Have you ever visited an online shopping market like Amazon or eBay to search for an item of interest, only to leave to another website and see those things you just searched for being advertised in Google Ad space? That kind of re-targeting has been there for a decade now. But, now you might see very relevant ads which you have thought but never searched! Depending on your buying history, shopping habits of people who bought those items and many other factors, AI can predict what you are more likely to buy next! Well, that is Artificial Intelligence (AI) at work.
We live in a world where technology is always evolving and getting better by the day. And since buying is one thing human beings cannot do without, it makes a lot of sense to digital marketers to take advantage of AI to enhance their products and services. The ultimate aim is to have you, the buyer buying things you never thought about in the first place.
AI and its evolution
Artificial Intelligence has always sought to make things easier and faster using human intelligence. AI has been widely used in various ways for many years and having seen how powerful it can be, advertisers, publishers, and of course, marketers have jumped in to reap the full benefits it promises.
And so, in 2017, we started experiencing a whole new level of AI, especially in the area of consumer online buying decisions. And its effect isn’t limited to online shopping alone, but also in the healthcare, automobile, banks and many other sectors of the market.
You would agree that Google Alexa has been very helpful and made life much easier. And yes, it is AI at work in this area. AI machines with the help of AI assistants are predicting buying decisions and presenting a solution for the buyer while making sales in return.
No matter how eager a shopper is, such a person can easily get overwhelmed with the endless presentation of product choices. People may be enjoying it at the moment, but time is coming when consumers will want more than just a presentation of product choices.
AI as it is
At the moment, buyers are utilizing the help of chatbots or virtual assistants to make a decision on what to buy. That means that power is leaving the hands of brand identity and marketing into the hands of machines. These machines are left to understand what the consumer needs and provide the best options available.
AI can go as far predicting a buyer’s behavior based on a change in the behavior of other buyers in the same vicinity with the buyer. Emails are not left out as AI has devised a way to send promotional materials to buyers at a time when they are having lunch or relaxed at home to increase their chances of buying.
“We are now at a point where buyers can upload an image of what they are searching for and have similar results returned in minutes than typing in the search space to get the products. Even with voice, AI is now able to recognize what the buyer wants and present a solution” says Sam Bourgan, who runs a review website that uses AI and human editors input to rank products.
AI and the future
Even with all these developments, AI still has a long way to go. For instance, in as much as buyers are making use of voice and images to search for products, such buyers will lose out on the chances of reading up reviews of other buyers of such product, or even making comparisons.
We are yet to know if AI-powered services will do simple things like answer consumer questions or provide solutions to complaints. It will be nice to see AI prompting you to buy a new toothpaste based on the presumption that your present toothpaste is about to finish.
AI is getting better by the day, but we look forward to a natural purchasing journey for the buyer without interruptions that is uncalled for. Complementing accurate buyer analysis and AI will have manufacturers and service providers making more sales in the years to come.