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July 12, 2022

Machine learning in e-commerce

This blog post covers all kinds of common questions related to the use of machine learning in e-commerce.

Mitya Smusin

Chief Executive Officer

Since the internet has become a large part of our everyday lives, it has also affected our purchasing behavior. As a result, the majority of the population has experience ordering items online. Whether you're paying for anything online or not, technology is always working behind the scenes. As you shop, the app keeps tabs on your interests and purchases to learn more about you as a customer. It also suggests products based on your past interactions.

Thus, the e-commerce industry and technology are like two inseparable best friends. For example, e-commerce platforms are constantly growing, so the question of "how to build a scalable web application" will be urgent for you.

Furthermore, let's examine our article in further detail so that you may stay informed about the inner workings of machine learning for e-commerce and how it might assist you.

ML in e-commerce: market stats

Now that we've covered some market stats, let's dive into the advantages and discover how to apply machine learning to your e-commerce company. 

1. Market Size

By 2030, experts project that the global market for AI-enabled e-commerce will reach $16.8 billion, experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4%. Experts project that AI and ML will generate $360.36 billion in revenue by 2028.

2. Adoption rate

An astounding 84% of online retailers are prioritizing or are actively pursuing the use of AI/ML technologies. That ML in e-commerce can revolutionize reality is shown here. 

3. Impact on revenue and customer satisfaction

Companies that implement ML-based solutions can expect to see a 5–15% increase in revenue and a 25% improvement in customer satisfaction. This is due to the ability of ML to personalize the shopping experience, improve product recommendations, and reduce operational costs.

Machine Learning in E-Commerce Stats

Case studies of machine learning in e-commerce

To understand the reality of how big and competitive companies make use of this, let’s explore some ML use cases in e-commerce. These case studies cover machine learning at Amazon (41% share of the US e-commerce market) and eBay (4.2%, according to Influencer Marketing Hub).

Machine Learning in E-Commerce Cases

Amazon: Personalized Product Recommendations

Amazon is a name you've probably heard of. This giant of a corporation offers everything from product and service delivery to internet streaming and cloud management, among its many other offerings. Its net worth exceeds one trillion dollars.

As part of its e-commerce operations, Amazon uses machine learning algorithms to analyze customer purchase histories and provide customized ads and product suggestions based on promotions for various electronic brands.

An unusual but interesting case is how machine learning contributes to Amazon’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Justine Mahler, Packaging Senior Manager at Amazon explains: “Our goal is to minimize the amount of packaging customers have to dispose of and to increase the recyclability of our packaging. Carbon is the primary metric we hold ourselves accountable to when we think about sustainability for the customer, and our corporate responsibility is to be a leader in this space.”

Some of the most impactful ML models identify products that don’t need any packaging at all—like diapers. Mahler continues, “Instead of having someone inspect these products individually for their fragility or their volume, we use machine learning”.

Uber: Dynamic Pricing Optimization

Uber uses machine learning to adjust fares in real time based on demand. When lots of people need rides and not enough drivers are available, prices go up ("surge pricing"). This encourages more drivers to hit the road and reduces wait times for riders. It also boosts Uber's revenue.

However, some riders dislike surge pricing, finding it unfair or unpredictable. Uber faces the challenge of balancing its need for profit with maintaining customer trust. Future improvements may involve using more data and AI to create a more equitable pricing system.

In short, Uber's dynamic pricing is a complex dance between supply and demand, driven by AI. While it has benefits for both Uber and riders, concerns about fairness remain. Only time will tell how this system evolves in the future.

PayPal: Fraud Detection Algorithm

PayPal uses a smart AI system to fight online fraud. This system constantly analyzes millions of data points about users, transactions, and behavior to spot shady stuff before it happens.

Think of it like a super-powered security guard who knows everything about everyone and can predict their next move. When something fishy tries to sneak through, the system slams the door shut.

This protects both PayPal and its users from losing money to scammers. But just like any good detective, the system needs to keep learning new tricks to stay ahead of the bad guys. That's why PayPal scientists are always on the lookout for new ways to outsmart the crooks.

So next time you use PayPal, rest assured that a watchful AI eye is guarding your money. You can shop and pay with confidence knowing that the system is on your side, ready to block any attempt to steal your hard-earned cash.

Netflix: Targeted Content Recommendations

Netflix, the go-to platform for binge-watching, employs advanced AI to recommend shows personalized just for you. Think of it as a smarter, more tailored TV guide.

Imagine a web of all the shows you've watched, clicked, scrolled, and paused. This web reveals your hidden TV desires and Netflix's AI detectives crawl through it like spiders, sniffing out your next obsession.

But how does this work? It analyzes your watch history, including every show and movie, as well as the duration of your viewing, your reactions to watched movies, and your favorite actors and actresses. It then uses this data to develop your profile.

Yet, it's not perfect. The AI occasionally fails to meet expectations or becomes repetitive in its suggestions. But they're working on it, using even more data, like your social media or other platforms you watch.

Shopify: AI-Powered Chatbots

Have you ever dreamt of having a helpful and knowledgeable salesperson by your side anytime you browse an online store? That's the power of Shopify's AI-powered chatbots, your virtual assistants ready to answer questions, offer recommendations, and guide you through the shopping experience.

Machine-learning algorithms power these chatbots, analyzing vast amounts of data about products, customer behavior, and common inquiries. They can understand natural language, interpret your questions and requests, and provide personalized responses in real time.

Here's what they can do:

  • Answer frequently asked questions about product details, shipping information, order status, and more.

  • Offer product recommendations based on your browsing history and preferences.

  • Help with troubleshooting: If you're having trouble completing a purchase or using the website.

  • Gather customer feedback to improve the shopping experience for everyone.

Benefits of Shopify Chatbots:

  • Chatbots are always available, even outside of business hours.

  • By providing quick and helpful assistance, chatbots can encourage customers to complete their purchases.

  • Chatbots can handle many common inquiries, freeing up human agents for more complex issues.

  • By providing a personalized and convenient experience, chatbots can help build customer loyalty.

Yet, while Shopify chatbots are getting smarter every day, they still have limitations. They may not understand complex questions or nuanced language, and they may not be able to handle highly emotional situations.

Benefits of using ML for your business

You may be thinking something like this: “You don’t understand. I don’t run Amazon or Walmart. We’re not that big, but we want to use machine learning or artificial intelligence. How can it benefit my business?” Well, here are some major business benefits you may be interested in:

Enhanced decision-making

Machine learning algorithms are capable of effectively processing large datasets and spotting patterns and trends that conventional approaches may overlook. As a result, companies may stop depending on gut feelings or past performance and start making data-driven choices in real time. It leads to better decisions that are based on reliable information, which may boost growth and profitability.

Efficient process automation

From supply chain management to customer service chatbots, ML-powered automation may simplify many parts of your business. You may enhance productivity, decrease operating expenses, and decrease the likelihood of human mistakes by automating routine processes and activities. As a result, your staff will be free to concentrate on jobs that call for originality and analysis, which will increase output.

Improved customer experience

Machine learning can sift through a customer's digital footprint, including their purchases and activities, to tailor their experiences and suggestions. This degree of personalization enhances the delivery of relevant information, goods, and services, thereby enriching the consumer experience. AI-powered automated customer support can instantly assist customers, improving response times and overall satisfaction.

Predictive analytics for insights

By analyzing past data, ML models can accurately forecast market movements, consumer habits, and trends. Businesses may use this predictive power to remain ahead of the competition, alter plans proactively, and allocate resources effectively. Strategic planning and risk management greatly benefit from this technology.

Cost savings and resource optimization

ML-driven optimization can affect inventory management, energy use, and predictive maintenance. You may save expenses and boost profits by reducing waste and making the most of your resources. To avoid expensive equipment failures and downtime, predictive maintenance is one example.

Competitive advantage in innovation

Leveraging ML for innovation allows your business to develop and launch cutting-edge products or services. By embracing emerging technologies and staying ahead of market trends, you can gain a competitive edge. Businesses that offer innovative solutions and improved user experiences often attract customers.

How to Implement AI and Machine Learning in Your E-Commerce Business

Now that you have a clear understanding of the applications of machine learning in e-commerce, you may be curious about how to implement this powerful technology in your business. The following six steps will describe the process and help you get started.

Define business objectives and goals

Start by clearly defining what you want to achieve with AI and machine learning. Identify specific business objectives and goals that these technologies can help address. For instance, you might aim to increase sales, improve customer retention, enhance product recommendations, or optimize supply chain logistics.

Data collection and preparation

Gather relevant data for your e-commerce business. This includes customer data (purchase history, behavior), product data (descriptions, attributes), and transaction data. Ensure data quality by cleaning and preprocessing it. You may need to consolidate data from various sources into a centralized data warehouse for analysis.

Choose appropriate machine learning models

Select the right machine learning models that align with your business objectives. Common ML applications in e-commerce include recommendation systems, predictive analytics, and natural language processing for customer support. Depending on your goals, you might use algorithms like collaborative filtering, regression, or deep learning neural networks.

Integration with e-commerce platform

Integrate your chosen ML models with your e-commerce platform. This could involve working with developers to implement APIs or utilizing pre-built solutions offered by e-commerce software providers. Ensure seamless data flow between your platform and ML models for real-time decision-making.

Testing and validation processes

Before deploying AI and ML models into production, conduct thorough testing and validation. Use historical data to evaluate the model’s performance and accuracy. Validate the models with A/B testing or split testing to measure their impact on your e-commerce KPIs, such as conversion rates, revenue, or customer engagement.

Continuous monitoring and optimization

Lastly, make sure your ML models are being monitored effectively so you can see how they are doing in real-time. Always keep an eye on important indicators and be sure you get user feedback. When new data becomes available or when business goals change, retrain and improve your models regularly. Your AI and ML solutions will stay successful and relevant with this iterative methodology.

6 Best Machine Learning Strategies for E-Commerce Businesses

These are indeed some of the best machine learning strategies for e-commerce businesses, as they can drive sales, improve customer experiences, and enhance operational efficiency. Let's explore each of these strategies in more detail:

Machine Learning in E-Commerce Strategies

Personalized product recommendations

Think of the last time you bought something from, let’s say, Amazon. Before you even typed what you were looking for in the search bar, it already recommended products that you might be interested in. How does Amazon know? The secret is data mining, processing, and analysis! The algorithms used by Amazon (and other e-commerce retailers) analyze large quantities of data to identify the groups of items with common traits. For example, when you’re searching for a cocktail dress, you’re more likely to see high-heel shoes in recommendations than gardening tools. That’s convenient, isn’t it?

The impact of personalized product recommendations is huge, and a quick look at the numbers makes this abundantly clear. SalesForce says that shoppers who clicked a product recommendation spent an average of 12.9 minutes on sites vs. just 2.9 minutes for those who didn’t see any. The customer return rate also goes up: 56 percent of customers are more likely to return to sites that offer recommendations. 

And that’s not all. Keep reading for additional details about increased conversions later on.

Dynamic pricing optimization

This is the practice of offering products at different prices depending on market conditions. You may have experienced it when you ordered an Uber from downtown on Friday night and saw the price double compared to what you usually pay for that trip. Or if you fly often, you certainly know that it’s better to buy tickets early because as the departure day nears, the prices gradually increase.

In e-commerce, prices dynamically change (Amazon adjusts prices on a minute-by-minute basis) depending on many factors, including supply and demand, market trends, competition, and industry standards, consumer expectations and behavior, and inventory levels. 

The benefits? More customers and sales growth. McKinsey reports that dynamic pricing helped their US clients improve sales by 2 to 5 percent and increase margins by 5 to 10 percent.

Customer segmentation and targeting

ML can segment your customer base into groups with similar characteristics and behaviors. This allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns and tailor product offerings to specific customer segments, resulting in higher conversion rates and improved ROI on marketing spend. It effectively segments your customer base, enhancing marketing strategies in the following ways:

  • Targeted Campaigns: Tailor marketing messages and offers to each segment's unique characteristics, increasing engagement.

  • Higher Conversion Rates: Relevance leads to better conversion rates as customers respond to personalized content.

  • Improved ROI: Focus resources on receptive segments, reducing wasteful spending and boosting ROI.

  • Enhanced Loyalty: Personalized efforts build stronger customer relationships and loyalty.

  • Product Customization: Use insights for product development and customization, meeting specific segment needs.

  • Competitive Edge: Stay ahead in understanding and satisfying customer demands, gaining a competitive edge.

Fraud detection and prevention

Machine learning can quickly and efficiently detect and block fraudulent payments made with a credit card from an unusual location or for a suspicious transaction. Machine learning in e-commerce can even predict whether a person is going to retract the payment after the purchase. To do so, the software development team trains the machine learning engine by flagging previous cases of fraud and non-fraud to avoid false positives and to improve your risk rules’ precision.

The simple rule proves its efficiency: The longer the ML algorithms run into your projects, the more accurate the rule suggestions will be.

Supply chain and inventory management

ML can optimize inventory levels, demand forecasting, and supply chain logistics. By predicting demand more accurately, you can reduce stockouts and overstock situations, leading to cost savings and improved customer satisfaction through timely product availability. It is instrumental in optimizing inventory management and supply chain logistics. It achieves this by improving demand forecasting, which, in turn, has several benefits:

  • Accurate Demand Prediction: ML analyzes historical data and market trends to make precise demand forecasts, reducing the risk of understocking or overstocking products.

  • Cost Savings: By maintaining optimal inventory levels, businesses can minimize storage costs associated with excess stock and avoid revenue losses due to stockouts.

  • Timely Product Availability: ML helps ensure that products are available when customers need them, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Efficient Supply Chain: ML streamlines supply chain operations, reducing inefficiencies and operational costs.

  • Reduced Wastage: By minimizing overstock situations, businesses can reduce the risk of perishable goods expiring or becoming obsolete.

  • Improved Decision-Making: ML provides actionable insights for inventory management decisions, allowing businesses to make informed choices.

Chatbots for customer interaction

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries, provide real-time support, and assist with order tracking. They offer 24/7 availability, reducing response times and enhancing the overall customer experience. Chatbots also gather valuable data for analysis.

AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants play a vital role in customer service and experience:

  • They are available 24/7, ensuring customers can get assistance whenever they need it, even outside regular business hours.

  • Chatbots provide immediate answers, reducing wait times and improving the overall customer experience.

  • Customers can easily check the status of their orders or receive updates with the help of these AI-powered tools.

  • Handling routine inquiries and tasks frees up human agents to focus on more complex issues, increasing overall customer service efficiency.

  • Chatbots collect valuable customer data and interactions, enabling analysis for insights into customer preferences and behavior.

Why Choose Yellow for Machine Learning Development?

With extensive expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence, Yellow Systems is your trusted partner for innovative solutions. Our expert team excels in data science, predictive analytics, and AI algorithms, delivering tailored models to optimize operations and enhance customer experiences. Yellow Systems' successful track record and commitment to staying current with technology make them a reliable choice for businesses seeking a competitive edge through machine learning and AI. Expect collaborative solutions and strategic support to achieve your goals.


Gone are the days when machine learning was a luxury; it has now become an imperative for brick-and-mortar retailers stepping into the digital realm. Customized product suggestions, dynamic pricing tactics, foolproof fraud detection, and optimized supply chain management are just a few of the many advantages businesses may get with machine learning as their guide.

Here are a few considerations to wrap up our article:

  • ML has changed the way people buy things online and in physical stores.

  • It's no longer a luxury but a necessity for click-and-mortar retailers to implement machine learning algorithms to stay competitive.

  • The first step in using machine learning is to establish explicit business goals. Then, you may integrate ML models to tackle particular problems as they arise.

  • Do not delay; now is the perfect moment to begin integrating machine learning into your online store to keep up with the ever-changing industry.

🛒 How does machine learning help in e-commerce?

Machine learning enhances user experience and boosts business efficiency through personalized product recommendations, dynamic pricing, fraud prevention, chatbots, improved search, and more.

🛒 How is ML used in e-commerce?

It has many use cases. For example, businesses can utilize ML algorithms to launch highly relevant marketing campaigns, build recommendation systems for customers, and create hyper-personalized purchasing experiences.

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