What Impact Will AI Have on the Future of Ecommerce?

What Impact Will AI Have on the Future of Ecommerce?

When we think about intelligent machines, our minds usually turn to the most obvious examples. Self-driving cars, smart thermostats, and Go-playing computers are all reliant on some artificial intellect. But there are many other forms of AI that are often overlooked. For instance, e-commerce is currently undergoing an AI revolution. Rather than wading through huge catalogues, online shoppers receive recommended products when they first arrive. In fact, the whole virtual retail experience looks set to be transformed in the coming years. Here’s our look at the future of e-commerce.

The Future of Ecommerce

The term “e-commerce” applies to any transaction that involves buying or selling online. This definition includes the sale of physical goods, as well as intangible digital files.

Future of Ecommerce 03

In fact, e-commerce stretches from purchases made on the App Store through to regular clothes shopping. Given the sheer variety of e-commerce merchants online, it’s unsurprising to note that there are numerous marketing strategies in operation. In future, most will be at least partially based on AI.

Future of Ecommerce 04

This might sound futuristic, but the switch from human to machine is happening right now. According to a recent report by Business Insider, 85% of customer interactions could be handled without human intervention by 2020. In other words, the next three years are going to be a turning point in the evolution of online retailing.

[tweet_box]85% of customer interactions could be handled without human intervention by 2020[/tweet_box]

Such a transformation is quite difficult to envisage. How will AI interact with customers? How will the software drive sales? What will happen to customer support? And will there be new opportunities? To answer these questions, we have to meet some pioneers.

Future of Ecommerce 02

What to Expect

At the moment, online shopping feels quite like shopping at the mall. When you want to buy something, you have to visit the website of a suitable retailer. On your arrival, you can browse through the catalogue or ask for what you need (via search). Once you have put everything in your basket, you then pay at the checkout. This antiquated model can be frustratingly slow for the consumer. But with AI, the process is likely to receive a major overhaul.

For starters, each customer will have their own personal shopper. Mona is an intelligent app developed by former Amazon employees. She’s like the retail therapy version of Siri. Rather than searching for a new pair of jeans, you can tell Mona what you’re looking for. Based on your previous purchases, she will then find something to suit your taste and budget.

For everyday supplies, Amazon Echo owners can simply ask Alexa to add items to their shopping list. This is much easier than regular online grocery shopping, and customers can pay with one click.

Targeted Marketing

Even when people aren’t necessarily looking to buy, AI marketing can help with the search for new customers. For example, future wearables could collect data that will be useful for retailers. Visited a pet store recently? Expect to receive personalized deals on doggy treats and cat toys.

Artificial intelligence can even replace human sales assistants. Rapidly improving chatbots will allow e-commerce stores to provide instant suggestions and support. Plus, AI can even tackle the scourge of fake product reviews. That’s pretty big news when you consider that around 90% of potential customers are swayed by positive reviews.

Intelligent Future

Whether we like it or not, e-commerce will soon be run by machines rather than humans. Powered by data, this artificial intelligence is likely to post bigger sales numbers than ever before. For anyone in retail, the future of e-commerce looks incredibly exciting.

Are you an e-commerce merchant with your eye on AI? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.
Join the Discussion

You Might Also Like

Replace all your fromage knifes with just 1—the Revel steel cheese knife

Replace all your fromage knifes with just 1—the Revel steel cheese knife

Make serving cheese easier with the Revel Cheese Knife. This fromage knife replaces multiple cheese knives with its clever 3-blades-and-1-fork design. Love cheese plates? Then you know you need a soft cheese knife for Brie, a cleaver for semi-hard cheeses..
Spark Catch is the durable LED-illuminated baseball that lets you play catch at night

Spark Catch is the durable LED-illuminated baseball that lets you play catch at night

If you’ve ever played baseball or catch, you know how easy it can be to lose track of the time. Once the sun goes down, it can be quite difficult to track a pitch or stray ball without decent lighting...
Best Cyber Monday 2022 deals and tech discounts from around the web

Best Cyber Monday 2022 deals and tech discounts from around the web

Cyber Monday marks the height of the holiday shopping season. Deals are often better today than on Black Friday, and you can score them while sitting in front of your computer, listening to Christmas music. But in the swarm of..
Best yoga gadgets and accessories to buy this winter

Best yoga gadgets and accessories to buy this winter

Focus on your practice this winter with the best yoga gadgets and accessories. Whether you want to delve deeper into your practice or start yoga for the first time, these gadgets can help you better hold those poses and unwind...
Holiday gift guide—the most popular gadget gifts to buy

Holiday gift guide—the most popular gadget gifts to buy

Shopping for someone special? Maybe you want to treat a family member to something they’ll love. Whoever you’re shopping for this holiday season, the most popular gadget gifts to buy will surely be hits. So we’re rounding up the coolest..
Best Black Friday deals and discounts from around the internet

Best Black Friday deals and discounts from around the internet

Happy Black Friday, everyone! The 2022 holiday shopping season has officially begun, and with are countless deals on the brands you love. So whether you’re shopping for a new TV or a robot vacuum, check out today’s roundup. It has..