What is Machine Learning?
Machine Learning is an area of Computer Science that emerged most prominently in the 1990s alongside the advent of the World Wide Web. To put it simply, the goal of Machine Learning is to filter raw data through algorithms in order to learn and gain insights from said data.
Computer Programmers who study and apply Machine Learning principles, and tools such as Amazon Machine Learning and Apache Spark, have become highly sought out by E-Commerce websites in recent years.
My question is, why, at this moment in time, are a multitude of E-Commerce websites adopting complex and technical Machine Learning procedures?
The main reason is there is a proliferation of E-Commerce websites in many of the same markets, which has led to increased competition between these online businesses. The solution? Find an edge anywhere you can.
Enter: Machine Learning
Machine Learning enables E-Commerce websites to make reasoned decisions about customer behaviour. It allows these websites to understand their customers’ general tendencies, and then plan marketing and sales campaigns towards these customer tendencies, which allows businesses to make impactful decisions that benefit themselves and their customers. Machine Learning can become a key part of anE-Commerce website’s analytics. With a wealth of customer data, including purchase history, products visited but not purchased, bounce rates, and other trends, a Machine Learning tool or solution can identify avenues for improvement.
Recently, more and more E-Commerce websites are pushing towards Machine Learning applications and software, and hiring full-time Programmers who are solely in charge of building personalized Machine Learning tools that are applicable and appropriate for only specific E-Commerce websites.
Should Your Business Use Machine Learning?
So does it make sense for your E-Commerce website to integrate a Machine Learning system? Well, for smaller E-Commerce websites with a few products and users, it’s possible to run operations efficiently without machine learning. However, as the scale of an E-Commerce business starts to increase, there are interesting problems that arise.
For example, how can you be sure that you’re offering the right products to your customers? Are there products in the store that are often purchased together, or that you should be upselling? Can you make reasoned recommendations to your customers? These are questions that an unsupervised Machine Learning tool can answer.
In conclusion, Machine Learning is a new tool that is extremely and readily available to E-Commerce websites. It can help inform site owners about their customers, from product preferences to behavioural tendencies. However, it requires a high level of technical understanding to implement and understand properly.