Intelligent Agents are software entities that perform a set of functions for a user's or other's account, having some degree of autonomy and using some knowledge to meet the user's goals and desires.
There are five main categories in which intelligent agents can be distinguished:
1. Collaborative Agents
2. Interface Agents
3. Information / Internet Agents
4. Reactive Software Agents
5. Mobile Agents
Intelligent Agents in e-Commerce are particularly useful and have the following advantages:
1. They can do the work for which they are planned without external human intervention.
2. They have social interaction with both people and other agents.
3. They are specialized and oriented to achieve their goals.
4. They can also respond to changes in the market.
5. Agents enhance data security and Internet transactions.
6. Users with less effort and in less time find what they want and
perform purchasing procedures.
7. Agents within the time are adapted to users and improve it their function and efficiency.
Intelligent agents in e-Commerce can perform various functions for the user. They can compare prices, find the right product, execute orders (for Business to Customers models), negotiate and auction, set the location of products in the warehouse and online store, suggest suitable suppliers (for B2B models ).
This is why we can distinguish four major categories of agents in e-commerce:
1. Buying agents: also known as shopping bots. They help the user easily find the products and services they want to buy.
2. User agents: personal agents. They create personalized pages for users. For example, when a user attempts to fill in a contact form in an online store, agents have already filled in fields such as name, email, and phone by "pulling" information from the information the user has specified in his account .
3. Monitoring agents: forecasters. An example is agents tracking the company's stocks, tracking competitors' prices, collecting any information about the company's buying market, and creating reports that offer sales prices per period of time, as well as quantities of orders from suppliers.
4. Data-mining agents: These agents use special technologies to collect information from different sources and provide them directly to the user or company, enabling them to make immediate decisions.