In 3-5 years, Ecommerce vendors that don’t go all-in in building artificial intelligence into all parts of their products will be obsolete! Customers will forget their names, and analysts will start using “legacy solutions” when describing them.
Too extreme, you would say?
But what was the fate of vendors who missed the mobile revolution in Ecommerce? And AI is getting adopted faster, with a much bigger impact than mobile.
What do I mean when saying “go ALL_IN.”
All vendors are making marketing announcements and demos quickly put together by their developers. You see a lot of webinars, podcasts, and blog posts. There are also some partnership announcements and some features added here and there on the product roadmap.
This is not enough!
AI is impacting both customer-facing functionalities by revolutionizing customer experience and backend tools by greatly improving the productivity of people who operate the Ecommerce backoffice.
Product leaders at eCommerce vendors should do a thorough review of their features and modules and evaluate how AI can be used in each feature to improve the lives of shoppers and people in operations.
A new product roadmap should evolve from these efforts to guide future investment in the product.
Thanks to its earlier investment in AI and Slack, Salesforce Commerce has already introduced an impressive array of AI-powered functionality, from personalization to Einstein product recommendations and chatbots.
However, I want to highlight Shopify’s approach as an inspiration to other vendors.
I used a lot of Shopify examples in my book AI-Powered Ecommerce Elevating Customer Experiences, Optimizing Operations, as it is definitely a vendor that gets it.
Shopify has packed a lot of AI functionality under the Shopify Magic brand. AI is built-in inside Shopify tools (no cut & paste required), used for product and marketing content generation, and much more. Even more interesting is the Shopify Sidekick, a conversational AI assistant trained to know and understand all of Shopify and acts as a virtual assistant for merchants, answering questions and performing tasks related to their business.
What really convinced me that Shopify had centered all its product efforts around AI was a small enhancement to a tiny feature to automate the creation of answers for the FAQ section of the store. The feature existed for a long time and was enhanced to use Artificial Intelligence to generate suggestions based on the merchant’s store policies and the store’s conversation history.
I am not here to promote Shopify, just want to encourage eCommerce software vendors to go the extra mile, revamp their roadmaps, and innovate.