Sentient AI Transforming the E-commerce and Retail

Artificial Intelligence or AI is the hottest technology innovation of the recent times. It is now confirmed that the technology is transforming the E-commerce and retail sectors as well. Interestingly, customers are increasingly aware of the importance of the technology, and at least two-third of the U.K. customers thinks that online retailers should introduce AI into their stores for improving the shopping experience. The most prominent changes in the technology are it improves the search experience with visual search. When people are not interested in hours of search in the online platforms, the visual search options with better suggestions give instant results for what the customer needed. The visual search also can produce more appropriate results than something with data or keyword search.

Interestingly, Neiman Marcus’ Snap, a U.S. based department store, introduced an option even to upload images of their favorite clothes they saw somewhere and get the same or similar products from the online store using AI-enabled tools. The technology is also transforming the E-commerce and retail sectors in terms of stock optimization. With large inventories and stocks, many big online retailers are hooked up with the need for speed. Many large online stores are now depending on AI for stock replenishment. Morrisons of the U.K. could reduce the shelf gaps up to 30% with the technology. By effectively analyzing public holidays, weather forecast, and more, the AI technology helps Morrisons to make 13 million stock replenishing decisions per day.

AI enabled chatbots are another trend in online retailing. Many big retailers are employing chatbots for helping the customers in issues and assisting them in purchases. For instance, Alexa, the voice-activated assistant from Amazon, is actually an AI chatbot, and millions of customers last year showed satisfaction with its services. Similarly, other retailers such as Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, and others are using different types of chatbots to help its customers. Interestingly, an IBM survey last year showed that 65% of millennials prefer chatbots compared to human agents – a sign of the changing notion.

The technology also provides intelligent recommendations to the shoppers with respect to their shopping history. The AI technology processes large amounts of data about the customers including their physical characteristics and other factors to bring the best suggestions for them. Apart from that, the technology also facilitates personalized marketing to the visitors of the online stores. It means that each customer is getting relevant products based on their purchase quite similar to an experience of upselling.