Artificial Intelligence as Leverage for Boosting eCommerce Sales

Aug 12, 2021 7 min read


Artificial Intelligence as Leverage for Boosting eCommerce Sales

Reading Time: 7 minutes

eCommerce is one of the most competitive domains where customers anticipate an individual approach, unique products, personalization, or favorable prices. The use of Artificial intelligence in eCommerce is coming out as a winning criterion to satisfy customers’ needs and boosting online sales.

For online stores, the site is the foundation of their success. Conversions and prosperity depend on what website optimization steps store owners take. And this is where AI can provide leverage in increasing the number of sales and finding out what your audience wants, which is so vital in such a dynamic world. Successful marketers should ask themselves 2 questions:

  • What does the client want?
  • Which product or service satisfies the client’s needs best?

Artificial intelligence in sales is the best way to find answers to these questions quickly. First of all, it can create unique personalized offers beyond the usual sale of a product and maintain customer loyalty for the longest possible period. Statistics state that 80% of marketers attribute their success to marketing automation. In this article, we’ll contemplate five ways how artificial intelligence can boost online sales.

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence affects eCommerce Sales

1. Personal Assistants and Voice Search

When discussing artificial intelligence, we can’t ignore Amazon Alexa, an individual personal assistant. From the Amazon Fire TV to the Amazon Tap portable Bluetooth speaker, Alexa helps users get what they want. In 2014, this assistant was mainly in use for ordering, but now it can be called a pioneer in increasing business profitability.

Statista predicts that purchases through smart home devices will grow by over $164 billion in 2025 from $22 billion in 2020. It is a more than 630% increase in five years caused by switching to shopping from IoT solutions.

Why Is Voice Search Evolving?

  • The first and most apparent reason is speed. Voice search is much faster than the usual textual one. 
  • Also, convenience is obvious. Easier said than printed. 
  • Last but not least, the technology is perfect for mobile. The fact that mobile defeated the desktop is evident to everyone. Almost everyone has Siri, Alice, “Ok Google,” and so on in their pocket. And the majority of mobile users use voice search.

There are smart speakers, home appliances with voice control, and other devices besides mobile ones. Personal AI shopping assistants can communicate with customers in different languages ​​and organize their preferences. The client can ask the personal assistant a question and get a quick and accurate answer to it.

It means that instead of leaving your store empty-handed, customers will still be able to find a position that suits their interests. Therefore, it makes sense for retailers to pay attention to this fact and consider it when drawing up their digital strategy.

Renowned whiskey brand Johnnie Walker has launched a multi-platform digital guide to help users learn more about the drink. The solution is integrated with Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger. Alexa first asks the person a few questions about their preferences and then recommends the appropriate Johnnie Walker product.

2. Visual Search for eCommerce

One of the obstacles people face when looking for a product is that they don’t always know its name. As a rule, the results of such searches aren’t satisfactory. In eCommerce, where a product includes many details, visual search can be incredibly useful in converting leads.

First, users take a photo of an object using a smartphone or upload a ready-made one from the gallery. Then visual search allows for passing this image through special recognition software. As a result, a person receives a direct link to purchase the desired product.

Atterley launched a visual search tool enhanced by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Users upload a photo of the clothes they like, and the search displays products related to the apparel style. In addition, you can alter the size of the search field, which will affect the search results.

Screenshot was taken on the official Atterley website

What Tasks Does Visual Search Solve?

  1. Customers will find an item faster: To find specific clothing in online stores, a user often spends hours browsing dozens of pages of several sites. People get tired, and the longer they search on your site, the less likely they are to buy from you. Modify visual search to speed up the selection process. 
  2. It allows visitors to visualize a purchase: They can almost immediately get a similar or exactly the same product. Consequently, visual search will increase conversion since the client won’t forget why he came to the online store. In addition, if a store sets up an accurate search, it will get more buyers coming from competitors.
  3. Customers will share their preferences: As an owner of the online store, you find out about preferences. If you analyze the photos that the customer is loading, you can understand unknown facts about people’s favorites.
  4. You can use social media: With the ability to search for clothes from photographs, the store can upgrade collaboration with social media bloggers. If customers like the look, they can upload a photo of the influencer to an online store and find an outfit.

3. Individual Product Recommendations / Personalization

If we offer the same item to everyone, we won’t sell it at all. Buyers appreciate the personal touch. But it can be challenging to find out exactly what they want. Customers leave a vast amount of data when signing up for a newsletter or registering on the site. It allows for segmenting your audience into groups and making more personalized offers.

AI helps to process each individual’s data and obtain information about them. For example, their past consumption habits and shopping experience.

Artificial intelligence can correlate this information with the available range of products and suggest more of what a person might be interested in and less of the goods he has never bought before. Based on the customer profile, you can subsequently develop individual sales strategies.

Marketers are already using Big Data and predictive analytics. They identify patterns and abnormalities in the behavior for personalization. For example, analyzing buying experience, experts generate recommendations specific to a particular client.

However, hints of the neural network will most likely coincide with the client’s true desires if it accumulates as much data as possible. In this case, the accuracy of the AI ​​algorithm will be high.

For example, if a group of customers bought table tennis rackets, they will be offered this type of product in the future. Or the algorithm can remember the size of the clothes that the customer usually orders. A neural network using predictive analytics will auto-fill this field the next time a customer selects product parameters.

Thus, the system combines already known information about consumers and data about the expected (the most probable according to the AI ​​vision) choice. Check out the screenshot below of how Slickdeals store leverages this technology.

At the same time, AI examines how much time a visitor spent viewing a product in an online store, scrolling, clicks, and other parameters to determine the level of customer interest. The virtual assistant can fill out an application for participation in the promotion, tell about an amount on the bonus card that can be spent on purchases, etc. If the client has a birthday soon, it will offer a discount coupon to obtain the product. So, the probability of buying will increase several times.

4. Chatbots to build an army of Loyal Customers

The person doesn’t immediately decide to purchase from you. Instead, he contributes lots of time to the site and examines all the conditions and assortment. And now he is almost sure that he wants to leave his money in your store, but suddenly abandons it.

There are many reasons why they hesitate to make a deal with you. One of them may be that these people just need a little more information about the product and a little more determination. You cannot answer website visitors’ questions around the clock and in real-time, but chatbots can.

Powered by artificial intelligence, these interactive agents can increase retention, sales, and customer service. Below, you can see how Victoria’s Secret uses chatbots to help customers make product choices:

Chatbots help build customer loyalty because they focus on visitors’ needs, answer their questions about order status, provide recommendations, and keep in touch with them. That is, they give customers more than they can expect. They improve the quality of service by providing visitors with a positive experience of your business.

Furthermore, chatbots allow steering clear of live communication. Statistics reveal that 56% of consumers favor contacting a company via messages rather than making a call. Thus, it increases customer service satisfaction while reducing customer service costs.

5. Virtual Try-on with Face Recognition for CRO

One of the applications of AI in online sales is augmented reality. This technology is similar to face masks and filters on social media or video conferences and live streams. It finds its way into product pages in eCommerce and allows you to try on products powered by face and body recognition.

Typically, the system requests access to the camera, and, like a reflection in the mirror, the user sees himself on a computer or phone screen and how the product fits him. To some extent, it helps store owners save money on real testers.

However, the main advantage is reducing the cost of product returns that your customers didn’t like and didn’t fit in style or color. Of course, this technology cannot 100% convey color, texture, and sensation, but it allows to play with different product options.

So the buyer can find what he is most likely to want. It will push hesitant and unsure buyers to purchase faster. As an example, below is a screenshot of the eyewear product page on the official SmartBuyGlasses website.

By clicking the “Try on virtually” button on the page, the buyer gets the opportunity to connect the camera of his device in real-time. The system will ask you to record video from some angles to measure the size most accurately.

The technology then puts the glasses on the face so the client can see what they might look like in real life. This future-oriented technology is already enjoying success among makeup, hair dyes, clothing, and even furniture brands.

To Wrap Up

AI finds its application in various fields, including eCommerce. We have listed only a small part of how artificial intelligence increases online sales. All forecasts prove that the introduction of AI not only won’t stop but will also expand.

NLP and machine learning technologies are involved in solving an extensive range of tasks, from monitoring publications in the media to tracking the mood of customers and employees. At the same time, AI projects tend to be complex.

Their success is determined not so much by the capabilities of AI technologies. It is the correct formulation of the problem and the choice of the right tools to solve it that matters.

Alex Husar, chief technology officer at Onilab. For over 8 years he’s been working on Magento migration and development projects as well as building progressive web apps (PWAs). Alex is an expert in full-stack development who shares his expertise and in-depth knowledge on modern technologies and Computer Software Engineering.