virtual shopping assistants

How AI Is Making Online Shopping Smarter With Virtual Shopping Assistants

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The artificial intelligence market is set to contribute $14 trillion across 16 industries by 2035, and we are already seeing many A.I. developments in the online shopping trade. Since online shopping is increasing in popularity, with consumers now making half of all their purchases online, artificial intelligence (A.I.) can help to make it even more user-friendly and prevalent. An exciting innovation is the use of virtual shopping assistants.

The future of virtual shopping assistants

According to the “Future of Shopping” Report discussed on the Independent, it’s estimated that high-street retailers will be completely replaced by virtual shopping and A.I. shopping assistants by 2050. While the report explains that people will be shopping from home with the use of virtual reality headsets to help them make purchases easier, it also mentions that A.I. shopping assistants will be there to give consumers advice on the best things to buy. The focus will be on making the shopping experience more personal. A.I assistants will learn about your tastes and interests, and then use this to inform you of the latest products you might like to purchase. An example is if you’re getting ready to go on a camping trip. By having this knowledge, A.I. shopping assistants will show you the latest range of camping gear, thereby doing all the online trawling for deals on your behalf.

AI shopping assistants are already improving the shopping experience

One of the most powerful things companies can do is learn about their customers’ shopping patterns. Gaining and using customer data is important for tailoring products to consumers and it works for online shopping too. Enter online virtual shopping assistants. As CEO of Shoptagr, Jonathan Friedman, tells Inc.com, “The digital space can and should be more organized, which is where A.I. shopping assistants are gaining traction,” he says. They’re not just there to recommend products, though. They can do much more to make online shopping easier and more successful – and they already are! Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is a good example of this. It enables you to discover local events, organize Uber to move around the city, and even place orders for Amazon products with just the use of your voice.

Chatbots as 24-hour shopping assistants

When asked about the use of robots in shopping stores, over half of U.S. and Canada customers said they preferred to deal with a person. However, respondents said they prefer self-service options when shopping online, according to the comScore study. Chatbots will definitely help create a more seamless and pleasurable online shopping experience. They’ll be available day and night to offer customer assistance. And, they’re already being successfully used by brands. An example is Sephora, that makes use of a chatbot in the Kik messaging app. How it works is that you complete a quick quiz and then get makeup product recommendations, which makes you feel like you’re speaking to a human shopping assistant at a makeup counter. You can also complete purchases directly from Kik which has become a platform much more than a texting app. With so many messaging apps being used today in various forms, they’re an excellent foundation for chatbot shopping assistants to be born – and completely revolutionize online shopping as we know it.

Shopping online is already much easier than going to a brick-and-mortar store, but A.I. can take it to a much higher level. With innovations such as chatbots and personal virtual assistants, online shopping is becoming a much more personalized and user-friendly experience.

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Lucy Ellis

Lucy Ellis is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across a variety of sectors. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her.