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Are AI and eCommerce Two Peas in a Pod?

PostedApril 30, 2021

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*DISCLAIMER* This article was written by an AI robot meant to sound like a human. 


Okay, our second *disclaimer* is that that’s not true. This article was written by one of our living, breathing, coffee-guzzling writers, who punched the words you’re reading into the keyboard manually.


However, there’s an eerie article published in The Guardian that was written by GPT-3, OpenAI’s innovative language generator. With AI dipping it’s digital hands into nearly every industry, it begs the question: how prevalent will AI be in Ecommerce and will it infiltrate online shops everywhere?


Spoiler: it already has.

Early Uses of AI in Ecommerce

AI is like your oddball neighbor Jim who uncomfortably remembers every random tidbit about your life, and asks all too personal questions when you’re dragging the trash bins to the curb. Only, AI is thousands of times more capable than Jimbo.


When integrated into online shops, AI works behind the scenes like caffeinated assistants, frantically gathering and processing consumer data. Then, just like a true office tryhard, AI goes above and beyond to identify insights and best practices for how to best engage with different customers. The whole report is neatly printed and placed on the boss's desk by lunch. That’s the power of AI.


One unmistakable example of AI’s seamless integration in Ecommerce is Amazon’s product recommendation technology called Amazon Personalize. You’ve probably been targeted by this AI dozens of times without realizing it. This technology works to upsell and cross-sell you products based on others that you’ve searched for or purchased.

 

Amazon Personalize is AWS's built-in AI recommendation system.

Photo by MetalToad.com


You might have thought you were just buying a standing light for the corner of your living room, but now you’re suddenly perusing different lamp shades and maybe even pondering some of the wall art Amazon’s AI has slid into your view.


Beyond algorithms that generate product recommendations, AI is being rapidly rolled out in the form of chatbot services and other touchpoints of communication between customers and a brand. 

How to Leverage AI For Your Shop Using Shopify

You don’t have to be Amazon or an Amazon vendor to capitalize on AI and intelligent product recommendations. Shopify offers apps that do the same things, and often multiple versions of each.

Intelligent Product Recommendations


We’d recommend AI Product Recommendations (also known as Recommendly, which is honestly much more catchy and memorable). This app gives you access to powerful AI that helps you create personalized experiences for each customer who drops by your shop.

 

Shopify showcasing personalized product recommendations.

Photo by Shopify.com


The app also enables a smart search bar so when customers type out a couple letters, the app will autocomplete the word or offer the friendly nudging “did you mean?” question when a word or product is misspelled. 

 

Smart Search Bar from Shopify

Photo by Shopify.com


A smart online retailer knows that often a large portion of their business comes from recurring customers. A thoughtful approach to upselling and cross-selling can uniquely target your recurring customers, tailor their shopping experiences, and result in more conversions.

Let Chatbots Chat For You

Handling every small inquiry and generic customer question can cost you loads of time and money---especially if you’re paying a customer service team to be readily available over chat, email, or phone.


And while humans are generally the very best at dealing with other humans, there’s ways to offload some of the standard questions to AI, and keep your customer service team fresh to tackle the real problems that arise.


Here’s a few intricate AI-powered chatbots Shopify offers up that might be the friendliest digital concierge you’ve ever met and the one you never knew you needed.


IntelliTicks is a comprehensive chatbot solution that chats with leads and customers 24/7, integrates with your CRM, offers automated FAQ responses, has lead prioritization, and provides you with analysis and tweaks as you go.


We popped over to IntelliTick’s website and asked it a simple question, in the chat box, of course: “Does this work with Shopify?” In about a nanosecond, the chatbot populated an answer to the question and then promptly highlighted a few things the product does to make life easier. And better yet, the answers it gave were actually useful.


Botsify is another legitimate chatbot option on the app market that plugs directly into your Shopify site. On the home page, Botsify boldly claims you can “build an AI chatbot and get 5x ROI while automating customer support by 80% in 2 months.”

 

Botsify showcasing 24/7 e-commerce support.

Screenshot from Botsify.com


Botsify focuses on asking contextual questions and allows you to create multiple chatbots for your business. It also allows anyone on your team to hop in and chat live at any point in the conversation.


Both IntelliTicks and Botsify are useful tools for increasing sales, better managing customers, and helping with cart recovery. 


You don’t need AI to impersonally take over your business (or write your articles!), but you can harness the power of AI and machine learning to better service your customers and take some of the simple stuff off your plate.

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