Does AI Improve the Product Discovery Experience?
By Bethany Llewellyn • Last updated: Tuesday Jan 31st, 2023
Artificial intelligence is changing the way consumers search for and discover products.
Below we discuss how artificial intelligence makes the product discovery experience easier and more effective, along with the benefits it has for both retailers and consumers.
The product discovery process
Product discovery is all about making it easy for users to browse your products and find the items they love.
While there are various factors when thinking about the product discovery process, AI can take a huge weight off your shoulders and leave machine learning algorithms to do the heavy lifting.
But, what is artificial intelligence?
AI is software used by computers to mimic aspects of human intelligence and display human-like capabilities, such as perceiving the environment to solve problems and achieve a specific goal.
In eCommerce, AI analyses user data to build customer profiles and deliver a personalised marketing message, especially throughout the product discovery stage.
This can be based on purchase history or other shopping behaviours like product page views, time spent on site or abandoned items.
Using this data, AI and machine learning create a truly personalised experience that drives sales and reduces your bounce rates.
Countless eCommerce giants have capitalised on AI technology and the benefits it offers for both retailers and customers. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of AI.
Benefits for eCommerce retailers
AI technology is no longer exclusively available to the big players in eCommerce, it’s something that retailers of all sizes can look at adopting.
But first things first, to improve the product discovery process you need to personalise the customers’ experience no matter how they reach your site.
62% of consumers are willing to submit data to AI to have better experiences with businesses.
And with dedicated AI technology, you can connect existing information to customer profiles, whether a returning user or a new one.
With these profiles, AI can anticipate consumer browsing behaviour and predict which products users will respond best to.
Not only does this reduce the hours eCommerce marketers spend trying to understand their customers and form strategies, but it creates a better overall experience for your customers and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases.
This will allow you to deliver more accurate recommendations by taking the guesswork out of the process, aiming to secure sales and improve customer satisfaction.
Ultimately, the easier it is for customers to discover the products they love, the more conversions you will see.
Benefits for your customers
Shopping online can be daunting for many people. In a few clicks, you have access to millions of products and an overwhelming amount of choices.
What’s frustrating is being recommended a bunch of products that couldn’t be further from your interests or something you’re likely to buy.
This is where AI can come in handy.
Providing personalised recommendations based on their behaviour will make it easier for customers to find their perfect purchase.
It also leaves room for useful upsells and cross-sells, increasing your average order value in an organic way.
Either way, whether a customer has an item in mind or has come across your website by chance, it’s vital to have a clear customer journey to ensure you secure those conversions.
Taking it further
We’ve already discussed some of the benefits AI and machine learning can have for eCommerce businesses and consumers, but there’s more where that came from.
Below we’ve identified three key ways AI can make the product discovery experience effective and efficient.
1. Improve accuracy with intuitive, data-driven insights
One of the easiest ways to improve the product discovery experience is to use AI-powered personalised Recommendations to inspire purchases and increase upsells.
Machine learning profiles your customers to gain insights and suggest genuinely relevant products.
This will transform the product discovery process as customers become submerged in a world of relevant suggestions leaving them wanting more.
It’s a win all around, leaving customers satisfied with accurate recommendations and building bigger baskets all while increasing your profit margins and encouraging repeat purchases.
2. Provide a seamless, speedy experience
Your on-site speed can be one of the most important factors on your eCommerce site and can often be the difference between a conversion or a lost sale.
Your conversion rate can be dramatically impacted if your site has slow loading times, inaccurate results, or is difficult to navigate, which is not the sort of experience your customers want.
Oftentimes, a customer will visit your site knowing exactly what they want to purchase and the first place they will go is your search bar.
So, you can have a fast site and a speedy search, but this is where artificial intelligence can hit the ball out of the park.
An AI-powered search will provide fast and accurate results while learning in real-time from customer queries, giving you the ability to truly transform customer experiences.
Plus, due to the variety of ways you can search nowadays – voice search, image search and previously saved searches – there are endless opportunities for product discovery.
3. Personalise the product discovery experience
Every consumer who visits your website is different and one strategy definitely does not fit all.
Personalisation is often the key to amplifying your revenue and boosting your conversion rate, but how can you do this?
Visual AI is how.
Creating a hyper-personalised product discovery experience using tools such as Visually Similar Search allows your customers to find products the way they want to.
Replicating the social media product discovery experience we have all come accustomed to, you can make sure your site appeals to each segment of your audience.
The image upload and crop functionality take the guesswork out of having to translate inspiration into keywords per site search – a relief for those customers who can’t find the words to describe what they’re looking for.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the future of eCommerce.
More and more businesses are implementing AI on-site and customers are here for it.
As technology continues to advance we can expect to see AI become the norm within eCommerce to provide an efficient, seamless product discovery experience for consumers.
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