Accessing products at any time or any place, with the mere click of a button is now a piece of cake with e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart, rising the ranks and emerging as the new trend.
In today’s rapidly innovating world, competition among companies is at its peak, particularly in a sector like online retail. Fresh players are springing up every day, each of them eager to find their niche in the booming market for e-commerce. Simultaneously, the brick and mortar stores have also been boosting their digital influence to conquer the thriving e-commerce sector which has resulted in a sea of approaches and measures as various platforms create a buzz to gain customers.
But with all these challenging platforms competing against each other, they have to incorporate unique and exclusive approaches in order to differentiate and sustain themselves. As a result, various leading e-commerce platforms have been employing technologies for developing products of better quality, providing enhanced user experience, resourceful logistics, targeting the correct demographics, and becoming the favored option for their target audience.
In the case of a leading e-commerce giant like Flipkart, it has been employing artificial intelligence as its weapon to head forward.
The adoption of artificial intelligence is a tool applied by Flipkart for interpreting petabytes of data, following which, discerning insights can be uncovered regarding the likes and dislikes of the consumers. These insights are effective for the platform to enhance the online shopping experience of its customers and play a part in determining the product they put forth and where they need to fixate their cutting edge endeavors.
“AI is the new electricity; it will change all industries. It will make a new economy worth tens of billions by 2030 or so,"
- Ravi Garikapati, CTO and head of Fintech at Flipkart
Flipkart has been adopting artificial intelligence for executing a series of tasks ranging from extracting insights through the behavior of customers and their reviews, averting transaction fraud, consumer support, logistics, and warehousing, estimating product popularity, image speech, and text processing, intent modeling, conversational search, discovery, forecasting, pricing, address understanding, and contriving separate items or private labels through AI and ML models.
Flipkart sought to occupy a unique position in the e-commerce market by developing high-quality products that also remained affordable which was done through its self-owned labels. Having liberty over their products, enabling the platform to be able to straightforwardly focus on the issues faced by the consumers and become their favored option.
The brand has introduced self-owned labels in categories like furniture, consumer durables, extensive appliances as well as fashion.
Speaking of Flipkart’s products you can also sneak a peek at our blog on Success Story of Flipkart.
How has Flipkart been applying AI?
1. Customization to deal with consumer’s issues
Artificial intelligence can be employed for developing customized solutions that deal with the issues encountered by customers effectively and competently and to propel business goals. Particularly when we look at the e-commerce sector, issues like delays in delivery, dismal quality of the product, or steep pricing can lead to the product being returned or being abandoned in the cart which can result in a great degree of inconvenience and loss for an e-commerce firm like Flipkart.
Flipkart adopts artificial intelligence for the purpose of developing customized search suggestions for its customers. Since India has a wide and largely diverse section of customers, the platform has been implementing image recognition for services like recommendations, the discovery of the product, catalog search as well as product grouping.
When it comes to personalization, Flipkart is also employing machine learning to enhance the customization level of the platform
The platform’s machine learning models can suggest items on the basis of search patterns of the users, their size inclinations, earlier purchases, conversion rates, the brands they pursue, etc. This customization allows the platform to offer those products which they determine that the customers can possibly purchase.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is adopted for Chatbots, in which the platform consistently gains knowledge through each customer interaction that takes place. It also aids the platform in averting any unnecessary or intentional negative reviews.
The primary goal is to access potential audiences across smaller cities and towns who are less familiar with the English language since a massive section of the Indian nation is familiar with only Indian languages rather than English.
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How Flipkart has been applying Artificial Intelligence
2. Detecting issues and developing solutions
While numerous companies are now well equipped with automated systems, meticulous tasks like troubleshooting are still generally handed over to the firm’s actual employees. To counter any errors made in this arena, Flipkart is one of the platforms which has been employing AI-based deep learning as well as ML models for dealing with any last-mile delivery problems, which aids the platform in saving both resources and time at the various levels of order management.
Artificial Intelligence has aided the platform in detecting and classifying addresses accurately, minimizing the duration of delivery by a minimum of 3 hours per each delivery hub. Often with the intention of availing discounts, alphanumeric characters are entered as addresses by resellers. Artificial Intelligence has played a role in identifying all such frauds relating to addresses.
3. Partnering with Microsoft
Back in early 2017, in an endeavor to enhance their online shopping experience, Flipkart announced partnership with Microsoft. One of the initial strides undertaken following the partnership among the two firms was Flipkart taking up Microsoft Azure to serve as its exclusive public cloud computing platform.
In the midst of an event, as confirmed by Mint in an article, Flipkart discussed its plans of employing AI, analytics capabilities as well as machine learning in Azure, like Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, with the purpose of optimizing its data for innovative merchandising, customer service, marketing as well as advertising.
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4. Project Mira
Flipkart’s “Project Mira” was introduced back in 2017 as an artificial intelligence project which focused on making online shopping as personal as the experience of offline shopping. With a certain small percentage of the shipments being returned to the platform on a daily basis, the platform determined that this was caused owing to the gap existing between the expectations of the customer and the delivered item’s quality. The project was developed after examining the pattern of product returns which compelled the platform to set up a tool with the goal of assisting its buyers in buying whatever they prefer.
The primary aim of the project as emphasized by the platform was to offer its customers an in-store kind of experience with a sales associate but with the duties of the associate being executed by artificial intelligence as well as via digital channels. So the users who are on the lookout for, suppose, earphones or speakers are directed through specific inquiries, shopping notions, conversational filters as well as enticing offers and products in trend.
As reported by Economic Times in a 2017 article, if a user opens Flipkart’s platform to search for say, a Bluetooth speaker. Through the courtesy of Project Mira, Flipkart can now inquire with the buyers what kind of Bluetooth speaker they wish to purchase, the brand, the size, the sound quality, and other such facilities. This is a step towards offering a hand to customers and aid them in finding the exact product that they require in online settings that cannot be easily navigated.
Similar to offline shopping in which the customer is inquired about their size as well as remaining requirements, prior to making a recommendation, Flipkart is attempting to head towards a similar approach.
5. AI For India
Flipkart also set up AI For India in 2017, as an endeavor to take advantage of the opportunity gained from the escalating number of users on the Internet and the rising use of smartphones among the populace in the present modern era. Through AI For India, the platform is employing artificial intelligence in a bolder manner to optimize service differentiation, enhance user experience, and for automating the back-end procedures. The platform’s AI For India wing aspires to tackle artificial intelligence for enhancing customer experience and to iron out obstacles pertaining to the nation’s e-retail ecosystem.
6. Voice Assistants
Recently in the month of June 2020, Flipkart set up the Voice Assistant feature upon its platform, for making the buying experience easier and more organic. Being set up in Flipkart’s grocery store, Supermart, the Voice Assistant will allow customers to explore and purchase products in an easier manner by adopting voice commands in varied languages, be it Hindi or English.
This AI-powered, voice-first platform has been developed to be equipped with solutions for Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, Machine Translation, as well as Text to Speech for Indian languages. These solutions have the capacity of absorbing vernacular languages like Hindi, e-commerce categories and products, and tasks like locating a product, comprehending the product details, placing an order, and so forth.
The AI platform has been developed for the purpose of inadvertently detecting the language the user speaks, and then translating, transcribing, transliteration, or comprehending in real-time, the user’s resolve towards having enticing shopping-related interactions in a variety of Indian languages according to the firm.
Over the recent span of years, Flipkart has been dominating the Indian e-commerce, its adoption of artificial intelligence playing a paramount role in its advanced services. The platform has gradually revolutionized the shopping approach of the audience by paving the way for aspects like convenience and affordability in the field of retail.
The platform consistently focuses on expansion and progress, making automation, artificial intelligence, and bots its most weapons to propel its path.