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When the man bought a baseball bat on Amazon, the algorithm wanted to push him ... a balaclava. Although e-commerce systems fail, there is no turning back from them..

Augmented reality (AR) is increasingly coming from the world of fantasy to the so-called real world. The leaders of this technology include the Swedish IKEA retail network. Ikea’s clients, with the help of AR sets, can view show apartments that have been virtually equipped with their branded furniture. If the buyer does not like the cabinets in the kitchen, he or she changes sets, colors and dimensions until he or she sees the perfectly decorated room. Augmented reality technology gives you an idea of how the Scandinavian company's specific products will look. It gives a whole new meaning to the popular saying "try it before you buy". Nike has not fallen by the wayside - most of us wear wrong sized shoes, and the American giant wants to change that. They designed an application that measures customer soles to match the correct size footwear.

- Wanna Kicks went a step further - using the phone we can try on interesting shoes before buying. In turn, Mago allows you to visualize selected products on the planned surface of a store or warehouse - raves Maciej Kapuściński, director of campaign implementation at the Result Media agency.

When it seemed that the augmented reality would dominate mainly in entertainment, with video games at the forefront, it gains new areas of business, including architecture, aviation, education, medicine and tourism. AR implementations in sales should not surprise anyone and lead the way in e-commerce.

- One example is Shopify, which allows customers with iOS devices to display realistic and interactive versions of products in AR - explains Grzegorz Ścisło, deputy chairman of the supervisory board of the company e-point.

What other innovations are conquering retail?

How not to alienate the customer?

Virtual reality, digital signage, as well as wearable electronics and analysis of large collections. Not forgetting search and comparison engines. Let us also mention GPS navigation initially invented for nuclear systems, which today helps to deliver parcels to parcel machines. The list of solutions supporting retail trade is continually growing, and even small shops, kiosks and service outlets are slowly discovering these tools. Grzegorz Ścisło focuses on mobility. In his opinion, the vast majority of purchasing processes will soon take place via smartphones. Shop websites comply with the RWD (responsive web design) standard, which tailored to any size of the consumer’s device screen, as a standard, e.g. tablet, telephone, TV or computer monitor. Something more is needed to gain a competitive advantage.

- Having an e-commerce store with RWD, so valuable even a year ago is not enough today to maintain the conversion parameters of m-commerce - emphasizes the e-point representative.

Maciej Kapuściński believes the customer experience (CX) is paramount - all the impressions experienced by the customer during contact with the product, company or brand. These, in turn, depend primarily on the convenience and speed of the transaction.

- Internet connection speed increases and we can access it from almost any device connected to the network. In this situation, we expect the e-store to offer us the best possible solution - explains the expert from Result Media.

He is echoed by Gregory Ścisło, according to whom users are becoming less patient. If they have to wait for content for longer than two seconds, they will stop shopping. To prevent this, e-commerce retailers invest in the tools of progressive web apps (PWA), which increase speed, facilitate the purchase process and, as a result, increase the conversion.

- Many changes in customer experience aim at simplifying the processes that involve verification tests, which is more suited to the user. A/B testing tools are already becoming one of the primary ways to verify changes related to the CX system - explains the e-point manager.

The less, the better

Does consumer satisfaction increase when it can use more channels? It seems to be confirmed by the latest report of the Chamber of Electronic Economy “Omni-commerce. I buy comfortably 2019”, which can be summarized in one sentence: Everyone wants to have a choice. Only 22% of respondents like conventional stores and their popularity has fallen by 10% since last year. 11% of respondents prefer to use shopping platforms, 10% indicated e-shops and 7% for social media. However, as many as 40% of respondents do not have a favorite shopping place. Grzegorz Ścisło sees the preferences of Poles differently: Omnichannel is slowly becoming passé. Customers don’t want to waste their energy and time, and they are changing methods and places to meet their consumer needs. They want things done in the blink of an eye from where ever they are. Variety is not as good as simplicity, speed and homogeneity.

- Modern website user does not often think about the channels as different beings, which are now omnichannel. If a customer is accessing only online shops from his phone, for him exists only one channel - said a specialist.

How does the internet of things improve trade and e-commerce?

- Automatic product ordering via the refrigerator is still for the future. Although it is always worth looking at the initiatives of the market leaders - like Amazon Go, which launched a physical store without checkouts. Paying for purchases is handled by a system using Internet of Things (IOT) integrated with the customer's online user account - says Grzegorz Ścisło

There is no doubt that the coming years will belong to artificial intelligence. Machine learning will allow e-commerce companies to provide clients with a highly personalized offer. The future consumer will communicate with his favorite brand in a completely personalized way at every step of interaction, which would not be possible without including the SI in the process.

Recommendation systems already know our preferences and dislikes. They tell us what to eat, what to wear, what to listen to, and how to decorate the flat. Their hints are often more accurate than the suggestions that we could get from seasoned sellers. This does not mean that these programs are not wrong and is evidenced by an anecdote which was told by one of the Reddit website users. When he bought a baseball bat on Amazon, the algorithm made him an interesting proposition: "Perhaps this balaclava will interest you?" So experts are right: SI is waiting just around the corner. And it's good that traders are starting to use it. If only they did not overestimate artificial intelligence at the expense of their own.

This article was appeared on pb.pl.