AI and the future of eCommerce

AI and eCommerce

Tuesday December 12, 2023 | Posted at 6:38 pm | By Harriet Pritchard
December 12, 2023 @ 6:38 pm

Artificial intelligence was one of the hottest topics of 2023. It’s not just been met with overwhelming intrigue, but equal parts with fear, distrust, and sometimes outright denial.

But what impact will AI will have on eCommerce? If you ask ChatGPT – and yes, I did – you will find out that:

‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already had a significant impact on the eCommerce industry, and its influence is likely to continue growing.’

AI has the potential to further hyper-personalise consumer experience, improve time efficiency by vastly reducing manual input, and predict future consumer habits through data analytics. We’ve explored three specific AI advancements that will impact eCommerce sellers: Google SGE, AI help desks, and AI product descriptions.

Google SGE – generative AI

Robot hand making connections

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is being tested around the world and is likely to launch in the UK in early 2024. This form of generative AI will change the Google search process, giving a detailed answer to questions above the search results listed. This promises to simplify the user’s journey from question to answer, and in doing so, will have a huge impact on website traffic.

Websites producing high volumes of content specifically attuned to maximise their Google positioning are likely to see a drop in organic traffic.

Understanding and anticipating this change can help shape your future SEO strategy. We recommend keeping a close eye on SEO best practices, as these are likely to shift drastically in the months that follow Google’s SGE launch in the UK.

AI help desks

AI robots working on help desks

Many large brands are already using AI help desk tools to answer simple enquiries. As these tools become more readily available for smaller brands, they are capable of saving time and resources by simplifying customer service. AI-enabled help desks use predictive analysis to solve issues based on historic data trends.

Customer service is one of the key levers of growth for eCommerce brands, so it’s important not to get carried away with the time-saving features offered by AI help desks. AI help desks will streamline customer service, but there should always be an option for your customers to speak to a human when necessary, unless of course you have a policy of digital-only contact channels.

AI product descriptions

There are several ways to manage product data to improve the findability of your products in marketplaces. Optimising product titles, keywords, and descriptions is an important factor.  Many marketplaces are already experimenting with AI to help sellers create optimised listings, with eBay launching AI product listing features in the summer.

Initially, these features will likely offer a ‘head start’ to the early adopters. However, over time this will level out as these features become more widely available – to quote the Incredibles, ‘when everyone’s super, no one will be’. The ongoing impact will likely not be the advantage of using AI to improve listings, but rather the disadvantage of not using AI to improve listings.

Interested in AI and automation in general to improve ecommerce sales performance and productivity? Get in touch to have an initial conversation.

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