Mar 22, 2019

Using AI for Marketing and eCommerce

written by Blake Van Leer

Blake Van Leer

I’m going to presume that if you’re reading this, you’ve most likely heard of artificial intelligence (AI). You’re curious about how this will impact your marketing endeavors or you may be asking yourself how you can use AI for your eCommerce business. Below, I’ll share some of the simple ways AI is being leveraged in the online retail business.


There are numerous studies that show sales teams are not following up on 30% or more of leads (see Conversica article). Customers visit an online store, register, window shop, move items to cart and leave without completing transactions. According to Vwo.com, shopping cart abandonment accounts for $18 billion in lost revenue each year. There is a goldmine of data available to these companies and they’re too overwhelmed to turn it into increased revenue.

How can AI help? AI platforms can allow businesses to take a deeper look into their customer flow (activity) and shopping patterns. For example, instead of blasting every customer who shops on your site with a remarketing campaign, businesses can tailor their ads down to the individual and/or resend offers when they’re most likely to shop again. This in turn increases conversion rates.

Let’s take this a step further with facial recognition. Businesses will be able to analyze a customer’s sell time within a physical store. In other words, data is obtained on how much time a customer spent looking at a particular item. The item is then remarketed to them on their mobile or desktop.

Create a better sales process:

The North Face is now leveraging IBM’s AI machine called Watson to enable shoppers to find their ideal jacket. The process works by asking customers questions like “where and when will you be using your jacket?” IBM then scans products and finds an ideal match based on real time customer data and weather conditions in their local area.

AI is changing the way e-commerce works and evolves. These types of changes will help customers receive products that make sense as well as determine which products are a more compatible match. It will also help obtain valuable information quicker for employees, thus allowing them to utilize their talents more efficiently.  


While personalization is not particularly new to the eCommerce space, AI will help by continuously learning information from all channels, i.e. one person’s activity on mobile, desktop, email, social media and more. A full 360 view will enable eCommerce retailers to offer unique experiences across all shopping platforms. The next time a customer is shopping for an item on your website, they may receive an alert to directly make a purchase for exactly what they need, saving both parties time.

Enhance Chatbots:

Let’s start with the question, “What is a chatbot?” By definition, it is a specific computer program that is designed to simulate conversation with human users over the Internet. eCommerce businesses are aggressively attempting to build personal experiences for the individual, not mass market. AI helps tremendously with these efforts.

Localize customer experience:

AI will soon be a huge part of the localization industry. Consumers will no longer have to be overwhelmed with content that does not pertain to their search or shopping needs. Take this for example: A consumer is searching for a new home or a weekend getaway and may become frustrated if they are being targeted with ads for clothing.  AI machines can instead provide recommendations based on personal interest and offer local insights. Booking a hotel in your ideal location? AI can match these results quickly.

Create better advertising:

One of the first fields to be disrupted by AI were ad buys for marketing campaigns. The A and B testing is more efficient with sophisticated learning machines in place. Digital marketers at an agency can now be empowered to react to ads with better conversion rates in a quicker manner. AI will dramatically increase a company’s ROI by providing real time recommendations for a particular ad that is going viral or by effectively creating sales.

If you want to test our recommendation machine (AI) or discuss your own AI endeavors, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].