AI (artificial intelligence) technology and machine learning is going to have a major impact on the ecommerce sector in the coming years. In fact, it’s already happening.

Strong AI is offering brands the ability to understand customers better, deliver hyper-personalised product recommendations, facilitate smarter searches, make more accurate sales forecasts, and improve inventory management and customer service.

In short, AI is providing customers with a more seamless, more personalised shopping experience, which in turn will lead to increased revenue – something that every ecommerce retailer is looking for.

Let’s take a look at two of the major things AI can do for retail and ecommerce to help increase conversions, namely improving search capabilities, and driving better personalisation.

Search

At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all tried searching for something we need using an online store’s search function. Sometimes the search results come up trumps, but often we’re left trawling through tens, if not hundreds, of goods and services to find the one we’re really looking for. Millions of product SKUs and poor product information can make ecommerce search very clunky indeed.

AI can put a stop to all this.

With AI, your ecommerce business will be able to optimise and deliver search results without thousands of hours of manual work.

An intelligent system can transform your ecommerce operation by improving online retailing search, accurately predicting what a customer’s goal is, and then tailoring suggestions to fit the customer’s needs.

By helping shoppers find the exact product they want, faster, ecommerce stores will drive more conversions and increase revenue.

Technology such as Coveo Relevance Cloud is leading the AI search revolution for ecommerce, as well as other industries online.

Just imagine having a search function, with an AI system running in the background, which uses deep learning of a visitor’s search terms to deliver incredibly accurate search results, instantly; a search function that records the terms visitors search for and which products they click on and purchase, that then uses all past visitor behaviour data and natural language processing to ensure the most relevant products are served up to future visitors.

The enhanced search techniques offered by AI allow you to better understand visitor intent and offer them exactly what they want. You can provide customers with intuitive search, relevant recommendations, and behaviour-based personalisation across every part of their online journey with you.

With constantly improvised and contextualised search results, you will help customers find the right product faster, provide accurate product recommendations, which in turn will provide you with increases in basket value, improvements in conversion, and it will drive more revenue into the business.

AI search for ecommerce really is transformative, both for customers and for businesses.

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Personalisation

The other major benefit of AI for ecommerce retailers is personalisation.

Amazon and Netflix are rightly famous for being one of the first companies to do this; using your browsing and purchase history, and some smart algorithms and machine learning models, to recommend similar products you might like.

The times when ecommerce retailers could only recommend the same bestsellers to everyone are long gone.

Hyper-personalised product recommendations are what customers are looking for in today’s world. It delivers greater choice and control.

Customers have neither the time nor the inclination to sift and search through hundreds of different products, or be offered a generic best-seller that is of no relevance to them or their needs.

AI gives ecommerce retailers the ability to record multiple instances of customer behaviour, and use machine learning algorithms to make accurate predictions in terms of the products customers will like.

AI will automatically personalise the customer journey for each shopper by using this past visitor data, and the customer’s own site behaviour at that moment in time, to understand their shopping intent, and serve up product recommendations that are more accurate than human selection – product recommendations that your customers are more likely to act upon.

With AI quickly recommending the most meaningful products, even for anonymous or first-time shoppers, the customers save time, and they’re impressed. Both these things increase the likelihood of generating a conversion, and getting a repeat purchase, not once but multiple times.

Platforms such as the Sitecore Experience Platform are taking personalisation one step further.

Sitecore AI automated personalisation, one of the first-ever personalisation services to be powered by Microsoft Azure, automatically recognises website visitor trends, defines customer segments, and modifies web-page elements to deliver hyper-personalised digital experiences to visitors and customers.

Sitecore brings together content, commerce, and data into one connected platform, and with Sitecore AI, organisations with Sitecore as their digital experience and ecommerce platform have access to game-changing personalisation and next-level optimisation, allowing them to:

  • Use auto-personalisation on images, CTAs, and more
  • Measure personalisation performance
  • Track metrics like engagement value, KPIs, and bounce rates

Unlike other AI personalisation solutions, Sitecore AI is the only one to automatically identify customer segments, allowing brands to deliver a truly unique, one-to-one digital experience. And what’s even better is that Coveo and Sitecore work perfectly together.

How we can help

We have a 15-year history in helping brands transform the digital experience they deliver to customers, including driving better search, better personalisation, and driving huge increases in conversions and revenue.

If you’d like to know more about Coveo, Sitecore, or how we can help you make better use of AI within your business, just get in touch.