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It’s often the argument that when conducting market research, i.e., surveys, asking people what they want does not always give you the most accurate answer. The reason is: people stating how they would behave in a certain situation does not exactly imply they would actually behave that way in reality.
This is often an issue marketers face when trying to research customers and trying to understand nuances like customer shopping patterns, what kind of products they would prefer and what they would not buy, and so on.
But now, with eCommerce and new technologies such as AI and neuromarketing available to marketers, all of this has changed. Because in a digital channel, all data is quantified and can be observed easily. Also, it’s much more straightforward to simply understand how people behave online and get accurate customer insight.
eCommerce businesses can effectively leverage techniques such as AI and neuromarketing to enhance their engagement by customers based on deep insight that is extremely accurate.
With over 30% of Fortune 500 companies already benefitting from the technology and 50% of market researchers believing that neuromarketing will become standard practice within the next decade, AI-powered neuromarketing is ready to make an impact.
Understanding neuromarketing in eCommerce
Neuromarketing is the fusion of neuroscience and marketing. It is a specific domain within marketing that aims to gain insights into how the consumer’s brain works in relation to key purchasing decisions.
Marketing strategies powered by neuroscience can help map out the consumer’s purchasing journeys and all of the other factors that lead to a successful sale. This can help tailor marketing strategies according to the actual behavior of online shoppers and reduce bounce rates while increasing conversion for eCommerce brands.
The Power of AI in eCommerce
In the eCommerce sector, brands are already utilizing customer data for tailoring marketing strategies according to existing customer behavior, improving product recommendations, creating a better on-page user experience, and more.
But with AI, there’s an opportunity to accelerate this by processing customer data at an unprecedented scale. The result is a better understanding of how customers behave on their websites and how to serve them in a better way.
Look at the power of AI in eCommerce and why this is a game changer moving forward:
- Personalized product recommendations: eCommerce brands can use AI to study what a customer has previously searched for in past shopping sessions (or what they’re searching for now), and how much time they spent on each product page.
- Visual search: Using AI, customers can upload images to search for similar products on the eCommerce website. This offers a more efficient way to shop, especially when words can't always describe what the customer wants.
- Improved marketing strategies: You can use AI to segment customers based on behavior and preferences, allowing for targeted marketing campaigns that have a better chance of reaching the right customer.
- Enhanced inventory management: AI can also predict stock requirements based on historical sales data and current trends. This can help maintain optimal stock levels, reducing overstocking on any product and preventing running out of stock.
The synergy of Neuromarketing in eCommerce
Neuromarketing has immeasurable potential to support eCommerce businesses in acquiring new customers, retaining existing ones (while increasing customer lifetime value), and ultimately boosting their bottom line.
This synergy exists because online shopping can provide businesses with accurate, quantifiable, and measurable data about customers. Put neuromarketing into the mix, and you can integrate advanced techniques such as tracking eye movements, brain scans, and other neural activity to get even deeper insights into how customers are behaving in real time.
Applying neuromarketing techniques with AI
By fusing AI into an already powerful neuromarketing strategy, eCommerce brands can craft valuable interactions by understanding their consumers through data.
Brands like Nike, Starbucks, and Amazon are already leveraging neuromarketing and AI techniques to stimulate purchase decisions.
For example, Nike takes great care with the letter case of its name’s branding to stimulate purchase decisions for the intended audience. Here, the principles of neuromarketing are leveraged in design to make sure the design elements are aesthetically pleasing for consumers.
Using AI-driven behavior design based on neuromarketing, brands can supercharge this process to make this process more accurate.
Improving customer engagement
Customer engagement is at the heart of the online shopping experience today. With people’s attention spans dwindling, eCommerce stores need to ensure their online store is optimized to capture customer attention and keep engagement high.
This directly impacts key metrics such as ‘bounce rates’ or ‘abandoned carts’, a critical measure reflecting the number of people who lost interest before completing a purchase.
With AI-powered neuromarketing, eCommerce stores can assess the exact point where the average customer loses interest through techniques such as eye tracking and brain scans. This also lends itself to establishing engagement further along in the buying journey as brands can use this intel to optimize the shopping experience based on consumer attention.
Neuromarketing strategies can help create better chatbot designs. This includes building more emotionally intelligent responses, incorporating visual elements (such as GIFs and emojis) into the chat based on a personalized understanding of each user, and generally learning from the user’s responses by studying brain activity to create better feedback loops for future conversations.
Personalization at Scale
By analyzing vast amounts of data, including browsing history, purchase behavior, customer preferences, and so on, AI algorithms can accurately predict and recommend products tailored to each shopper's unique tastes and needs. This ensures that customers are presented with items they are more likely to be interested in, creating a more relevant and engaging shopping experience.
It can also curate content that resonates with individual shoppers, such as articles, reviews, and videos that show up on the site.
By showing customers tailored content and product suggestions, eCommerce stores can significantly increase purchase intentions, leading to higher conversion rates and enhancing customer loyalty.
Enhancing User Experience
eCommerce brands aim to create a frictionless user experience that maximizes the chances of customer purchases without any obstacles forcing the customer to skip order completion.
On the other hand, customers want a seamless user experience where they can find all the products they’re looking for without any hassle, get recommendations on new products, and generally have a pleasant experience while shopping without it seeming like a ‘chore.’
With neuromarketing and AI, eCommerce brands can leverage techniques such as fMRI to understand how customers emotionally respond to website designs, product images, advertisements, etc.
eCommerce brands can then maximize engagement by choosing a website design layout and structuring website elements in a way that invokes the most positive emotions from the customer.
Overcoming challenges and ethical considerations
Using AI and collecting customer data such as biometric information, recording brainwave patterns, eye movements, and so on pose significant challenges and ethical concerns that eCommerce brands will need to account for.
Ignoring these concerns can even lead to an overreaction by regulators if the following aspects are not taken into account early on:
- Data Collection and Storage: Neuromarketing requires collecting sensitive biometric data, such as brainwave patterns, eye movements, and facial expressions. Without the proper customer consent, this can be a serious invasion of privacy.
- Manipulation Concerns: With insights into subconscious preferences and triggers, there's a risk of manipulating consumers into making purchases they otherwise wouldn’t make.
- Transparency issues: Consumers might not be aware that their reactions are being monitored and analyzed for marketing purposes. And because AI-powered neuromarketing algorithms can be quite complex, even disclosures might not fully explain what kind of data is being collected.
The Future of Shopping: Predictions and Trends
The modern shopping experience is rapidly changing. Even when customers shop offline in physical stores, there’s still a deep connection with an accompanying digital platform. People browse the accompanying eCommerce site while shopping to find their favorite products in stores, check online reviews in real time, and even pay using their digital profiles.
Companies are already experimenting with new technologies like Augmented Reality (AR). Take IKEA’s AR app for example, which can scan a room to get its dimensions and help customers visualize how their products will look in real-life settings. The Wannakicks App by Wannabee is also a great example, allowing shoppers to try sneakers from home before purchasing them.
There are other emerging trends as well, such as voice commerce, where more than 53% of companies surveyed reported plans to roll out voice-enabled shopping and voice-based ads. With the eCommerce market size projected to grow from $3.64 trillion in 2023 to $5.56 trillion in 2027, there’s endless room for new technologies to push the levers on the value creation possible here.
Stay ahead of the curve
AI-powered neuromarketing has the capability to change how we approach marketing strategies for the better. From enhancing the user experience for online shoppers, and improving customer engagement to allowing for a new level of personalized shopping experiences for customers, there are so many opportunities.
With the rise of AI and its ability to supercharge marketing strategies, eCommerce brands have an exciting opportunity to capitalize on untapped value. With so much happening in this space, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and stay informed about major developments happening in this space.
Along with other exciting new technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), eCommerce brands must do their best to leverage these new developments and stay competitive in a rapidly changing environment.
Moving forward, eCommerce brands that capitalize on powerful new technologies like AI will dominate, while those that fail to make the leap will be left behind.