When it comes to online retail, the names that come to mind are Amazon followed by Flipkart. Interestingly, both the online giants are counting on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to grab a bigger piece of the market.
According to Rajeev Rastogi, director for machine learning at Amazon, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are going to be deployed to fundamentally alter the customer experience. For its part, Flipkart has a tie up with Microsoft and will look at deploying the software giant’s Artificial Intelligence(AI) to boost its sales. After using a plethora of strategies to grab a bigger piece of the market, apparently, AI remains their only stone unturned to revv up sales.
So, let’s look at what Rastogi has to say to a business daily about boosting sales:
Event Based Deals: India is a land of festivals galore. And, festivity in the air prompts customers to do a little more shopping than usual. So, based on shopping history around festivals, customers would now be recommended deals by the sellers. For instance, if there is a lot of demand for scented candles around Christmas, candles and other Christmas related products would be recommended during the following Christmas.
Targeted Advertising: Customer queries will be analysed and followed up with products and promotions that are relevant. For instance, if a customer posts a search query for coffee maker, coffee making supplies will be recommended with delightful offers.
Update Latest Images: When the existing set of images fall short of colour and material, the AI platform would fill the product listing with what’s missing and increase the quality in real-time.
Update Product Titles: When the product titles are not descriptive enough to generate conversions, they are updated with a detailed description. For instance, if the description for a hand bag, “genuine leather bag” is not generating enough sales, the description could be tweaked in real-time to “black leather bag with ample room and reliable zippers”
Queries Section for Products: Since product description doesn’t always answer the questions a customer has on his mind, a queries section can be used to immediately address their FAQ. For instance, if a jewellery piece is not descriptive enough, the product queries can include questions like “how many carats?” and “what are the workmanship charges?”
Improving the Review Quality: Since so much rides on customers reviews, there is a potential for fake reviews creeping in. Using AI, e-tailers can systematically take down these fake ones and help the genuine ones come to the surface.
Going Regional: Using AI, e-tailers can look at expanding their footprint in tier-2 and tier-3 cities by translating the product related content into the regional languages. This goes to show their customer obsession to take their business into these cities.
Optimising Merchandising: AI is used for replacing manual optimisation of merchandising which goes a long way in boosting sales.
What lay ahead in e-tailer wars?
An amazing 30 per cent of Amazon’s sales are because of its recommendation engine. Clearly, there is a lot of potential in recommendations when intelligently made at the right moment in time. Since both Amazon and Flipkart are relying on cutting edge technology like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, online shopping is set to become a highly personalised and efficient thing. Amazon is a technology giant by its own right over and above being an online retailer, while Flipkart is partnering with technology giant Microsoft to stay in the fight. It will be interesting to see who will master technology more.