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How is AI Redefining the Future of eCommerce Industry – ReadWrite



How is AI Redefining the Future of eCommerce Industry - ReadWrite

Years back, the world was completely unaware of the success of AI in the eCommerce industry. Undoubtedly, applications of AI have embedded themselves into our businesses and lives in a wide range of ways. Businesses can not only make faster decisions but also automate and optimize operations to drive better business outcomes.

Having said that, global eCommerce sales are anticipated to reach $4.88 trillion in 2021. Moreover, the global Pandemic has changed the way people shop, which uplifted the demand for online shopping even more. As it meets consumer needs without any physical restraints whatsoever.

Returning to what we call “normal” will most likely occur later in the year — since consumer behaviors have drastically shifted from physical to digital. AND maybe things won’t change at all.

The shift we have been in may not be irreversible because digital transformation is all about saving time and money while eliminating geographical boundaries. On the other hand, eCommerce is assisting social distancing policies while facilitating economic revival in the country.

Therefore, eCommerce industries increasingly move towards AI initiatives (vocaldotmedia/futurism) to improve the entire customer experience. There are a finite number of things AI can do single-handedly. From managing hundreds of online sale orders every day to processing transactions, opportunities to leverage AI are endless.

AI not only assists and compliments the people involved in business but also speeds up processes to avoid customer drop-off rates.

The Rapid Advancement of AI systems

Among other industries, AI has greatly impacted the eCommerce sector. Retailers have started to integrate the power of Artificial Intelligence with their marketing campaigns and strategies, consequently making marketing efforts more efficient, thus optimizing business performance.

AI was the only missing ingredient to get a higher ROI in the retail industry.

Online businesses were using intelligent automation to improve efficiency and reduce costs, initially. But now, AI is introducing newer ways of doing business online. AI now has the capabilities to increase operational agility, improve decision-making processes, and enhance the customer experience.

Enhancing customer experience is the future of the eCommerce industry — it depends on better customer experiences. Also, eCommerce is reaping the benefits of automation by providing customized shopping recommendations and personalization options.

To survive in the era of competition and constant digitization, businesses need to use technological advancements to deliver unmatched customer service.

Benefits of AI in the eCommerce Industry

  • Enhances user experience along with products
  • It helps customers and companies make better decisions
  • Marketing and workflow automation
  • Optimizes company processes
  • Assists in identifying competition and new markets

AI in eCommerce: The Possibilities are Endless

Apart from personalization and recommendations, AI-powered chatbots and predictive analysis are also making a difference. AI in the eCommerce industry allows online businesses to understand customer buying patterns and how they engage with your products.

Smart analytics help businesses to identify the competition and the best way forward. Over 80% of executives in the retail industry expect their companies to utilize intelligent automation applications in 2021.

It’s finally time for online businesses to embrace AI to strengthen their positions in today’s competitive marketplace. So let’s see how AI is reshaping the eCommerce industry.

1. Personalization for better customer experience

Personalization is one of the most powerful ways to influence consumer behaviors. But it used to require much more effort on behalf of the company in previous years. But now, the availability and advancement of AI coupled with marketing automation have given rise to sophisticated market segmentation, which is less costly and faster to implement.

How can AI improve your personalization strategy?

Smart machines can now profile and classify customers based on the data they passively or actively input or provide through digital platforms, known as digital footprints, which are now named personalization.

Personalization, on the other hand, is directly related to the relevance of the content. Based on customer data and past purchases, eCommerce platforms can run retargeting marketing campaigns. Now, this relationship of behavior analytics and automation is termed as digital nudging, which as a result, can help businesses to redefine or reframe their services.

The access to consumer data helps companies create personalized experiences, from product suggestions to promotions which enhances the sales cycle and the revenues altogether. Artificial Intelligence understands customer shopping preferences. Say, for example, if a customer has spent a noticeable amount of time on a pair of jeans, this information will be stored.

Next time they may receive a push notification on their handheld devices, informing them about the sale for the same product category. From there, customers can directly make a purchase, saving time and long processes.

Benefits of providing personalized product recommendations

  • Increases the number of returning customers.
  • More customer retention and conversion rates.
  • Offering a personalized shopping experience.
  • Ability to send personalized email campaigns.

2. AI-driven chatbots for Conversational Commerce

A wave of technologies has changed how consumers expect to interact with businesses. eCommerce is all about building relationships and experience within the existing and potential customer base. Therefore AI chatbots are the new normal. Undoubtedly, businesses are fast adapting AI chatbots to improve how they engage with their customers. Chatbots are becoming a necessity for transforming the customer experience.

There are many ways in which chatbots can revolutionize the online business landscape.

  • Chatbots in eCommerce can provide round-the-clock customer support.
  • They also help businesses save operational costs.
  • They are great with customer interaction and keeping them engaged on the website.
  • Conversational bots save customer’s time by providing instant solutions.
  • They are highly scalable to meet the demands of growing businesses which brings in more productivity and customer satisfaction.
  • Help discover products according to their preferences.
  • They act as your concierge or personal virtual assistants.

Consumer needs are rapidly evolving; intuitive AI chatbots are helping companies keep up with the shifting demands.

Apart from providing top-notch customer service, AI is enhancing eCommerce through:

  • Natural language processing (or NLP) to interpret voice-based communication with customers.
  • Problem-solving techniques to offer better solutions.
  • Self-learning abilities improve with every customer interaction.

Chatbots are a way of driving the conversation with consumers to complement conversational commerce. They are not only efficient and but, according to research, they will also save over $8 billion for businesses each year by 2022. Therefore, many retailers will be taking advantage of such an opportunity in the coming years.

One of the many Chatbot use- cases

Businesses can integrate chatbots with their shopping carts. It has a great deal of potential as it can retrieve product details and quantity that consumers ordered. This way, a chatbot may be able to provide accurate promotions and information to customers the next time they land on your online store. Chatbots are becoming quite popular in the travel and tourism industry as well and are one of the prominent mobile app development trends (invozonedotcom) of 2021.

3. Facilitating voice search

How many websites do we see that are facilitating the functionality of voice search? Not many, I am guessing. But surprisingly, Voice-based shopping is expected to reach $40 billion by the year 2022. Therefore, Artificial Intelligence, with the help of speech recognition, is going to revolutionize online shopping.

As it is not only convenient but exciting too. Some of the biggest giants, such as Google and Amazon, are increasingly opting for voice assistants to assist customers worldwide. They are also adopting multilingual approaches to broaden their horizons. The application of voice search is not limited to playing songs or checking weather updates. Voice search practices are also making searching and confirming purchases easier, offering accuracy and convenience.

Voice search is a game-changing innovation that will offer an amazing customer experience in the future.

Deep learning can effectively convert speech to text, offering accurate results, enhancing the web search experience.

Through intelligent algorithms and data patterns, voice search is redefining the online shopping experience. Additionally, voice search is expected to become more engaging and communicative in the coming years with advanced AI technology.

The scope of AI-driven eCommerce for Marketers

Ultimately, AI is bound to improve our online shopping platforms. It can help marketers to design data-driven campaigns that are actually relevant to consumers based on their interests and search results which could boost profitability rates for retailers.

Through AI predictive analytics, marketers can predict what customers will be more likely to buy in the future, products they are least interested in, devices or channels they prefer for online shopping, the price brackets. Based on these patterns, targeting customers through marketing initiatives can be implemented. Moreover, marketers can scale their marketing efforts altogether.

The bottom line

AI in the eCommerce industry plays a massive role in bringing in innovative solutions and better customer experiences. Personalized shopping and product recommendations, chatbots and virtual assistants, and voice search are some of the most talked-about use cases of artificial intelligence in eCommerce. But the list doesn’t end here.

All the more reason why eCommerce businesses should consider AI applications for better results as it enables them to become more customer-centric in their approaches. Because at the end of the day, customers can make or break your business.

Image Credit: anete lusina; pexels

Sadia Mehmood

Sadia is a research analyst and technical content curator with passion for writing mostly on latest technological trends focusing on AI. She is a professional by the day and gamer by the night. Sadia is currently associated with Invozone – a mobile and web development company in Canada.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

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Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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