How Generative AI is Shaping eCommerce

When used right, generative AI can boost your eCommerce business beyond belief. But what is generative AI, and how can you get the most out of it?
Published on
May 21, 2024

What is Generative AI?

The release of ChatGPT in 2022 took the world by storm. Since then, there seems to be a never-ending stream of new generative AI tools and software from chatbots to video generators. 

But Generative AI didn’t come out of nowhere.

The first generative AI tools were created as early as the 1960s. Later, in 2014, the first GANs  (generative adversarial networks) arrived, allowing AI to “create” text, video, and more. Today, generative AI utilizes existing data to create new content like content, images, music, and videos. 

With the generative AI market set to reach $356.10 Billion by 2030, much of this development is being driven by eCommerce, an industry quickly seeing the potential of AI technologies and using them to boost performance.

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Generative AI began developing as early as the 1960s, but significant advancements emerged in 2014.
  2. The eCommerce industry relies on Generative AI by utilizing large datasets to optimize operations such as inventory management, marketing, and customer service, to enhance customer experiences and business efficiency.
  3. Generative AI is expected to become increasingly integral to eCommerce, due predominantly to a large predicted market growth. 

What Generative AI Can Bring to eCommerce

Essentially a complex and vast data processing network, generative AI models and tools are perfect for eCommerce, where knowing all the data on your business and customers is key.

Here are the basics of generative AI to help you understand how it can boost eCommerce business:

How Does Generative AI Work?

Attempting to replicate the intelligence and creativity of the human mind, generative AI comprises vast digital neural networks - a computational model inspired by the human brain. 

While “AI” can refer to lots of different types of AI technology, generative AI is specifically AI that generates content - whether that’s video, audio, or text. Similarly, OpenAI is a broad company that creates lots of AI models, not just generative AI.

Within these neural networks lies the key to AI’s success: deep learning. This enables generative AI to be “trained” on vast datasets through supervised learning, helping the model learn to identify patterns and relationships within the data.

While there are many other technical elements to how generative AI models work, the crucial thing to understand is the importance of using large data sets, and the ability of these models to process and find patterns within this data.

How Generative AI Revolutionizes the eCommerce Market

If you want to grow your eCommerce business, you need two essential things: data on your business and a way to process the data to find what’s useful.

This is how generative AI is revolutionizing the eCommerce market. 

Multiple areas of your business likely already rely on large data sets to help make decisions. Marketers have long used A/B testing to collect data and help decide what design or headline sells best - and now, according to Forbes, 55% of marketers are already using generative AI to help them.

When deciding what resources to invest in, which products to produce more of, and when and where to buy supplies, good product information management is crucial. 

What is Each Type of Generative AI Technology Useful For?

Within the broad umbrella of “generative AI,” there are lots of different tools at play, used by products such as ChatGPT or Midjourney. Here are just a few, along with how each tool or system can be easily integrated into eCommerce businesses to provide new insights or increase efficiency:

Neural Networks 

Computing systems inspired by the human brain's structure, these systems can be used to analyze customer behavior. This helps businesses suggest products tailored to individual preferences, and can also create lifelike product images from product descriptions via text-to-image AI tools.

Deep Learning

By helping algorithms learn from data, deep learning technology can be used to analyze customer reviews. This can help eCommerce businesses quickly see overall trends in their reviews, allowing them to promptly address issues or reinforce strengths.

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

Vital for ensuring generative AI is continuously improving, GANs can help AI art generators create realistic product images. 

Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and Variants

Specialized in processing sequences of data, RNNs are critical in automatically personalizing product recommendations based on user interactions and preferences. They can also power chatbots to engage with customers in real-time.

Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)

Despite the complex name, VAEs are used to represent complex and large data sets simply and compactly. Bringing this to eCommerce, VAEs can help automate tasks like generating product descriptions and enable the creation of novel product designs, leading to more efficient content creation and enhanced product customization options for customers.

Transforming Customer Experiences Using Generative AI

More than two out of three workers believe generative AI will help their business better serve their customers. After all, improving the customer experience is one of the primary aims of any business, in eCommerce or otherwise.

This is where generative AI tools excel. 

For several years, eCommerce businesses have been fine-tuning the best ways to offer personalized shopping experiences, from tailored ads and customer-specific product recommendations to unique emails and optimized product descriptions.

Whether it’s AI-driven product recommendations tailored to individual preferences to automatic A/B testing, generative AI is already transforming the way eCommerce increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

And that’s not all. 

AI-powered visual customization tools can enable customers to personalize products and visualize them before making a purchase, fostering a sense of ownership and engagement. 

Want customers to see how their custom text looks on a mug or a T-shirt? There's no need to wait until you’ve created it; AI can show a visualization before they buy.

Generative AI can also help create realistic product images and descriptions based only on text input, making it easy for you to quickly boost the visual appeal of your eCommerce store.

Automation saves time, and whether it helps internally with Enterprise Resource Planning or content creation processes for external viewing, eCommerce businesses can apply AI across the business.

How to Use Generative AI Tools to Optimize Your eCommerce Business

While there are many ways you can use generative AI to improve your eCommerce business, here are a few of the best ways:

Optimizing your Inventory Management

Using vast data sets and immense data processing abilities, generative AI algorithms can analyze historical sales data, market trends, and external factors to give you increasingly accurate estimates of future demand.

An online clothing retailer, for example, could use AI to forecast demand for seasonal items based on historical sales patterns and current fashion trends. 

This reduces waste and helps you prepare for the future, whether it's seasonal trends or specific events such as the Chinese New Year or Black Friday.

Automate Your Marketing Content

With personalization in place and customer behavior predicted through AI, you can take your automation a step further.

Automated AI content creation tools can quickly create content and advertisements using data on previous customer decisions.

For instance, an online beauty retailer could use AI-generated visuals and persuasive copy to create targeted ads for specific customer segments, resulting in higher click-through rates and conversions.

Of course, it’s important for a human eye to always check the final work carefully, whether an image or a paragraph from AI writing tools. Still, generative AI can help you reduce hours of grunt work to just the fine-tuning of your marketing strategy.

Enhance Customer Service With AI Chatbots

By using AI-powered chatbots, eCommerce businesses can provide 24/7 instant responses to inquiries, helping streamline customer service and resolve issues automatically, while filtering customers who need human assistance to the help they need.

What’s Next With the World of AI?

With the AI industry set to grow by 37% each year from 2023 to 2030, more accurate, more efficient, and more cost-effective tools are likely to be developed.

With this, its potential to revolutionize eCommerce is boundless. 

As AI models process more and more data with even higher accuracy, the strategic integration of AI into eCommerce workflows will become even more critical, with businesses using AI to more precisely predict customer choices and market trends.

Making the Most of Generative AI: Boosting Your eCommerce Business with Trustana

Able to integrate into so many different areas of digital commerce, generative AI holds great promise for transforming the entire eCommerce space.

With careful consideration and the right tools, you can make sure your business is making the most out of one of the world’s greatest technological leaps, helping you reach customers and manage your business like never before.

By choosing trusted developers such as Trustana, you can remain confident in growing your eCommerce business ethically and with a customer-centric approach, using AI to improve your customers’ experience.

Book a demo with us today and we can show you how we will help you transform and grow your business!