Integrating Shopping with AI
The precedent set by the COVID-19 has been a massive change in the norm of shopping – specifically online shopping. E-Commerce has made its bundle load from the world sitting at home watching the news, Netflix, and shopping online. It’s no rocket science whatsoever when talking about the record-breaking numbers of the shoppers just virtually lining up to buy more and more, or at least they did before this all turned too serious.
E-Commerce in 2020
Even now ecommerce web development services around the world are trying to maximize profits from their consumer base ballooning up practically overnight. The Corona virus has influenced a lot of markets for the worse like restaurants, bars, and clubs, and some for the better like soap, toilet paper, wipes, and hand sanitizer. But E-commerce has had an ‘on again off again’ relationship with its revenue stream over this period. Why? Because the average person is smart enough to avoid shopping when the uncertain future of the economy is common knowledge.
This, in turn, affected the retail market dramatically, with even giant store chains shut down quite a few of their outlets. Places like Macy’s are still running practically on skeleton crews because workers in the retail business have been laid off across the board. So what happened? Well without any typical economic failings it is only the Corona virus that did this to us. Yes, it is ‘us’. Never before in the history of our species have we ever experienced anything like this. And then there are the economic side effects that we have to deal with. There was no escape, no sunset to ride off into, and no rest.
Killing Time and Boredom
So what did the average person turn to when they were quarantined to their households just waiting for this to be over – they watched ads, surfed the net, and shopped online. Oh! We saw this coming, did we not? Eventually, everyone turned to buy essentials online with convenient and handy apps like instacart. Now in the beginning the ‘safety first’ instinct we all had and the lack of choice to go out and buy things properly like we usually do, gave us the rationalization of what we were doing. But then slowly but surely it turned into a habit with more and more of us buying more and more things without noticing the trend we were setting. People increased spending which generated more marketing content and ads which in return enticed more buyers which generated more ads, and on and on. It was a vicious cycle. This triggered every software development firm under the sun to start creating more and more content to push online traffic towards ads and other marketing and promotional content.
Advertisements in Overdrive
This sort of ad pushing and marketing psyche was ideal for any marketing and sales professional. Almost as if each one of them decided to be the smartest kid in the class and showing off their skills in their respective fields. Everyone got in on the rat race to seduce and sell to the consumer – a bored consumer. Between the giant chasm of panic and the mountain of anger and frustration boiling up inside of us, we stood on a plateau of boredom. Boredom where our go-to recreations didn’t exist anymore, our friends weren’t there to share the unparalleled discomfort with us.
So we decided to check out what’s online. And we browsed and looked and admired. And then shopped. From eBay to Amazon we did it all, explored all. As if to write a service and performance report on these services we shopped from. Let’s be honest, it was fun when we did. Like the guilty pleasure, we didn’t quite know existed inside of us.
The cutting-edge was utilized to find more customers and send them more and more ads. All companies in the running had their artificial intelligence app development teams hyped for the next sales boom. Shoppers were bombarded with online ads on their social media like Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat. Snapchat is now in some ways a better marketing tool than the rest. It efficiently targets the customer with a customer-centric approach and retargets them for ads of similar nature if they show any interest by clicking on them.
Artificial intelligence software like Amazon’s Alexa had her voice borrowed by Amazon’s Echo to create a virtual assistant. These systems are smart enough to understand context and tone from a user’s text and non-linguistic programming. This would be quite weird if it wasn’t unbelievably helpful. These virtual assistants are the way shoppers would experience buying groceries soon. The home improvement store Lowe has its AI chatbot greet the customers at the store’s entrance, guide them around their shopping experience, provide product details, and even assist the store worker to manage inventory.
Since we’re already enjoying the coupling of AI with shopping – some might wish that it’d move faster. What’s coming over the mountain is not an ‘if’ but a when. So why wait? Let’s lean into it to make a smooth transition.