Lots of brands are leveraging on today’s latest technologies to transform the shopping experience into a whole new level. Post-Covid, even the small mom and pop stores, traditional brick, and mortar companies started hopping on to the e-commerce bandwagon and started leveraging these technologies.
Be it a Grocery, Apparel, furniture or jewellery, today’s shopping is going through tremendous change.
Let’s have a look-
The Gartner predicts that by 2021, 85% of customer interactions will be managed by AI. When technology is used in the right way, a lot of magic can be created around it. AI in online shopping has created huge disruption on the way how online shopping is done from gathering the customer data to giving personalized shopping experience to the customer and by understanding the way they shop of their likes and dislikes, creating such curated experience will have more conversion and lasting brand experience in the minds of the customers.
AI will help business in managing customer data, analyze and influence customers’ buying habits, limit deceitful transactions, and predict customer behavior, enabling online retailers to automate their businesses.
For example – Through the AI customer purchase journey is simplified and personalized. Once the user lands on the shopping page it handles the query through automated chat for understanding the requirement to recommend the products based the user buying behavior.
Data Science-Based Personal Interaction
Data is today’s gold mine and with Machine Learning it will empower to unleash a lot of possibilities to transform online shopping. DS and ML when combined help the business to understand the user in-depth, from understanding their sentiments on their purchase to their switching habits and what recommendations should be suggested for the customer’s current needs. According to Amazon, 35% of its sales are constrained by its recommendation engine. With proper training of machine learning models, to customer brands can give styling and fitment advisory by understanding the user’s face and body features, which is essential to become a market success.
In e-commerce, voice-assisted technologies help to increase sales through voice recognition technology which is called voice commerce. Here, instead of typing in a search query, customers use voice commands to search products or any required information.
For instance- Driven by voice recognition technology, Walmart created the Walmart Voice Ordering service. The technology concept is simple – you can place orders by using voice commands. Customers can use any devices and platform powered by Google Assistant or Siri. Everything you need is to say: “Hey Siri/Google, add to Walmart,” and add products to the cart by naming them. Once the order is placed, Walmart workers gather selected items and deliver by the method you have chosen when placing the order.
Virtual Try-On and Advancements In Body Measurement Technologies
With combined technologies like AI, ML, and Computer vision, today not only user’s facial analysis like shape, color, texture, or measurements can be done but also body measurements, helping customers with recommendations on what suits them and fits them. This would have a huge impact on the business as it will reduce a lot of returns and more conversion, estimated 10-20 USD cost to companies for each return. Another huge transformation for online shopping experience would be Virtual Try-On where customers can visually see themselves how would they look in their product choice. Right now, Virtual Try-On is available for Eyewear, Shoes, Jewellery, Makeup and for other fashion accessories. Also, Virtual Try-On has a distinct understanding of the user’s statistics that will make the recommendations more relevant compared to data-driven approaches.
Ecommerce and social media are becoming intertwined. Shoppable Instagram posts and stories, in particular, have taken off in the last year, with 41% of e-commerce brands using this feature. We know that consumers are heavily influenced by what they see on social media, especially from influencers; being able to buy directly on their social platform of choice is the next logical step in omnichannel commerce.
Research shows that the majority of online shoppers are willing to share personal information with a favorite retailer in exchange for personalized messages and offers. This give-and-take relationship is an essential determinant in driving loyalty in an online world.
Imagine walking into a store where the salespeople know your name, what you like, and recommend items accordingly. In most cases, it will make you feel special and valued. Real-Time Customization is a means to provide a diverse, customized experience to every customer, during every visit. It uses various parameters like purchasing habits, demographics, preferences, and geographic location to personalize messages. From clothing choices to entertainment, furniture, etc, product customization is more than a trend, it’s the configuration of the web to come.
Undoubtedly, technology plays a very important role in easing the online shopping experience. Whether it’s about a mobile-friendly interface, secure online payment mechanism, or helpful voice assistants, shoppers can now make the most of technological advancements to make their shopping experience enjoyable and smooth which is not going anywhere soon.
By Kavita Jha, Co-Founder, KiksAR