyalty. Getting a personalized service from your store will spoil your consumer. For instance, many online platforms already use Chatbots, but their capabilities and importance will scale up with the swift advancements in technology. They are going to have more elaborated communication skills.
Speed Up Your Deliveries
Providing better and multiple shipping options is the number one popular demand waiting to be met. Delivery Drones may come to the rescue! 44% of the consumers in Europe expect to get their order in three days on average and 40% of them back down if the shipping cost is high or not free for purchases over €150. However, using delivery Drones can reduce the delivery expenses and shorten the average delivery time. This alternative delivery option is also a green one, it lowers carbon emissions.
Provide Omni-Channel to Your Customers
In order to multiply your earnings, it’s crucial to meet your consumer through as many channels as possible. Omnichannel commerce is exactly what we’re talking about. It is providing your customer with both online and brick-and-mortar store shopping experiences. It is already significant, but it is a trend that won’t go away in the future either.
Just like, life itself, shopping is also getting mobile. The vast majority of online commerce activities are taking place on mobile devices. So, even though you’re already in the eCommerce game, you must provide an amazing mobile platform experience as well.
As well as these exciting expectations, there are also a few foreseeable subjects that need to be paid attention to. Another popular demand from consumers is multiple payment options. While integrating new systems will probably boost the volume of your sales, it may also bring some safety issues. Day by day it might get hard to control all transactions. Yet, adopting your payment systems to new technologies can help you stay in control of your business. It is crucial to stay safe against possible risks.
Use of AI in eCommerce
As you might already realize, most of the developments in the future of eCommerce depend on the broader use of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is already being used in eCommerce services, but the future of eCommerce lies in smarter machines. Chatbots who can solve complex problems and satisfy the consumer; devices that will cut the delivery costs; recommendation systems that will increase your sales by knowing your consumer and suggesting the other relevant products are the future.
Payment Control Systems
Integrating recent safety technologies such as artificial intelligence-powered payment control systems can help you cover all your transactions easily. It may be challenging to handle increased business volume with manual human analysis. To manage this volume and detect risky situations immediately, artificial intelligence technologies have great importance. Increasing transaction traffic may give you a hard time, especially during exciting sale campaigns. Benefiting from a smart system with a scalable approach could significantly reduce the revenue loss by real-time fraud detection.
Chatbots that we talk so passionately about are actually artificially intelligent assistants. They are built upon machine learning, and they can help your customers in many ways. They can answer questions about products, payment, stock state, and many more. Chatbots can process texts, voice commands, and images. If you’re offering an omnichannel service to your consumers, image recognition may be very helpful to people in terms of finding what they’re looking for.
Pricing may take much more time and effort than you think, especially if your inventory is wide. After a point, evaluating the market and competitors then optimizing your prices will become manually uncontrollable. However, thanks to our smart helpers, you don’t need to update your prices one by one. Artificial intelligence technology can continuously process big data and optimize your prices accordingly. You don’t need to move a finger; you can simply automate this process and it will handle the rest!
Artificial intelligence can also provide your business with supply chain management solutions. Intelligent logistics is another use case of artificial intelligence in eCommerce. It can make supply chain problems such as stock shortages and delivery delays more predictable, reduce labor and transportation costs, and increase operational efficiency. It goes without saying but it maximizes the general quality of workflow since it is less likely to repeat human mistakes. Intelligent logistics mainly manage your delivery cycle from top to end. Currently, Alibaba, one of the giants in eCommerce, is using unattended automated intelligent storage systems.
Finally, similar to chatbots, recommendation engines also help predict and shape customer behavior. It’s another smart system to boost your revenue. By virtue of machine learning, the recommendation engine algorithm customizes the searching process. It can find the possible right results that can attract the consumer, can recommend relevant products, know the consumer and their preferences and keep up with their changing demands and interests. It learns the keywords that people use to search for the same product and by recording them, it speeds up the search results.
Broader use of AI in eCommerce will bring huge advantages to the business. Simply because it provides faster, cheaper, and more efficient solutions and it’s less likely to make human mistakes. In a rapidly digitalizing world like ours, the concept of eCommerce which eases our lives on a daily basis must evolve to be even more convenient and advanced based on the recent technology and consumer demands. All the concepts involved in e-commerce, such as customer journey, storing, logistics, secure payment systems, and so on, must adopt to advance artificial intelligence technologies to take you one step ahead of your competitors in the age of big data.