The development of Internet technologies has led to the diversification of the online market. Thanks to the rise in the number of mobile users and the development of artificial intelligence, eCommerce is one of the largest beneficiaries of these trends. As reported by Statista, the global revenue in online trade will surpass 2,958 billion dollars in 2024.
Since the number of online shoppers from all corners of the world is rising as we speak, innovations are constantly bringing advancements to this field. One of the crucial elements that will affect this industry in the years to come is artificial intelligence. Machines capable of recognizing and memorizing certain behavioral patterns will alleviate both the selling and shopping process.
In this article, you can read more about the most important trends and eCommerce entrepreneurs and online buyers can expect in 2020.
1. AI-generated data for predicting and categorizing
Learning how customers behave, what they want, and how they make decisions are the three most important pieces of information for every seller. Before the Internet, shop owners used to gather this data via surveys, questionnaires, and manually taken records.
The development of software tools and Internet solutions has introduced huge changes to this field. Still, the speed at which businesspeople in eCommerce started can identify shopping trends has significantly increased in the last decade.
Smart tools, i.e. computers and software tools capable of learning now collect big data about shoppers’ habits. On the one hand, there are simple options, like heat maps with which website owners follow their visitors’ behavior on the website.
On the other hand, more complex algorithms can recognize and store the information about all the products a visitor has checked out. The more steps online buyers make on e-stores, the more input they give to AI-tools. This trend will continue to develop by expanding the number of options for shopping predictions available to eCommerce entrepreneurs.
2. Advanced buyer experience through AI-based suggestions
Being able to predict how users will behave is important in the campaign-making process. Depending on the target audience and business plan, every online store can use this data to bring innovative strategies and launch special campaigns for potential buyers.
Closely related to that, buyers will get advanced user experience via AI-tools. The aforementioned traces that you leave by scrolling down eCommerce websites or entering search queries are tracked by those solutions. When they use those entries, they form an algorithm based on your patterns. By sorting out this information, they come up with suggestions that you might be interested in.
In brick-and-mortar stores, a shop assistant approaches their customers when they recognize that they are confused. At this point, they usually ask you if you need some help and give your suggestions based on your interest.
In the online context trade context, this process is performed by thousands of powerful machines that simultaneously collect terabytes of data about millions of buyers.
Retailers need to grasp these innovations to attract new customers before their competition.
3. Voice search and chatbots in AI
The progress of artificial intelligence yields new solutions all the time. The two of these ground-breaking advancements important for the eCommerce market are voice search and chatbots.
Voice search assistants
As for voice search, they’ve been with us for more than a decade. Still, they were a relatively one-sided procedure at the beginning. A user would say a query and the search tool in question would offer certain suggestions.
Today, however, this is a two-direction process. The main change “on the other side” is that search engines and tools now memorize everything uttered during the voice search. The more queries you pronounce, the more input data about these machines can store.
Voice assistants like Siri or Amazon Alexa and other important voice assistants are already rapidly changing the world of online trade. Based on the database formed through your voice entries, they can independently give you shopping and other suggestions. This saves buyers’ time and increases sellers’ revenues.
The more details you reveal to a voice search tool, the more information you can expect in return. Also, the fact that these solutions can recognize our voice will lead to even more advanced shopping options in the future.
Chatbots for cutting corners
Many eCommerce websites already rely on chatbots. These AI-tools are here to accelerate every shopping process by providing a certain number of behavioral templates.
When a chatbot asks you if you need any help, their future step will depend on your input. A rule of thumb is that chatbots can resolve some simple dilemmas and problems. A sort of live FAQ-section, chatbots save shopper’s assets by providing information instead of call center operators.
Even though every serious online business has a call center, using chatbots speeds up the problem-solving procedure.
Also, chatbots can resolve dilemmas only to a certain extent. If a shopper has a more complex issue, they’re directed to write an email or call the customer service.
4. Customized content adapted by AI
Content is one of the most important marketing tools on the Internet. Websites and business owners who create and publish relevant and attractive content generate more leads, get more visits, and reach higher revenues.
This is something that e-store owners should bear in mind, as well.
Artificial intelligence is here to help you put together proper content for your customers.
Keywords and AI.
Content creators and marketers can use a vast number of keywords stored from shoppers’ queries and voice searches. As your AI-tools notify you on the hottest keywords at a certain moment, you can react promptly and base your new content bits on those keywords. This will ensure more visits, reads, and potential purchases.
Social media content through AI.
Artificial intelligence can help you get more hits on social media. Tracking tools on Facebook, Instagram, and other networks already rely on operations performed by AI-solutions for social media. The results of data about users’ behavior on social media can be used to adapt your content to your target audience on social media.
Artificial intelligence can help you track what your rivals are going. Some AI-tools can follow the chosen websites and provide you with important data about the traffic, target audience, and certain marketing patterns used by their owners. All this info can come in handy in bringing your own strategy that will launch you ahead of the curve.
5. Removing fake recommendations
Business owners and Internet users can use artificial intelligence to generate different reviews. This means that those tools can be used to create fake reviews, comments, and misleading content in general.
Some AI-tools can already recognize and remove fake reviews.
The simplest form of protection is using the reCAPTCHA service in sections for reviews and comments.
However, as spambots and tools are becoming advanced, this won’t be enough in the time to come.
That’s why eCommerce owners need to learn more about AI-powered tools that eradicate non-genuine, artificially generate content on their websites. In 2020, and years ahead, tackling these issues is going to be one of the most important tasks for eCommerce owners.
If getting positive recommendations from real people and customers is beneficial for your business, negative fake reviews about your business can be harmful.
Also, think twice before launching an AI-powered campaign with positive reviews about your business related to your products and services. Internet users can recognize that and it might have a counterproductive effect on your business.
6. Enhanced purchase security
Ecommerce websites are one of the most endangered species in the online environment.
There are many interested parties that might want to obtain some confidential information about your website. From shoppers’ credit card numbers and personal data to your email lists and registries, hackers can have different motives to access your website.
Artificial intelligence is here to enhance the protective elements of your eCommerce website.
For instance, IBM’s Watson can perform a cognitive security analysis to predict attacks and interceptions from various malicious online sources. By protecting websites from current attacks and creating a log of these sources, such tools provide two-tier protection for website owners.
Employing AI-tools to increase the level of your security is crucial for the future of your eCommerce business. As online trade keeps spreading to all parts of the world, the number of hacker attacks and data thefts will increase, as well. Therefore, eCommerce users need to include AI-enhanced security in their business plan.
7. Improved automation for increased sales
We’ve already described how AI-solutions can already conduct an in-depth analysis of shoppers’ habits, patterns, and behavior in general. This automation is invaluable for every eCommerce business owner.
AI-machines can already put together special discounts, compile crucial elements for marketing campaigns, and identify the best prices for different target audiences.
Still, AI-based automation won’t stop here. The process of automation based on artificial intelligence is going to spread to the brick-and-mortar eCommerce field.
In line with that, we can expect robots in warehouses, trucks, and the delivery system. Software tools that use artificial intelligence will be connected to robots and other machines that will perform practical tasks.
Some of the big players in the eCommerce industry already rely on automated processes for smoother logistics procedures. Still, contemporary robots working in warehouses are supervised and managed by human operators.
Still, the next decade will accelerate these processes so eCommerce business owners need to follow the trends As predicted by Amazon, we can expect fully automated warehouses run solely by AI-robots by the end of the 2020s. At this point, robots are widely used in warehouses, but they can perform only repeated tasks for which they have been pre-programmed. In other words, they don’t possess enough autonomy to work independently.
These things will significantly change the world of eCommerce. Businesses that possess those new automation technologies will have a huge advantage over ventures that fall behind. That’s why it’s crucial for current and future eCommerce entrepreneurs to keep adapting new AI-solutions are they’re being released. These gradual innovations will help each of these e-traders stay in the competition.
8. Streamlining customers with web design
The ability of AI-tools to collect and analyze online data will benefit the field of Web design in the next decade.
As explained by the UX designers from a web design company in Houston, both Web and UX design relies heavily on users’ data.
In line with that, the behavioral patterns we’ve mentioned above aren’t only important for sales, content, and predictability. Web designers who can count on detailed information about users’ habits can produce user-friendly visuals. Truth be told, these details have been available to Web and U designers for some time.
What AI brings to this niche are thorough analyses of visual data and even possible solutions. While human designers still have the last word, AI-assistants will be able to provide insights and suggestions based on in-depth calculations. Web designers can either accept or decline these ideas, but they will be able to choose from a wide range of options.
As it seems today, artificial intelligence will provide useful tools and practical concepts to web designers to make their work process more effective. This should result in delivering more advanced user-friendly content, based on AI-generated scans and original designers’ solutions.
The final word
We’re only at the dawn of the AI-age and it’s already clear that we can’t predict how far this technology will take us. As for its use in eCommerce, AI-tools is crucial for predicting users’ behavior and business owners’ campaigns. These tools can already provide previous outputs in the form of sales, discounts, and special deals. What’s more, eCommerce business owners get information about their competition with AI-tools.
Users will continue to fill databases important for AI-performances through their voice search, written queries, and other interactions with websites and online stores. The more data we give to these solutions, the more feedback and suggestions they will deliver.
Security and online reliability of eCommerce brands can be improved and maintained with the use of AI-tools. This is something that will be in the spotlight in 2020 and onward, due to the growing threat of online attacks.
Finally, artificial intelligence will keep providing vital information and ideas for web designers and teams. This combination of machine-generated data and creative humans will yield even more user-centered visual solutions.
Liam Collins is a tech pundit and Web enthusiast working at TuiSpace.com. He spends most of his time reading and writing about the current affairs in the world of information technology. When he isn’t working, he likes going for long bike rides and walks in nature.