Compared with brick-and-mortar shops, eCommerce businesses have it rough! They have to be able to personalize engagement and interactions with their shoppers without ever seeing them in person. Additionally, shopper expectations have flown through the roof and even though they may be surfing your store, they want an experience that mimics reality as much as possible. 

Thank goodness for technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI). AI helps eCommerce businesses leverage the power of their historical data to gain predictions; this enables them to be proactive and act, not react. In this blog we will be covering just a few of the ways that AI helps eCommerce sales achieve higher conversions. 

Predict the shopper type

Not all buyers are created equal. In fact, there are 5 main types of shoppers: Product focused, browsers, researchers, bargain hunters, and one-time shoppers. The reason it is important to be able to predict and identify which type of shopper the visitor will end up being is because they all have different goals and expectations and your website needs to align itself with your potential shopper’s needs in order to reduce time to sale and increase the probability of a sale. With AI, you can predict what type of shopper and automatically deliver the content/messaging/offers that will resonate most with their persona. 

Shopper Personas

Check out some examples of how tactics vary amongst personas:

Product focused: This shopper knows exactly what they want and they need the site to give it to them quickly. The goal is speed. 

Some tactics/approaches/elements to keep in mind:

  • Provide them with easy access to previously placed orders 
  • High quality images and detailed product descriptions
  • Effective search and navigation tools
  • Streamlined checkout process for seamless experience

Browsers: They go on your site to find inspiration. Not looking to buy but if they see something they like, they will.

Some tactics/approaches/elements to keep in mind:

  • Show off what’s new, what’s on sale, and what’s popular
  • Make it easy for them to share with their friends
  • Capture emails for remarketing with emails

Researchers: They know what they want but they’re not sure you’re the best option for them yet. They won’t make a purchase until they’ve thoroughly compared solutions

Some tactics/approaches/elements to keep in mind:

  • Provide detailed product descriptions, excellent support and clear navigation
  • Become a reliable source of information with quality content
  • Enable reviews for social proof
  • Use easy-to-edit shopping carts that retain products between visits

Bargain hunters: They love bargains and they spend a lot of time looking for the best deals.

Some tactics/approaches/elements to keep in mind:

  • Make coupons simple and accessible 
  • Add your sale items to the full priced inventory AND make an additional discount section
  • Make them feel like they’re getting a deal

One-time shoppers: They are visiting your store due to a one-time need. They probably aren’t familiar with the site or even the product your site carries.

Some tactics/approaches/elements to keep in mind:

  • Show them they can trust you with their personal and financial information. Build trust fast
  • Make your contact and company info easily accessible 
  • Allow them to make a purchase without creating an account

Optimize Visual and Voice Search

According to a Gartner study, by 2021 businesses who choose to implement AI-driven visual search in their eCommerce sites will see revenue increases close to 30%! Another study predicted that voice-based shopping is predicted to reach $40 bn by 2022. The reason for this growth is due both to the change in shopper browsing behavior over the last few years (people are using their smartphones more than ever, voice search allows people to multitask and not put all their focus in one device, and shoppers are demanding a more friendly search option) and the access, development and implementation of AI in the eCommerce industry. AI-powered visual and voice search provides a better experience for the shopper; it is more engaging, personalized, and most importantly, effective. 

Here are 2 examples of companies who implemented excellent visual and voice search into their sites. 

ASOS- Visual Search

ASOS Style Match

The ASOS app has a feature called Style Match. Style Match lets shoppers upload pictures of their favorite outfits or styles, and then discovers similar products from their inventory that match it. By offering this feature, ASOS does a few things:

  • It keeps shoppers on the site because of the personalized and unique experience
  • While ASOS can match from more than 850 brands and over 85,000 products, they encourage users to buy from them (the ASOS brand) by showing them comparative products between them and competitors and always winning on the value by being the more affordable option

Walmart- Voice Search

Walmart has an AI-driven eCommerce voice agent which allows for shoppers to order, ask questions, etc. through Google Assistant and Siri. The agents can easily and seamlessly converse with the shopper and give accurate product recommendations based on past orders or personal preferences. So instead of saying something like “One liter of no pulp Brand Name orange juice,” you could just say “the regular OJ, please.” Maybe their heavy investing of AI in their customer experience is why in April of this year, Walmart grocery topped Amazon in app downloads by 20%…

Cart Abandonment

So many factors play into cart abandonment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know what to focus on. And that makes sense. Because although the checkout process is probably the most influential player in this problem (which is intricate and complex enough on its own) you have to take into account all the various influential factors on your site, from product placement to discounts and sales to even the image quality. Luckily, with AI, eCommerce marketers are able to overcome cart abandonment in multiple ways: 

  • Cart abandonment emails to remind shoppers about items they left in their cart
  • Cart abandonment predictions- Using AI to predict (based on shopper behavior) who is at risk of abandoning their cart and what messages over what channels to deliver to keep them on track
    • For example, sending personalized web push notifications along with the product image; “Only 1 left. Get yours now!” 
  • Shopper behavior predictions- Using AI to predict (based on shopper behavior) which product bundles or product recommendations the shopper is most likely to choose and continue the sale with
  • Have an AI chatbot that follows the shoppers buying journey and engages at opportune moments with product information and discounts

AI in eCommerce sales is just the tip of the iceberg. It overtakes every aspect of eCommerce, from predicting shopper type to knowing exactly which recommended product will increase the chance of a conversion. Implementing AI enables eCommerce stores to join the league of the giants and reap the same rewards.. 

Stay tuned for the next in this series that shows how AI impacts eCommerce marketing!