Personalized online shopping has been making inroads with the aid of artificial intelligence for some time now, but now more than ever, the whole industry is experiencing a wholesale shakeup with the coming of voice recognition shopping. Amazon is leading the way with Alexa and others such Google and Facebook are racing to get a share of the cake.
With neural programming reaching unprecedented levels of advancement, it is now possible to conduct complex transactions using voice recognition technology. This is a big game-changer and one that the smartphone makers need to watch closely. AI is the next big thing since the touch screen. It brings together the Internet of Things (IoT) and user-centered design.
Hardware Differences Disappearing
As differences in hardware become less and less significant, the new frontier is now the software technology powering these smart devices. While e-commerce is just the first of the many applications for neural programming, we will start to see more and more use cases in the very near future. In this piece, we are zeroing in on the impact of voice recognition shopping on e-commerce. What’s new, what’s out and where will this technology take us?
Personalized shopping is not new, we’ve had it all along, just that we used to use primitive tools and methods of implementation. Personalization has always proved to increase conversions and improve customer loyalty. Remember data mining (OLAP) and collaborative filtering? All those were early attempts at trying to learn more about clients in order to provide better service.
E-commerce Transforming the Business Terrain
15 years ago, e-commerce was not all that popular, but fast-forward to today, with the benefits of time-saving and convenience, it’s an integral part of day-to-day living, to the extent of even threatening brick and mortar stores, thanks largely to artificial intelligence-powered business intelligence tools.
Constellation Research suggests that businesses in different sectors will invest more than $100 billion per year on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies by 2025. This means that smart services driven by artificial intelligence are the future of eCommerce businesses. If you haven’t set up shop online, it may soon be too late.
Dan Rosenberg, writing in the Harvard Business Review, says “AI holds great promise for making marketing more intelligent, efficient, consumer-friendly, and, ultimately, more effective.” He also points out that “AI will soon move from being a nice-to-have capability to a have-to-have”. As a disruptive innovation, it has the ability to reach customers at a personal level and transform the entire customer experience with endless possibilities.
Amazon Leading the Way
William Tunstall-Pedoe, the man behind the creation of Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa says he believes that in the long run, AI and voice technology have the potential to overtake humans “with an effective virtual assistant being transformative for users.”
Pedoe further states that “What we really want is a kind of superhuman sales assistant that you can have a conversation with – an AI that would be showing you product, answering questions and taking into account your circumstances to sell you something. It has the potential of basically what a really good sales person would do.”
With Amazon’s success selling Alexa-enabled devices, it is clear that virtual assistance powered by voice recognition technology is on a one-way street to becoming a crucial staple. Other big tech companies are also offering mobile devices with digital assistants like Apple Siri and Google Assistant. All these innovations reinforce the idea that voice-based shopping through AI is where the market is going. It brings about a whole new set of opportunities for developers to create meaningful user experiences that utilize the power of smart mobile devices so that the ordinary smartphone owner can enjoy the benefits of AI.
2019 and Beyond
As predicted by Forbes, 2019 is said to be the record year for AI and machine learning investment for customer service. It has been forecasted that at the end of 2019, 50% of companies will use AI in at least one of their service processes. This clearly means that AI is perceived to be a valuable investment for future business success.
The key that gives value to AI is data. Big Data is the driving force for AI, and the more data that you have, the better! This data, using powerful neural networks, is then used to create business intelligence tools that are then used to build new business models with improved customer service, and operational efficiency. Working with all stakeholders (governments, private and public companies, and the general public), policies and data assets are being put in place to set the stage for AI to drive real business change.
The Golden Opportunity
As you can see, AI is still in its early formative years, but when you think about how far it has come and how penetrating it is today, you will realize that it’s only a matter of a few years before the sci-fi movies we used to watch in the early 90s and 2000s become reality. We already have self-driving cars, flying cars and robotic surgery. The future is now. Embrace it and grow.
Coming to think of it, if the cast and writers of the “Back to the Future” series were to do a sequel today, they’d have to recreate their entire storyline! The best time to position yourself and leverage AI is now.
At Andromo, our research team is constantly looking for the latest trends in the technology space that we can incorporate into our software. Artificial Intelligence is an industry disruptor, and bringing the power of AI to the average developer is one of our most important goals. Technology is constantly evolving, but it is useless unless ordinary people can use it and benefit from it. Be the first to experience AI app building tools when they become available. Sign up for your free Andromo account here.