How Machine Learning Is Helping eCommerce Brands Improve Marketing and Customer Experience
The rise of AI
Machine Learning is everywhere. Wherever you look, one company is trying to analyze your data to find better ways to serve you. And as Interactions put it, “Everyone is exposed to machine learning every single day. Do you use an Amazon Echo? iPhone’s Siri? Netflix? Google? If you said no to Google, we know you’re lying.”
Machine Learning, as the name implies, happens when the computer observes data and carries out rather complex tasks with little or no human intervention.
Many brands actively leverage machine learning to improve their customers’ buying experience, and the results they see are heavy. Studies have shown that 75% of enterprises using AI and machine learning enhance customer satisfaction by more than 10%
Customers buy products to solve their problems as effectively as possible.
And because machine learning helps to analyze and anticipate problems, providing customers with better services will be way easier.
Chatbots are some of the best AI-powered tools that have helped improve customer experience in recent times. It removes those ever frustrating wait times and offers quick replies to customers 24/7. This is why according to 99firms, 79% of customers prefer live chats because of the speed of service.
And in the eCommerce space, where customers have questions regarding their products, it is crucial to have chatbots because how would you communicate with multiple customers at the same time?
Asides from answering questions, Chatbots offers customers personalized recommendations based on their data.
Levi Strauss & Co.’s Chatbot called “The Virtual Stylist” improves its customers’ shopping experience with its recommendation feature. It asks customers what they’re looking for and provides recommendations in the chat. So, it’s like you have a salesperson offering you suggestions online.
The chatbot goes forward to offer the customer an option to select “more like this” or to see other humans wearing it in the “see it styled” category. These additions will make customers ultimately buy more products from them because now they have something that attends to them swiftly. Plus, it means more money for the eCommerce brand because their human capital will be reduced. And ultimately have more customers returning to them because now, they have more information about the product.
Today’s customers want convenience and a personalized shopping experience. And that’s what Levi does with their product recommendation chatbots, letting them get products unique to their needs at that point.
Machine learning is also helpful in the eCommerce space through segmentation, which helps with targeted campaigns.
eCommerce stores aren’t the same as your regular Brick n’ Mortar business, where you can analyze your customer when they walk into the store. In those situations, when a customer comes into the store, you immediately have an idea of what they want by their looks and what aisle they go to.
To replicate this as an online store, you have to leverage machine learning. With it, you can segment your customers according to their needs and preferences. And one eCommerce brand that does this remarkably is BecauseMarket.
Its target customers are seniors with incontinence. It might not be easy to bring your target audience to you on a typical day, but with targeted campaigns, it’s possible. BecauseMarket goes forward to ensure it gives its customers a seamless experience through their product delivery system.
Since their products are targeted towards the seniors, they realized that it would be quite embarrassing going to a store asking for adult diapers, which is why they give their customers the luxury of delivering these products discreetly to their doorstep.
And this has provided a ripple effect for their business in terms of an increased customer base and revenue.
It shows that through smarter segmentation, customer acquisition costs will be reduced significantly. And according to a survey from Epsilon, they found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business.
One major nightmare for any eCommerce store owner is having fraud-related problems on their platform. And with machine learning, this problem can be avoided swiftly. Here, the machine helps to pinpoint abnormal occurrences on your website — abnormalities such as using stolen credit cards or trying to retract payments after product delivery.
This is likened to having a security guard on your physical brick and mortar business. It helps protect your business with little human input.
As the days go by, machine learning is becoming more advanced. And in paid advertising, for example. Customers may not easily find your eCommerce store when they do a Google search, for example, even if you have everything they need. But with machine learning, this becomes relatively easier.
It analyzes customer patterns, like preferences and previous purchases, so they get results based on these factors when they search and recommend similar items.
Machine learning is the future, and it has come to make all our processes easy. And as an eCommerce business, leveraging it is what helps you compete and gain a competitive advantage. Because you give customers a better dose of the convenience and personalized experience they seek from shopping online
According to Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, “Harnessing machine learning can be transformational, but for it to be successful, enterprises need leadership from the top. This means understanding that when machine learning changes one part of the business — the product mix, for example — then other parts must also change. This can include everything from marketing and production to supply chain, and even hiring and incentive systems.”