Council Post: How Machine Learning Will Shape The E-Commerce Industry


But with e-commerce, you don’t get to see your customers; you don’t have the ability to ask each one who’s browsing your online store what they want. Giving your customers a personalized experience is important, though. According to research from Accenture and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA),  of consumers surveyed are interested in personalized recommendations. So, how can you accomplish this in the virtual world of e-commerce? The answer might be machine learning.

With machine learning, you can truly understand the needs and behaviors of your customers and give them a more personalized shopping experience. This strategy is important to building a strong relationship with your customers and increasing conversions.

Take a look at how machine learning will shape the e-commerce industry.

Smart Product Recommendations

As mentioned earlier, customers are interested in receiving personalized recommendations. They’ll happily provide you with information that results in a more convenient, for them. Machine learning makes this process even easier, though, as you don’t have to wait for a customer to tell you what they want — machine learning can discover it for you.

Machine learning can monitor what your customers are doing on your website and even predict their next moves. Aside from activity on your website, machine learning can also track clicks in emails and in mobile applications as well. For instance, machine learning can detect what type of products a shopper browses most on your website and recommend more of the same. If a customer only buys during sales, machine learning can detect that and recommend only discounted products. By using machine learning to give your customers what they want at exactly the right time, you can dramatically increase conversions.

Chatbots As Personal Shoppers

A huge trend in e-commerce and machine learning that’s only going to get bigger is the use of chatbots as personal shoppers. You can’t be there to help your audience fill their carts, but your chatbot can. A couple of years ago, to make shopping smooth and customized for its customers. The chatbot asked a few questions and then could accurately predict what a user would like in terms of style. After discovering what their personal style was, the chatbot then put together an entire outfit, including shoes and accessories, from the brand.

Chatbots for e-commerce don’t just have to be personal shoppers, either. Chatbots can act as customer support for your online store, automate transactional messages and guide shoppers right to the checkout page — and they can do it 24/7.

Pricing Optimization

Pricing is extremely important in e-commerce. Since consumers are shopping online, if they don’t like your price, they can find another website to buy from in an instant. Pricing online is so competitive, but luckily, you can optimize your pricing for high conversions with machine learning

Machine learning technology can change the pricing on your website based on a number of factors, including your competitors’ pricing, customer preferences, demand and even time of day. According to a survey by Forrester Consulting and Revionics,  of shoppers appreciate when prices are personalized to their shopping habits. So, machine learning will be able to set prices in your online store to not only make your customers happy, but make your pockets happy, too.

More Powerful Search

The way shoppers search for products online will also change with machine learning. Typically, a user would enter in a couple of keywords to find what they were looking for. Then the search engine would return results with e-commerce stores that were using those keywords. But with machine learning, the search results your customers get will be improved by taking into account their personal preferences and purchase history. So, your customers will be getting search results more relevant to them.

Another hot new machine learning trend in search is visual search. Imagine this: A consumer sees an item out in the world, and they want to know where they can buy it online. They just have to point their camera at the item and snap a photo, and they’ll get results for places they can buy it online. Pinterest is developing this exact technology with its  visual search. In the future, this will be a popular and easy way for people to shop online. Discovering your online store will be even easier for your target audience.

For years, e-commerce businesses have been trying to get inside the minds of consumers to predict their next moves and discover exactly what they want. But with machine learning, all of that information can be at your fingertips. There’s no need to be afraid of technology — machine learning will help make your e-commerce business more successful than ever before.  

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