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Commerce Experience

Why You Need Cohesive E-Commerce Data for AI Success

By Kait Spong

12/06/2023


This time last year, AI exploded. Seemingly overnight, everyone was buzzing about the topic, and AI solutions started popping up everywhere. 

But in the wake of this AI boom, we've seen a concerning trend: the emergence of "Frankenstein AI." This term refers to AI systems that are hastily and haphazardly stitched together. Like Dr. Frankenstein's creation, these systems might seem impressive at first glance, but upon closer inspection, their flaws become glaringly apparent.

The main issue with Frankenstein AI is that when you're dealing with a system that's essentially a patchwork of different components, things can get messy, and fast. Data silos might sprout up, creating islands of information that don't communicate with each other. This can lead to inconsistencies in how your data is processed and analyzed, making it harder for you to make informed decisions. Data security is also an issue — with so many parts involved, it's easy for cracks to appear in the system where breaches can occur. Ultimately, Frankenstein AI results in more maintenance, higher costs, and greater headaches. 

That’s why it’s so important to have a well-designed, fully integrated AI product. Good data is crucial for AI to work well, and having a smart, reliable AI technology solution will help you manage your data in an efficient and user-friendly way. 

Why Data Matters So Much to AI-Driven E-Commerce

Since e-commerce sites generate millions of data points about customers alone — from demographics and preferences to behavior — AI applications need a proper way to digest this information so they can learn and continue to improve the shopping experience over time. With Frankenstein AI, you’ll be unable to get the complete picture of your customer to generate audience engagement, foster brand loyalty, and increase revenue.

E-commerce businesses can use tactics like predictive analytics to create personalization strategies that anticipate what customers want before they even know themselves — just because the data is rich and well-connected enough to provide the perfect idea of who the person is. For example, a clothing retailer could leverage a customer’s online purchase history to tailor product recommendations specifically to them. Or, a restaurant supply distributor might analyze in-store foot traffic and online browsing history to gain insights into utensil usage and promote the right ones.

Merchandiser Using Customer Data to Make Personalized Product Recommendations

At Bloomreach, e-commerce data is the lifeblood of our operations, and we meticulously collect, process, and feed this data into our advanced AI systems. This isn't a one-time event; it's an ongoing cycle of learning and adaptation. The more data we gather, the smarter our systems become, continuously evolving to make increasingly helpful suggestions for both your business and your customers.

A Future Where Customers Exchange Data for AI Experiences

While data has been a sensitive topic with internet users in the past decade (and with good reason), tech giants and startups alike are cracking down on the ethical collection, storage, and use of data. When it comes to data, many e-commerce businesses have increased measures around transparency, accountability, and informed consent

With these policies in place, shoppers will become more open to the idea of AI monitoring their behavior. In fact, more of your customers will come to accept that the technology isn’t there to spy on them but rather enhance their shopping experience.

This is not to say that achieving consumers' trust and acceptance of AI in e-commerce will be easy. However, with clear communication and transparency, it's entirely possible. It's about showing customers how AI can make their shopping experience better, not just telling them. 

E-Commerce Professional Using AI to Expedite Workflows

To foster a future where AI and e-commerce coexist harmoniously, there needs to be a foundation of mutual trust and respect between businesses and their customers. Offering personalized product discovery experiences, sending on-point communications via customers’ favorite channels, and providing real-time customer service are just some of the ways AI can enhance the online shopping journey.

As we look to the future, the role of AI in e-commerce is far from static and will continue to see new use cases that push boundaries. This continuous evolution brings a sense of excitement and anticipation — what will AI bring to our shopping experiences next? 

So Where Should You Go From Here?

Not all that glitters is gold, especially when it comes to AI solutions. It's easy to get dazzled by high-tech promises and lose sight of what truly matters: an AI solution that understands your business, your needs, and your data. Our advice will always be to steer clear of those Frankenstein AI e-commerce tools — the ones that piece together unrelated systems and promise the moon while delivering dust. They might seem tempting, but in the long run, they can do more harm than good.

Instead, focus on smart, effective AI solutions that can harness the power of your e-commerce data and transform it into actionable insights. In this way, you’re not just jumping on the AI bandwagon for the sake of it, but strategically utilizing technology to drive your business forward. Remember, it's not just about having data or AI; it's about wisely using them together. With the right AI solution, your e-commerce data becomes a powerful tool in shaping the future of your business.

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Kait Spong

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach

Kait is a Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach and is passionate about delving into the technology solutions that improve a business' end goals. Once earning their BA and MA in English, the seasoned writer delved into the world of content marketing, branding, search engine optimization, and social media marketing and has helped numerous companies across all industries with their content and thought leadership strategies. Read more from Kait here.

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