While there has been a great deal of focus on the growth of digital channels, perhaps the more important story is the pace of innovation at e-commerce sites. Businesses are competing to add new capabilities that enhance the shopping experience, and they must find new and compelling features that boost customer loyalty and conversion rates.
Artificial intelligence is one of the technologies having a tremendous impact on e-commerce today. But just tacking an “AI” label onto a product feature isn’t a valid approach to delivering customer value. That’s why Adobe is working to identify new ways to enhance its Magento Commerce platform with Adobe’s AI and machine-learning technology, Sensei. Adobe Sensei promotes rapid, automated decisioning that supports responsive, real-time interactions to increase customer conversion rates and average order sizes. AI is a means of improving specific aspects of the Magento Commerce platform.
The effective use of AI is highlighted in the company’s recent announcement of its visual similarity recommendation type in Product Recommendations and Live Search features. Both capabilities provide differentiation and a noticeably superior customer experience.
Visual similarity recommendation type in Product Recommendations for Magento Commerce allows a merchant to provide suggestions for products that are similar in appearance to an item that a shopper has already shown interest in. This use of visual AI provides an entirely new way to make recommendations compared to other recommendation types like “most frequently bought” or “this goes with that.” Adobe Sensei uses visual AI to understand and process product images automatically — with no manual intervention required from the merchant to “learn” the product attributes.
This new recommendation approach allows a brand to showcase a wider range of items and provides customers with a broader range of options. It also makes it possible to showcase more items within each search and to show products that have been categorized differently. For certain e-commerce scenarios, this type of search and recommendation functionality is much more valuable than using product descriptions or specific search fields to increase customer conversions.
Another AI-enhanced capability that Adobe is working on delivering is Live Search. The quality and usability of the search function can make or break an e-commerce site. If customers can’t find what they want, they aren’t going to make a purchase. An Econsultancy study shows that in addition to improving the customer experience, a properly executed site search feature can result in a more than 50% higher conversion rate. Live Search delivers lightning-fast search results and can use AI to learn how a customer searches to optimize results. Used in combination with the Product Recommendations feature, it can provide a more complete experience for a site visitor. Live Search also makes it possible to “searchandize” the process of bringing up product recommendations as more information is added to the search field.