What role will AI play in E-Commerce marketing in the 2020s?

By Charlie Britten
08 Apr 2020

Artificial intelligence is something that divides opinion, with some seeing it as a threat and others an opportunity. But either way, it is likely to play a major role in E-Commerce in the 2020s.

The development of digital marketing for E-Commerce in the UK has become increasingly aligned with artificial intelligence (AI), as it is playing a growing role in the sector.

Not everyone is completely happy about the growing use of AI, however. As with so many other technological developments, it has divided opinion. 

  • Some see AI, like other tech, as a means of making life easier and work more productive
  •          Others see threats to jobs and infringements of privacy
  •          In between these two views, there are those who believe AI can be beneficial, but only if used with care

There are certainly some influential figures in tech industries who have warned there may be problems with AI. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has predicted it will have such a negative effect on human employment that robots will have to be taxed to provide incomes for the consequent army of jobless.

Indeed, even the best brains can now be beaten by AI - such as the chess supercomputer Deep Blue, which outfoxed grand master Gary Kasparov.

Does all this mean that E-Commerce firms will end up seeing their staff replaced by cyborgs – or will it make their job easier?

What AI already does

The answer already exists in part: the use of AI is already a feature of E-Commerce in a range of ways.:

  •          Cookies and other data gathered by bots give a range of clues about consumers and their shopping habits, interest and needs, which can then be used for targeting marketing messages
  •          AI has the capacity to gather information in real time, rather than data that has to be sifted through and analysed by researchers
  •          Chatbots can provide automated help
  •          Voice-activated commands such as Amazon’s Alexa

For any E-Commerce firm, therefore, the first thing to note is that AI is already part of the scene. Those running E-Commerce firms who willingly embrace change will set themselves up well to take advantage of it in the years to come.

More of the same or something new?

The question is not therefore whether AI will play a role in E-Commerce in the 2020s; it is a matter of what? Will it just be more of the same, or will there be a range of other developments.

While there is scope for speculation, the following appear to be among significant candidates to be the prime innovations of this decade:

  •          Existing innovations will become even smarter and more effective in recognising what customers need or want
  •          Technologies like 3D holograms and virtual reality may play more of a role
  •          Machine learning will help enhance inventory management and predict demand surges more accurately
  •          More directly, E-Commerce firms are likely to sell more items that incorporate AI

Implications for digital marketing

A central element of digital marketing is the buyer persona, an archetypal characterisation of the kind of customer your marketing is aimed at. This is crucial to understanding what your marketing messages should be, to whom they must appeal and what digital marketing tools will be most effective.

The use of AI could help refine this in the years ahead:

  •          It will have more information to assess and update personas swiftly, such as when fashions or attitudes change
  •          It can individualise marketing more using the data, developing more individual personas
  •          This could help with marketing to those who don’t easily fit the standard persona

As a result, marketing may be smarter, better targeted and adjust to change more speedily.

How can BeUniqueness help you?

At BeUniqueness, we know the importance of being up to date with the latest developments in marketing technology. This is, after all, why our focus is on digital marketing as traditional marketing tools become absolute.

No sector is better set up to benefit from this than E-Commerce, as your own firm’s focus on digital trading will fit perfectly with a focus on the use of online marketing methods such as content and SEO, email marketing, PPC and social media management.

This way, you can be sure that with our help, you can find the most effective ways of connecting with your target markets and generating a string return on your marketing investment.