Weekly Stories

How artificial intelligence is set to revolutionise e-commerce

Reported by Lauren Sharkey on Jun 7, 2018 1:55:17 PM

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Online retailers face many struggles. Acquiring customers is one, keeping them on a site is another, and actually landing a sale is the last. All of these are major hurdles that can easily be overcome thanks to new artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Take the issue of abandoned shopping carts. In 2017, it was estimated that a huge $4 trillion worth of merchandise was left in online shopping carts by customers who either forgot about their potential purchase or simply left the site uninspired. So how do you retain these customers and turn that loss of income into rising profits?

By uniting AI with e-commerce. Exponea is one company doing just this. Its software works for small and big businesses alike and turns outdated marketing tactics into a smooth process that can result in bigger and better sales. It works using a new type of customer platform. Known as a customer data platform (or CDP), the software can analyse a range of data points from every single customer visiting a particular online store.

Bringing together various online and offline datasets including customers’ in-store purchases as well as their online behaviour, a 360 degree picture showing how each person interacts with  brand is able to be built. This gives context to all the numbers, allowing for automated marketing to work its magic and start a conversation with every customer in near real time.

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While traditional marketing relies on data that is only updated hourly or even daily, Exponea’s CDP provides all of the knowledge required to personalise website and email content for each customer. Think of the extra sales you could make if you sent an email to every person who had left something in their shopping cart. Or if you could direct customers to items that you know they will love based on their browsing and transaction history. Or if you could pass on any information about your anonymous browsers to your customer support team so that they are able to offer a more effective service via live chat.

When it comes to e-commerce, it’s clear that the mantra of one size fits all doesn’t apply anymore. Brands that implement technology like Exponea’s can provide customers with a plain-sailing journey that showcases products they will be interested in and steers them away from things they are unlikely to pay any attention to. The number of customers that brands acquire can rise, conversion rates will improve, and the lifetime rates will also see an increase.

This centring of customers has already worked for a number of online brands. Exponea has helped fashion retailer ZOOT experience a growth in conversion rates of 19% and boosted the revenue per visitor by 64% for fellow fashion e-store Eye For Fashion. The impact that this software can have on bigger businesses is obvious but Exponea also believes that smaller e-shops can benefit too. It plans to give away its software to small and medium-sized companies so they can grow and come back for more when they are ready.

The attention span of customers is growing shorter by the day. Technology has given us plenty of distractions but it can also provide online business owners with the tools to excite and inspire once again.

Reported by Lauren Sharkey

Topics: Weekly Stories

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