As of 2017, according to one study, 61 percent of businesses polled said they’d already implemented AI. Is yours one of them?
September 20, 2018 5 min read
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User experience (UX) design is about making digital experiences easier by removing the hindrances that can lessen the ease of communication between the business (website) and the user.
From the colors and features a business website offers to its interactions with users, strong UX means that everything will have been designed to eliminate or at least minimize these obstacles and drive up conversions.
The need for automation to handle these challenges has caused an even larger (and newer) challenge to emerge: the gap between how intuitive websites need to be versus how they actually are. No design is perfect — there’s always a chance that the audience will disengage at one point or another in the journey. But, as globalization speeds up and more opportunities to sell to more people appear, business website design will have to become, well, perfect.
How? Through AI.
Certainly the promise of artificial intelligence seems always to be on the horizon, yet many businesses are already taking the lead in providing a much more intuitive UX using AI technology. According to a report by Narrative Science and the National Business Research Institute, 61 percent of businesses surveyed said that as of 2017, they’d already implemented AI. By comparison, only 38 percent had done so by 2016. In a separate study, 61 percent of marketers polled said AI was the most important aspect of their data strategy overall.
That makes sense. In a few years, users will demand just this level of UX. Besides, it is useful now — having already demonstrated the advantages of use of machine learning and AI for improved efficiency. Gartner has predicted that by 2020 85 percent of customer interactions will be with a machine.
So, how can AI make the digital experience more appealing to your website visitors?
1. Expert guidance
Part of the customer-buying journey involves research. During this phase, the consumer is actively looking for new information for helping in making a sound buying decision. And one of the best places to find this information is a website like yours.
According to a report by Episerver, when consumers visit a business website for the first time, 92 percent of them initially go to do something other than make a purchase. Some 45 percent visit a website to search for a product. So, even when they visit with an intent to buy, 32 percent of consumers will rarely or never make a purchase. Why? The Episerver report suggested that 98 percent of shoppers are dissuaded by incomplete or incorrect content and 32 percent because they can’t find all the information they needed.
This is where artificial intelligence comes in: Using AI, businesses can turn the odds in their favor during the research phase by offering their visitors expert guidance. Consider a decision involving the major (and expensive) purchase of an engagement ring or other jewelry piece holding a diamond. ROSI, an AI-powered algorithm, harnesses veteran diamond-buying expertise and has integrated AI processes to create “the world’s first digital diamond expert,” according to ROSI’s creator, Adam Stein.
This kind of capability gives businesses using AI on their websites an edge over their competitors.
The search bar is still an important tool of communication between the user and the website. It’s even more important to the business behind that website. People who use the search bar have been found more likely to purchase than those who go through standard navigation.
According to Econsultancy, site search can result in conversion rates up to 50 percent higher than average. The reason is that people who use a search bar are shopping with intent. To them, the search bar promises more relevant results than standard navigation can.
Businesses have realized that by offering a user-friendly search experience, they can help customers find products and services more easily. With consumers now more than ever in control of their shopping experience, a good experience means happier shoppers and a greater potential for repeat purchases.
This is the context for semantic search, powered by AI. Semantic research improves search accuracy through a deeper understanding of user intent and context. This technology can improve the level of earning from past results. If you use Siri, you have already used this technology.
And businesses are seriously investing in site search technology — witness Etsy’s interest in Blackbird Technologies a few years ago. Blackbird Technologies is a machine-learning tool that analyzes user behavior and other variables to give search recommendations.
Based on your page visits, item selection and social behavior, the Amazon ecommerce app can tell what you’d like next. That’s AI in action. It can be used to predict what kind of entertainment spots you’d prefer, places you’d like to visit and merchandise you’d buy.
Similarly, AI can be used to predict a customer’s next purchase on a business website, allowing the company’s customer help team to prepare for questions and concerns. Businesses can take advantage of such insightful predictions to anticipate their customers’ future actions based on their activity on the website.
The more accurate these predictions get, the more insights businesses will be able to draw from them and, ultimately, the better the user experience they’ll be able to offer.
Today’s consumer is now more discerning, and the scope of research customers engage in before buying is expanding. Similarly, businesses are evolving and their websites are becoming an important point for meeting with the consumer.
Using AI, forward-thinking businesses have been able to address UX concerns by using an automated yet interactive system. Is your business one of them?