This guest column is authored by Gautam Kapoor, Co-Founder & COO, Kartrocket
eCommerce is one dynamic sector that has revolutionised the way consumers shop in this ever-evolving world. Everyday eCommerce companies are trying their best to bring better shopping experiences from offline to the online space, by offering unique ways to discover products consumers are looking for. The newer and younger eCommerce sites are going a step ahead by curating show windows online mimicking a retail store. Most fashion apps and websites plan and display entire seasonal collections to look like show windows to tempt shoppers. This trend is growing rapidly and has made life convenient for those who are engaged with their work-life balance.
The unprecedented change and sudden growth in the shopping habits of consumers have brought a surge of a long list of new online retail companies offering lucrative deals on goods and services. eCommerce platforms use all mediums of advertising options to gain popularity. Their focus is simple, grab more and curate more products; they work on a fast-paced medium by constantly changing offers and discounts by switching advertising channels and mediums that cater to all types of customers. The attention-grabbing ads, tempting offers, and discounts, freebies, easy return & exchange policies and many such feats are major factors behind this brewing competition.
Apart from all the above-mentioned factors responsible for driving the eCommerce avenue, the two most important things needed to make the customer journey more efficient, personalised and automated are –Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Sciences.
AI is the intelligence exhibited by machine learning which tech companies to create a measurable impact use. Today, AI and data sciences are changing the way eCommerce operates.
Going hand in hand with the changing style and needs of today’s consumer, the most significant area of focus in the eCommerce platform is hyper-personalization which could only be facilitated effectively if you have an in-depth knowledge of the shifting consumer behaviour and making predictive analyses towards it.
In addition, to track user activity on smartphones, tablets, and desktops efficiently, intelligent algorithms process data collectively to draw out accurate results in consumer behaviour.
Developing smart algorithms has become a specialty of the e-retailer in today’s era. This leads to the introduction of a new kind of people called ‘intelligence specialists’. They are not business specialists but data scientists. Companies today are aware that there is a dire need of new talent every day. After finding one, e-retailers provide training to these people on smart self-learning algorithms in self-managed full-stack development teams.
With the help of these algorithms, e-retailers are quickly improving their personalized efforts, not only based on order history but also based on real-time site interactions. In addition, analyzing behavior has further led to a better understanding and insight into individual customer needs. Different customer groups monitored with different search algorithms, providing a faster and more enhanced search experience. Most online searches lead to e-retailers offering products a customer may not have thought of purchasing, this further increases customer penetration by creating more avenues to sell additional products.
The new eCommerce platform and the data-driven marketing approach heralds a new phase for the e-retailer. With an in-depth experience in this field, what I feel is, this ever-evolving platform will further improve in the future.
Can you imagine a day when technology no longer remains a limiting factor to serving the avid consumer of the modern era? Well! When this happens, the only thing you need to take care of is how quickly your organization adapts to the changes and builds effective strategies towards individual consumer satisfaction.
Keeping this in view, companies have been using AI and data science in every key function. Gathering user actions and attributes on various apps, web, and mweb, helps them take effective decisions with regard to product development, product marketing, and product design.
The customer in today’s modern era is a curator and creator. And, the urgency to understand their needs and demands is of utmost importance and with the help of data science and artificial intelligence; companies are able to provide real-time responses and unique experiences to the consumer in a more personalized manner. They recommend similar deals to their customers via emails, push notifications, SMS and marketing on platform, and based on the user’s likes they connect the right buyers to the right sellers.
It is essential for eCommerce retailers to understand the constantly evolving scenario of consumer behaviour and shopping habits. With diminishing customer loyalty and gathering of high expectations, it is imperative to gather immersive research on consumer insights as a survival tool. Therefore, with every fibre of their being, companies believe in presenting the right solutions to the emerging problems in the eCommerce sector and address all solutions within accurate timelines. They, accordingly speak to the buyers and sellers through focused group discussions, usability testing, and open feedback calls.
Data Science in eCommerce helps businesses provide a rich understanding of the customers shopping habits by capturing and integrating the information on the use of web behaviour, the events that occur in their lives, what leads to the purchase of a product or service, and how customers interact on different channels.
A famous saying popularly used by eCommerce marketers, “Data is the new gold”! Which simply means, competition among eCommerce businesses is fierce. Consumer habits change at the blink of an eye and every eCommerce business wants to create an edge over others when it comes to fulfilling customer demands. Common sense and intuition are useful human emotions, but definitely not enough to make such predictions. Data science algorithms help businesses understand products, services, processes, and customers effectively. Going forward, it is imperative for companies to understand the ever-evolving customer needs and work towards the betterment and satisfaction of their widespread network of sellers and buyers.