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What AI ecosystems can learn from hyper-locally focused m-commerce

by Team IA, January 21, 2021

m commerce

In one of our previous blogs we spoke about Top 6 AI Trends To Look Out For in 2021 and how Natural Language Processing (NLP) will be developed to improvise AI-based conversational chat-bots on e-commerce platforms for better customer services to compensate customers for the lack of a sensorial experience. Taking the same thought forward, this week we explore besides advanced data sets, why AI needs an emotive system to be able to keep pace with hyper-local m-commerce which is capturing local markets effectively.

The pandemic led e-commerce platforms such as Amazon to drive massive sales outdoing smaller businesses on account of necessity over convenience, a phenomenon noted worldwide. In November 2020, when Canada entered a second lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, Ali Haberstroh had an aha moment. Her friend, who owns a vintage clothing store in Toronto had just made a list of other shops selling similar wares with the idea of offering curbside pickup and deliveries to keep the businesses going. As Haberstroh saw the snow falling outside her apartment, she thought of the retail giants such as Walmart, Costco and Amazon whose sales were not affected as much during the pandemic. On the other hand, the smaller fish in the pond were struggling to survive. 

Haberstroh felt a need to help and jumped into action by putting up an Instagram post and tagged independent businesses as well as shop owners across Toronto. She also bought a domain called for a mere $2.99. Her post invited small businesses to stay afloat and read “so you don’t have to give any money to Amazon this year!” She turned her friend’s 160 businesses spreadsheet into a massive directory or database listing local businesses offering shipping, curbside pickups, or deliveries through This submission-based website now lists 4000+ businesses across Toronto, Calgary, Halifax and Vancouver.

In emerging economies such as India, hyper-local categories such as personal care, beauty services, grocery, food et al will spur growth. In India, a big chunk of commerce still takes place in physical stores but with the emergence of brands like Grofers, Big Basket, Swiggy etc mobile tech has been the focus on investment. With the growth of m-commerce, it is to be noted that local retailers are more likely to lean towards proximity-based tie-ups. The Cadbury’s ad we wrote about earlier is a great example of the same.

E-commerce platforms such as Amazon may have an edge due to their use of AI, the future will see social commerce disrupting the current trends. Social commerce will reach out to remote market players such as your idli/dosa batter vendor or even a small scale flower vendor near your home to join the bandwagon. The integration of AI with m-commerce and social commerce will define marketing in the time to come. You read this here first!

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