If you’ve asked Siri about the weather today, gotten search results from Google Assistant, or heard some sweet tunes played by Amazon’s Alexa, you already know how amazing artificial intelligence (AI) can be. While it’s becoming popular in the home, AI is going to be ubiquitous in modernizing commerce as well. Think about it — AI experiences are engaging for consumers, they shorten the path to purchase and reduce friction.
Here are five AI technologies that will soon dominate e-commerce:
1. Personal shoppers
Isn’t it nice to walk into a clothing store, tell the store associate what you’re looking for, and walk out with something that looks good on you? Soon, AI will bring that experience online. Search filters may become a relic of the past. Instead, we’ll just tell AI associates what we want and get personalized recommendations in a snap.
To see what’s possible, check out the technology The North Face created with IBM Watson — an intelligent AI shopping assistant you can talk with in plain English. Say what you want and get handpicked results.
Closely related to AI personal shoppers are chatbots. When you’re in the store and you have a question, you grab a store associate. Online, we’ll eventually have all our questions answered by chatbots. Sure, chatbots have been around for a while, but today they’re much more advanced than in year’s past.
Chatbots are programmed to respond to specific queries. If you want to know how much an online subscription costs, for example, a chatbot can rack its digital brain and bring up the right answer (like the GameFly Genius does):
3. Visual product search
If you constantly see products you like but find it annoying when you can’t identify them, AI has an answer. The solution is visual product search, and the backbone of the technology already exists. Google Images includes a reverse image search, where you can upload an image or image URL and get results for visually similar images. At Curalate, we just introduced intelligent product tagging, technology that can analyze an image and use machine learning to identify the products depicted within that image. Meanwhile, Amazon’s mobile app allows you to identify objects with your camera and conduct a visual search.
4. Voice recognition
Speech recognition technology has taken huge strides in recent years. What’s next? Voice-powered commerce. Voice recognition will join forces with personal-shopper AI to make you feel like you’re really talking with a human store associate. As AI company Expertmaker (recently acquired by eBay) notes, you’ll verbally tell AI what you’re looking for in, say, a new TV: what shows you’ll be watching on it, the dimensions you want, and how big your room is. And just like a human associate, the AI will find exactly what you want.
What’s more, eventually we’ll be asking AI companions to order products online for us. The technology is here already, as demonstrated by products like the Amazon Echo Dot. Ask the Echo’s AI, Alexa, to order a product, then sit back as it gets shipped right to you.
5. Predictive shopping
Google’s Personalized Search already takes your preferences into account when serving you search results. And Amazon’s algorithms are constantly getting better at figuring out what other products might interest us. Soon, AI will predict what we need and streamline purchases so we don’t have to think about the nitty-gritty details. Your AI assistant, for example, will know when you’re about to run out of milk — then have a fresh carton ready for pickup at the store in 15 minutes. That’s just a slice of the brilliant convenience AI could bring to our lives.
If you’d like to see the AI technology we’ve got coming soon at Curalate, stay tuned for intelligent product tagging. You can upload product images that Curalate will automatically identify and tag, cutting down your workload and saving you time.