Artificial intelligence (AI) has proved its significance in various fields. From content generation to Google search, it simplifies daily operations and leaves no room for a generic approach. Do you need a unique image? Ask AI tools like Midjourney to generate it and get dozens of variants to suit your needs. Do you need a content plan? Integrate ChatGPT and similar solutions into your business.

But what can you gain from AI if you’re an online store owner? What’s more, what capabilities can you unleash if you run a Magento online store? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and demonstrate how AI can transform the shopping experience. So, if you’ve ever thought that AI and Magento are something from another dimension, we’ll make things clear for all the enthusiasts.

Understanding the Basics: An Overview of AI in ECommerce and Magento

First off, AI. When we say “AI,” we’re not referring to robots taking over the world. We mean more practical applications. In the realm of eCommerce, AI is an online assistant that works 24/7.

Put simply, AI is technology that takes in information, processes it, and churns out predictions or decisions based on that data. It mimics human behavior and assists not only users by displaying personalized results but also businesses by automating different activities.

It’s like when you walk into your favorite coffee shop, and the barista, having seen you a hundred times, knows what you’re about to ask for. AI uses data—lots of it—to predict what you’re looking for or might be interested in. It aims to make online shopping not just convenient but memorable.

Now, let’s zero in on Magento. It’s a platform—a tool—that businesses use to set up their online stores, similar to Shopify, WooCommerce, Prestashop, and others.

But what sets Magento apart in a sea of eCommerce platforms? Magento isn’t just versatile; it’s robust. It’s an open-source solution, allowing you to customize the website components, add unique functionality, and improve the user experience in any way possible. For example, you can take Magento page speed optimization steps to make the store lightning-fast or convert it into a progressive web application.

Whether you’re a mom-and-pop store or a sprawling enterprise, Magento’s got you covered. It’s built to scale, which means as your business grows, Magento expands with you and supports advanced features and capabilities.

What’s more, Magento now belongs to Adobe. This ecosystem provides access to its technology like Adobe Sensei, an AI and machine learning tool, and AI-powered extensions like Magento Product Recommendations. As a result, it not only hosts online stores but empowers them with predictive, personalized shopping experiences for every user.

The Importance of AI in Magento: Why Should Retailers Care?

The Magento 2 platform has considerable artificial intelligence potential. It has several features, including those related to customer support, payments, advertisements, finalizing future company plans, and others.

In addition, Magento-powered retail stores may quickly integrate artificial intelligence applications at any time and anywhere with the assistance of skilled Magento developers. But what for? Here are the undeniable advantages of AI:

  • Streamlined customer experience. AI powers such features as image and voice search. It ensures shoppers easily find what they want without even typing their requests. It guides visitors through their journey, increasing the average order value and conversions.
  • Efficient operations. An eCommerce platform is like an engine. The smoother it runs, the better the performance. AI helps Magento stores operate steadily, cutting down glitches, predicting issues before they crop up, and ensuring all the backend operations get together seamlessly.
  • Personalized marketing. Whether you want to give a discount to the right user or show a “You May Also Like” section, AI can do the job. It tailors marketing efforts, ensuring shoppers see relevant and curated items. 

But it would be too easy to say that AI is flawless. It presents some challenges to be prepared for, including:

  • Learning curves. AI requires technical knowledge, so you need to invest in proper training.
  • Implementation expenses. AI may scare away retailers due to its initial costs. However, you need to look at the bigger picture, such as long-term benefits and return on investment (ROI).

5 Ways to Use AI in Magento to Boost Sales

1. Enhancing Shopping Experience

The shopping experience denotes all the emotions customers feel when browsing your website and purchasing products:

  • how fast they can find desired items;
  • whether the product catalog is convenient;
  • how many steps they need to take to order the products.

That’s where AI can step in to perform some tasks. Take virtual product try-ons as an example. Have you ever refused to make a purchase online because you didn’t know how the item would look on you? It’s a common scenario in online retail, making it less appealing than offline shopping.

But with AI, you can introduce virtual try-on to let customers see the product before buying it. It reduces the number of returns and complaints after receiving the order. One such example is the Lenskart online store, which offers the ability to try on eyewear.

enhance shopping experience

Screenshot taken on the official Lenskart website

Another possible frustration you may come across on the eCommerce website revolves around search. You type in the request. Suppose “summer evening wear”. But you get something like “Nothing Found” or irrelevant items like boots or swimsuits.

AI can analyze context and power Magento search to understand the user intent. Coming back to the “summer evening wear” case, AI fine-tunes the results to present clothing appropriate for nighttime occasions rather than bombard them with every summer item. It’s like seeing through customers’ eyes, detecting their pain points, preferences, and dislikes.

2. Streamlining Operations

AI isn’t only about boosting sales and helping customers. Let’s proceed to the backstage activities in online retail, such as inventory management and logistics.

Inventory management has long been associated with lengthy checks, manual entries, and the occasional human error. AI in Magento reduces the need for human involvement. For example, it can automatically update the stock levels according to the sales statistics and predict the future.

The outcome? You know what products to replenish before the holiday rush. You understand what’s in demand in your store in what season. AI relies on information, such as:

  • trends;
  • past sales data;
  • external factors like seasonal changes or regional events.

As for logistics, AI contributes to everything from smart warehousing to route planning. So, the products won’t deteriorate due to improper storing, or the delivery won’t be delayed due to particular traffic patterns, weather conditions, and potential roadblocks.

3. Minimizing Cyber Threats

Every online storefront, including Magento, contains credit card details, customer personal information, data on past transactions, and shipping partners. As hackers go the extra mile to enhance their strategies, it may be hard to keep up with them. So you’re left with reacting to scams after they’ve already happened.

But protection isn’t about dealing with the consequences. Let alone data breaches undermine the reputation and bottom line; they may result in long-term repercussions and prevent business growth.

That’s why IT companies leverage AI to secure online operations. According to a recent study by Blackberry, the majority of IT decision-makers (82%) intend to invest in AI-driven cybersecurity over the next two years. Almost half of the respondents (48%) plan to do it before the end of 2023.

Here’s how AI works in cybersecurity. AI focuses on behavior analytics to spot and flag suspicious activity. For instance, AI will raise red flags if a historically thrifty account suddenly makes a rash of expensive transactions. It also identifies such malicious attempts as:

  • DDoS attacks;
  • malware injections;
  • unreliable logins.

4. Revolutionizing Customer Service

AI also comes to the rescue in such cases when you need to resolve an issue quickly and out of business hours. Picture the traditional brick-and-mortar stores with the ever-friendly assistant who always knows what you’re looking for. That personal touch is irreplaceable. But how do you scale these helpers to a global eCommerce platform, available 24/7?

Enter AI chatbots. These aren’t those run-of-the-mill, script-based bots that fumble at the first sign of an unusual query. Magento, for instance, has integrated platforms like Drift and ManyChat, which use conversational AI to simulate a real conversation.

Such progressive chatbots can support reasonable conversations, pull up the requested information, and even throw in a quick tip about choosing the right fit.

Another aspect of customer service covers returns and complaints. These are an integral part of the eCommerce industry, so you need to ensure the efficiency of their handling rather than avoiding them at all. It’s impossible.

AI and Magento work together to take on this challenge. Consider Zendesk’s AI integration for Magento by agnoStack. This app lets your team members quickly sort orders to find the needed customer account in the database. So, when buyers contact the store, they can receive help much faster.

5. Strengthening Marketing and Sales

As mentioned above, personalization is among the capabilities possible with AI. But why should you personalize the shopping experience at all? According to the PwC Customer Loyalty Executive Survey 2023, 61% of respondents consider personalization the most important driver of customer loyalty.

AI adapts the content to shoppers’ preferences. Thus, people discover more goods from the store suitable for their needs. By marrying Magento with AI, you address every customer individually. How? People leave a lot of information online. So, their clicks, views, purchases, and browsing habits can help AI tailor the content for consumers. You can observe one of the examples in the screenshot of the Lacoste website below.

AI can tailor the content for consumers

Screenshot taken on the official Lacoste website

Take, for instance, the Magento integration with Adobe Sensei. You can download a free Product Recommendations extension, regulate the suggestion types, create new recommendations, and automate your workflows.

But what if a prospect leaves the store? AI can recover unfinished purchases with the help of retargeting. This process denotes reminding users about their past experiences in your store when visiting other websites. Whether it’s an abandoned cart or viewed items, these ads speak directly to the user’s interests.

Overcoming AI Challenges: Potential Roadblocks

Apart from potentially steep learning curves and hefty investment costs, there are some issues connected to AI:

  • Vulnerability. You can’t blindly trust AI as it relies on data. So, whether AI is foolproof or not depends on the data fed to the system. If that data has biases (unintentional or otherwise), the AI can pick them up, skewing results.
  • Adversarial attacks. Cyberattackers get more advanced in their techniques to deceive people. They also leverage AI generators to create malicious code and use AI weaknesses to find new ways to rob organizations. They conduct adversarial attacks, changing the input data. So, you need to constantly review your systems to be resilient to sophisticated tricks.
  • Robotization. One of the biggest challenges in an AI-driven Magento platform is striking a balance between automation and authenticity. Customers, while appreciating personalized experiences, also want to feel they’re not just another data point. Be upfront about how you’re using AI and data. Provide options for customers to opt out to give them control over their privacy.

Wrapping Up

AI is indispensable for online retailers, including Magento users. It can streamline operations, simplify the browsing experience for customers, and protect the store from cyber attacks. Yet, these advancements are still prone to vulnerabilities. But here are the major takeaways:

  • Build the system on quality data.
  • Refresh your knowledge of cybersecurity and update your software.
  • Don’t replace people with robots to preserve genuine human touch.

We can’t escape the reality: AI is here to stay, so we need to adopt it with maximum efficiency.