3 Ways AI Will Continue to Transform E-commerce in 2021

By Lavender Nguyen
Industry Trends
November 3, 2020
AI in retail

E-commerce retailers are already adopting artificial intelligence technologies at a breathtaking pace. Shopify has estimated that businesses worldwide will spend more than $15.4 billion on AI by 2021. And according to IBM Institute’s Business Value report, more than 80% of executives in the retail space expect their companies to be using intelligent automation by 2021. It’s safe to say that AI is reshaping the e-commerce industry. 

Here are three ways fashion and apparel retailers can and should be leveraging AI to stay competitive.

1. Make Your Search Box Smarter

Customers may have multiple new channels — like Instagram’s shopping feature — for buying products online, but your website’s search functionality is still crucial. Research has shown that shoppers who search for a specific type of product directly on your site are nearly two times more likely to make a purchase. So, when they don’t find exactly what they’re looking for, they leave dissatisfied. 

Lily AI’s technology can help change that. With more than 15,000 product attributes in our algorithm, we can enrich the objective and subjective product data in your entire catalog with up to 99% accuracy. When a customer searches for cozy sweaters or long-sleeve shirts, they’re getting a much more accurate picture of what you have to offer. 

Taking it a step further, we’re able to combine that enriched product data with customer behavioral data to build a unique psychographic profile that tells you more about a customer’s emotional context, style personality and body type. You can then truly customize search results to put products in front of customers that they’re more likely to buy. 

2. Deliver Hyper-Personalized Experiences

We all know companies like Netflix can attribute a huge part of their success to personalizing each user’s experience on its platform. Apparel brands and retailers are now trying to do the same, but there are limitations to the current approaches

First and foremost, many brands lack in-depth product data. Relying on a small handful of attributes per product simply isn’t enough to make detailed inferences about your customer and their attraction to a particular style. Additionally, true personalization requires knowing the emotional context around why someone adds a product to their cart. 

One woman’s “why” for purchasing a specific pair of pants or type of sweater is different from another’s. Lily AI’s technology is able to predict subjective data such as body type, features they like to flaunt, features they prefer to minimize, and even whether their style is more feminine or edgy or boho. By getting your hands on that subjective data, you can strategically tailor product pages, email content and more based on a customer’s unique preferences.

3. Reduce Cart Abandonment 

There are many reasons customers abandon their carts — from shipping costs to slow delivery to an “I was just browsing” mentality. Retargeting these customers with cart abandonment emails is likely already part of your e-commerce strategy. But what if you could make those emails even more personalized based on historical and real-time customer data, as well as in-depth product data that, together, help reveal a customer’s psychographics? 

Using Lily AI technology, you can learn more about individual customers and the emotional context that plays a role in their purchase behavior. Once you better understand who potential customers are, you can adjust your follow-up marketing strategy to convert those prospects into real customers and increase your chances of winning back shoppers with abandoned carts.

No doubt, AI has transformed the e-commerce industry and continues to be a secret weapon for happier customers and more revenue. Want to learn more about how Lily AI can enhance your digital experience? Get in touch with us today! 

Lavender Nguyen is a full-time freelance writer focusing on SaaS and e-commerce topics.


  1. https://www.shopify.com.au/enterprise/the-future-of-ecommerce#5
  2. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/NDE0G4LA
  3. https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/lessons-ecommerce-site-search
  4. https://www.barilliance.com/10-reasons-shopping-cart-abandonment/