Companies all over the world are embracing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to increase their business reach and ultimately increase sales. To help you understand the power of AI and how it affects human buying decisions, let’s look at this scenario.

You are in your office and about going for a lunch break, and just when you are about picking up your phone to head out, you hear a voice from your phone saying: “ You may be running out of milk tomorrow and luckily, you can get it for half the price today at Johnson’s Mart. Would you like to place an order now and get it for $2.50?” Once you confirm your order, it will be ready for pickup on your way back from lunch.That is the power of AI. It studies your buying behavior and without your notice, it predicts when you are likely to run out of a product and presents you with an option to buy. You are even more prompted to buy when there is a discount attached to the product. So,no more trying a lot of coupon codes after doing Google search.

“Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook among many other websites are ceaselessly looking for ways to dig deeper into how a consumer behaves. The idea is to always use technology to predict this behavior and maximize it,”says Christine Brown,co-founder of GoMonatana,which uses AI to find working coupon codes and deals.Have you ever experienced a situation where you just visited Amazon looking up some cameras? You spend some minutes there and when you are done, you leave the website and move on to your Facebook page. On opening your Facebook page and scrolling down a little, you see adverts from Amazon showing adverts on cameras. And you wonder how in the world Facebook knew you were interested in buying a camera.

We are not about to venture into the era of predictive commerce – we are already in it. And so, if as a business owner you are still to take advantage of this movement, you may find yourself left behind while others are way ahead.

The Present Situation

AI-powered assistants like Google Home and Alexa from Amazon are being used by healthcare giants, e-commerce stores, automakers, banks, fashion companies to reach out more to consumers. Through AI Chatbot, consumers can use voice or text interactions to find out about product offers as well as make inquiries from customer service even after working hours when there is no staff available.Companies make use of AI chatbots to not only converse with consumers but to increase service or sales productivity. Before now, digital consumers used to get overwhelmed with endless product choices.

A prediction by Walker Information, a consulting firm in the US predicts that this year, 2020, the key brand differentiator will no longer be ruled by product and price but customer experience.

Many stores are taking advantage of smartphones to monitor customers’ activity in order to deliver targeted offers. By studying consumer behavior and timing the right time to send out promotional emails, companies have witnessed a surge in sales. This is because these emails are delivered when consumers check their emails or make use of their smartphones for socializing.

It is no longer news that by uploading images on the internet, consumers can make use of image recognition to get different results for products instead of typing in the word or going through various e-commerce websites. But this isn’t to assume that voice and image recognition will eliminate the need for consumers to consult various websites. Most buyers go through several reviews before making a buying decision.

What The Future Holds

There is still a need for business owners to make use of AI technology to build websites that are fully cognitive. That way, consumers are taken to smarter funnel to help them reach a buying decision before user fatigue or distraction kicks in.Just like the scenario we created at the beginning of this article, the time has come when websites should predict consumer personal events like birthdays, anniversaries or other things like when the consumer is running low on an item and present the consumer with products and services that meet such occasions.

“The future of AI technology in e-commerce requires a system that focuses more on humans than on a device, or around offline or online experience. Finding the right balance between human analysis and AI will help companies close out on more shopping carts than the number that gets abandoned.”says Nirmal Singh,co-founder of Hellodiya,an AI based shopping assistant website.A deeper and better understanding of a consumer’s real-time analysis can be used by AI to present more accurate recommendations to the consumer. And this has to be done as naturally as possible. Presenting a consumer with baby items simply because such consumer commented on several pictures of a new baby on a friend’s page isn’t enough reason to present the consumer with baby products.

And while at it, retailers also need to place security, respect, and transparency on top of their list even as they offer more value to the consumer.

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