Why Artificial Intelligence Is Poised To Disrupt E-Commerce

by Moumita Deb Choudhury    Oct 06, 2017


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gripping the world’s attention, though in early stages according to many, it is one of the most talked about technology. There are numerous debates on AI whether it is an ally of humans or will prove to a peril as it advances. However, advantages of the technology are multifold and manifest ease of doing business for several sectors.

E-retailers are early adopter of AI

E-retailers have been one of the early adopters of this tech. It greatly helps vendors market their products smartly by not bothering customers with an inundation of unnecessary information. By combining all the data available and genuine intelligence along with analytics and tracking software, ad targeting will have a smarter approach.

While many online retailers plan to embrace AI to enhance customer experience, a new report by SLI Systems, provider of e-commerce solutions and services, found many have concrete AI plans for the next 12 months, yet VR/AR, Voice-Activated Apps and Virtual Buying Assistants remain elusive.

The study found that expectations for increased online revenues steadily increasing YoY, and brick-and-mortar forecasts upbeat, but geographic expansion plans waning. In addition, the study found retailers eager to capture early 2017 holiday sales starting in October. 54 percent report their company uses or plans to add AI in the future, with the largest group of these respondents (20 percent) expecting to add AI within the next 12 months.

The most popular applications for AI which retailers already use or plan to use within the next 12 months are Personalized Product Recommendations making up for 56 percent, Customer Service Requests which adds up to 41 percent and Chatbots constituting 35 percent, noted the study.

Very few e-commerce professionals currently use AI for Virtual Reality, Voice-Activated Apps, Augmented Reality or Virtual Buying Assistants, or plan to in the next year. Of those planning to implement AI, 13 percent plan to build their own technology, 60 percent will buy existing technology, and 27 percent expect to blend “build and buy”, it said.

Indian e-commerce scenario

By the year 2034, India’s e-commerce market will be overtaking that of its US counterpart to become the second largest in the world. In less than two decades, it will also go head-to-head with the Chinese e-commerce market, which by then, will be the world’s largest. In the report by Worldpay, Indians who are online will be 600 million by 2020. In other words, over the next 20 years, as India transacts more and more online, the e-commerce market is poised for an explosion in size.

With AI, online fashion store like Myntra, Flipkart or others are able to anticipate how people will take on to shopping on the portal, this allows it to develop models of traffic and plan its servers likewise. All these happen at the backend while giving a seamless experience on the surface. For e-commerce firms, this value is of great utility and significance.

The rapid and widespread use of mobile phones has spurred the growth of e-commerce companies. 80 percent expect revenue from Mobile Sites and Apps to increase compared to the same quarter in 2016; 93 percent in Apparel, anticipate an increase, highlights the SLI Systems study.