IPA - The Era of Intelligent Personal Assistants
What should you know about IPA or digital personal assistants?
You can do anything, but not everything. With technology ascending every aspect of people’s lives today, be it in a personal, business or commerce context — consumers are relying on the internet, and their mobile devices. In this context personal assistants are being used to complete different actions conveniently without having to call, email or visit a store.
Every day, we see newer ventures crop up on the scene. All the major tech giants have built Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPA) such as Google Now, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Braina, Samsung’s S voice, SILVIA, Facebook’s M app, etc.
IPA are rapidly gaining popularity in ecommerce and technology experts predict that IPA will redefine how e-commerce sell products and services and it will be the leading theme for 2017.
What are digital personal assistants?
To understand more, let’s consider a typical scenario where a user wants to buy a camera online at the most sensible price. He just has to tell his IPA the model name of the camera he wants to buy. Then IPA will search for information about camera of interest to the user, compare prices and features, negotiate for a fair price and even, if authorised by its user, make a purchase, and authorize payment through a card or digital cash provider.
This is how easy your job will be with the IPA. With IPA you can perform various functions like creating your own shopping list, ordering food online, comparing prices on different platforms, making payment, etc.
How can IPA help e-commerce?
To provide shoppers with instant and personalized, highly need-based shopping advice and customer service support on their smartphones, instead of browsing the web and sifting through dozens of pages, IPA will ask shoppers a few questions, learn what they like, and recommend products according to the user’s preference and needs.
It engages shoppers in a conversation, shares personal style tips, and suggests different combinations. Taking the conversation to the spoken and written world has the potential to help both customers and e-commerce businesses. These technologies take e-commerce or for that matter various other industries to a new, much more conversational level.
Machine learning and Big data in e-commerce can be used to learn and recommend the most unique and personal products to your customers, over the right medium at the right time.
Taking into account consumer purchases, page visits, previous product searches and items reviewed/rated, e-commerce companies have a lot of information on their hands. Here are few things which your IPA can do for your e-commerce business:
An IPA can answer customer queries in real time via phone, live chat, email or on social media. It can also guide your customers through the sales process while they are still on your website, increasing your conversion rates by offering support at the time of purchase
IPA can personalize emails to subscribers based on their online shopping patterns, all on the same platform.
It can manage the returns and exchanges of products for you. It can communicate directly via email with customers and suppliers to set up product returns, exchanges and refunds.
It can add relevant product suggestions catered to every customer using the power of predictive intelligence to boost your conversion rates.
It can personalize your regular messages to customers like newsletters, on-site, in-app and drip campaigns to drive more effective engagement and resulting in cross selling and upselling.
Your IPA can reach out over channels like email, in-app, sms and push on an inbuilt communication platform where your users are most active and engaged.
We understand this may sound futuristic but machine learning and big data crunching are the next big thing in e-commerce. The time is now to embrace online eCommerce tools and personal assistants as sales tools in the future.
What are your thoughts on Intelligent Personal Assistants in e-commerce? Share them in the comments section below.