If you can’t feel, you gotta look: AR and AI in e-commerce
It is no longer a secret that machine learning technologies are not only present in the gaming world. The option to experience virtual shopping in real 3D and home environment is completely changing the entire online retail and consumer shopping experience, and also adds significant value to shopping and purchase decision-making by and for consumers:
Artificial intelligence and Augemented Reality in e-commerce.
Machine learning in e-commerce can help retailers automate and scale the setup of a wide variety of integrations, eliminating human error as much as possible. This goes far beyond technical connections of APIs: with the help of AI, automatic matching of categories, verification of data formats and mapping between different classification systems becomes possible. It also enables intelligent matching and grouping of error messages to respond to them as quickly as possible and improve product data and business outcomes. AI-based rich media creation will open up opportunities for merchants to play out channel-specific marketing campaigns and product data feeds in near real-time for each region as well as target audience. Rich media creation also includes advanced features such as video, audio or other elements that encourage consumers to interact with the content.
Augmented reality in e-commerce
Augmented reality – a visual extension of reality using computer-based methods, on the other hand, represents a major opportunity among e-commerce trends.
This enables entirely new digital shopping worlds for customers. Well-known furniture stores such as IKEA or Wayfair already rely on AR technologies in their apps for visualizing furniture in apartments and houses. Cosmetics companies such as Douglas or Sephora are also already using AR technologies to virtually apply makeup to the face. Using this technology gives customers a whole new shopping experience.
With low conversion rates still a headache for online retailers, using AR technologies is an option to convince customers to actually purchase the items in their carts.
By integrating AR into existing online stores, online retailers can offer customers a more personal, interactive, engaging, satisfying and sometimes memorable shopping experience that evokes unique emotions.
Another trend in social commerce: AI
That Facebook has long been more than a social network is known to all. However, the company is constantly working to optimize as many areas as possible on all platforms, such as shopping features.
In 2021, the company announced that Instagram and Whatsapp would get additional features that would allow users to shop even more easily from within the apps. Accordingly, companies that use Whatsapp Business will be able to present their digital store window from Facebook Shops directly in Messenger in the future. However, the function will initially only be available in selected countries.
The shopping experience is also to be improved on Instagram: AR technologies are to make a product more tangible and help consumers decide whether the product is suitable. This means that lipsticks, for example, can be “tested” virtually. The use of AI is not neglected either – this is intended to help provide alternative product suggestions. The visual search is also supposed to be able to make suggestions for similar products based on postings or a photo you’ve taken yourself.
Advertising options for Facebook stores are also being further developed. Consumers are to receive individualized ads and be shown exactly the products that match their individual shopping behavior via organized feeds.
Online shopping is also increasing in relevance on social media. The platforms are therefore working on integrating novel features as deeply as possible. In the process, personalization is becoming an increasingly important topic.
At the end of the day, the customer is always at the center of trends related to the shopping experience. In doing so, technologies such as AR, AI and many more must be understood as the means to deliver communication and shopping experiences that enable online retailers to thrive in a changing world and provide a unique experience throughout the customer journey to create customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately increasing customer lifetime value.