The Application of AI in E-Commerce: 5 Ways to Use It to Your Advantage
- The Economic Impact of AI on E-Commerce
- The Benefits of the Application of AI in E-commerce
- 5 Ways to Use the Application of AI in E-Commerce to Your Advantage
If you own an e-commerce business, you know just how competitive the industry has become. Differentiation has become ever more critical for business success. That’s where the application of AI in e-commerce can provide the edge you need.
AI enables e-commerce businesses to scale up operations while providing more personal shopping experiences. In fact, it can radically transform every facet of e-commerce.
Previously we looked at the following:
- How AI in Digital Marketing Is Changing the Game
- What to Learn from Those Who Embrace AI
- How Human and AI Integration Can Improve the Customer Experience
Whether you plan to take your e-commerce business up a notch or expand into the sector for the first time, you can look forward to getting the answers you need.
The Economic Impact of AI on E-Commerce
The e-commerce industry has experienced massive growth in recent years and now accounts for a fifth of all global sales. The future of e-commerce will become increasingly linked to AI. Here are a few stats to consider:
- Global e-commerce sales will exceed $5 trillion by the end of 2022 and $7 trillion by 2025. (Source: Insider Intelligence)
- AI will boost profitability by 59% in the retail and wholesale sectors by 2035 (Source: Accenture)
- AI in the retail market was worth more than $2 billion in 2020, and compound growth is predicted to rise more than 30% between 2021 and 2027. (Source: Global Marketing Report)
The Benefits of the Application of AI in E-commerce
Why is the application of AI in e-commerce so beneficial to businesses like yours?
In short, AI makes the shopping experience simpler and faster. It also improves personalization. That means shoppers can more easily find products they feel passionate about buying.
AI can gather data on all your prospects and customers from every touchpoint of their journey. It’s capable of building complete customer profiles from your website, social media, and email campaigns.
Plus, it will segment your audience much more finely than traditional methods.
This way, you offer people what they really want, not just what would interest most people with a similar profile.
5 Ways to Use the Application of AI in E-Commerce to Your Advantage
There’s no question the application of AI in e-commerce can serve your business and your customers well. The hard part is figuring out how to use it to your advantage. To help you out, we’ve highlighted 5 ways to do just that, along with specific examples of businesses that are ahead of the curve.
1) Improve Decision-Making with Smarter Analytics and Intelligence
E-commerce data is essential for long-term strategy and short-term planning. Traditional marketing analysis based on gathering statistics is a blunt tool compared to AI. AI helps you collect and analyze data in real time to make smarter decisions about marketing, sales, production, and operations.
Intelligent data analysis helps real-time forecasting of online sales. This helps guide decisions on pricing, production, offers, and inventory management. It also saves employees the mundane task of data entry.
E-commerce business intelligence is essential to stay ahead of your competition. It also serves to detect unseen competitive threats. Klue, for example, tracks competitors’ websites and social media on pricing and product changes.
Cybersecurity and Privacy
Customers have entrusted you with personal and financial data that cybercriminals could use to defraud them or sell on the dark web. As your personal detective, products like Balbix BreachControl can chase leads to identify and neutralize threats.
Reputation Management and Pirating
Trolls and unscrupulous competitors are the scourge of e-commerce. They pose as unsatisfied customers to hurt your reputation with scathing reviews.
AI technology such as Pasabi can identify reviews on social media and websites to help you get them removed. And DataWeave’s AI-driven counterfeit detection software protects your brand, products, and intellectual property by crawling the web to track down knock-off products.
2) Provide Better Product Recommendations
To be successful in the e-commerce space, you need loyal customers who care about your brand. And that means you need to show that you understand their problems and preferences and can offer the perfect solutions. The good news is the application of AI in e-commerce can simplify this task.
AI for Sales
AI capabilities can help provide customers with a smooth and easy shopping experience by making ordering and delivery faster and more efficient. But that’s not all…
Another application of AI in e-commerce is recommending products based on searches and purchase history. Amazon, for example, uses AI to help customers discover personalized products and then compare features, prices, and reviews for similar products.
- Shelf.ai uses AI to help retailers engage with their customers and personalize their shopping experience.
Personal Assistants and Chatbots in the Home
Chatbots in the home like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home can learn customers’ interests, needs, and preferences from everyday questions they ask.
They can help customers by…
- Making personal recommendations for products and services
- Ordering products online
- Finding local businesses that stock desired products
As natural language processing evolves, conversations with virtual assistants will become more lifelike. Shopping will be more enjoyable, easier, and more intuitive.
Sometimes customers need help choosing the size, design, and color of a new outfit. Virtual personal shoppers can help by asking customers questions to learn what they are looking for. Then, they can check stock levels for a perfect match. A personal shopper also is able to suggest alternatives if the first choice isn’t available. Finally, they can complete the experience by checking out purchases.
- Mona is an AI-powered mobile shopping assistant that recommends products and suggests where to buy them at the best price. It learns from each customer interaction to improve future recommendations.
Automated Recommendations for Managing the Home and Business
Your customers have busy lives, and automated replenishment platforms can help take care of ordering day-to-day supplies.
Replenium uses machine learning to suggest products and schedule deliveries based on purchase history.
If your customers ever abandon your website because they can’t find what they are looking for quickly, machine learning can help. AI can learn from previous searches and purchase history to improve search results for every user.
Voice and visual searches can also make online shopping more engaging. Instead of typing a search query into a window, customers can ask or show a similar item or image.
- Impresse has created an AI search solution that uses analytics to improve search results. It also allows customers to search for items using images and drawings.
Immersive Online Shopping Experience with VR and AR
A big benefit of shopping at the mall is that customers can see and touch products before getting out their wallets. But virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can give customers an immersive experience for trying out products virtually.
For example, customers can try on clothes and makeup using an avatar that matches their hair color, skin tone, body shape, and size. This can help to reduce the number of unwanted products your customers return.
- Image Metrics, specializing in body tracking technology, created the Makeup Genius mobile app for L’Oréal Paris. This lets customers get a virtual makeover and try on cosmetics to help their purchasing decisions.
3) Enhance the Customer Service Experience
Excellent customer service is a must for any e-commerce business. Since AI chatbots can answer multiple calls, customers have less time to wait to get their call answered.
In fact, chatbots can handle 80% of routine tasks and customer questions, cutting customer support service fees by 30%, according to IBM. However, live agents are still essential to take over complicated calls and handle frustrated customers.
- Liveperson is an application of AI in e-commerce that lets customers ask basic FAQ-type questions such as product and shipping information. Chatbots hand over to a live agent when needed. Using machine learning helps it to improve the experience continually.
4) Target Marketing More Effectively
Though we’ve talked about the impact of AI in digital marketing before, it’s worth touching on a few other specific ways it can be used to enhance your marketing efforts.
Some applications of AI in e-commerce are to better segment your audience, improve targeting, and analyze your marketing data. You can build more robust digital profiles across all platforms and points along the customer journey.
But it doesn’t stop there…
You can integrate many more indicators for more sophisticated analysis and do it in real time. AI can adjust tactics and allocate marketing resources autonomously. That will make you far more agile and responsive to changing trends and market conditions.
- Microsoft‘s Azure analyzes site traffic and conversion rates to personalize shopping experiences with targeted content. It helps you make decisions about new products, pricing, and special offers based on customer behavior.
AI-Enabled Email Marketing
AI-enabled email marketing helps you better target and manage your ad and marketing campaigns. You can automatically respond to each consumer’s action with an appropriately targeted message.
Plus, AI can manage A/B testing, automatically changing subject lines or body copy, depending on opening or click-through rates. Using machine learning, it knows what email copy works best for future campaigns.
- Personalize identifies what products and services interest your contacts. It then automatically personalizes and targets your email marketing campaigns.
Each social media channel has its own posting, advertising, and analytical requirements. As new platforms enter the market, your audience becomes more splintered between these platforms. Managing them and the other channels you use to interact with customers becomes increasingly complicated.
An application of AI in e-commerce is to coordinate your channels to improve your performance and select the best channel to match your target audience.
- Resulticks is a cloud-based AI omnichannel marketing tool. The integrated platform manages, tracks, and measures communications across various digital channels.
AI can learn from a shopper’s data why they abandoned their shopping cart without completing a purchase. This can help you retarget your prospects with solutions that they will want to buy.
- Justuno and Retargeted are a couple of AI retargeting platforms. They improve conversions by analyzing website visitors’ behavior and suggesting more suitable products.
5) Boost Sales and Distribution and Scale Operations
Efficiently fulfilling and delivering orders is crucial for online retailers’ reputations. Any e-commerce business looking to scale up its sales needs to think about how it will fulfill orders quickly. It only hurts your reputation when orders don’t arrive on time or the customer receives the wrong item.
Managing your stock can get complicated. That is especially true when you are selling products across websites, social media, and brick-and-mortar stores.
That’s why forecasting is essential, and using an efficient distribution infrastructure is so important. AI will keep track of your inventory in different locations and advise you to move stock where it’s needed the most.
- Remi ai’s forecasting app is an application of AI in e-commerce that uses machine learning algorithms for sales forecasting. It takes external influences into account for more effective resource management. The data enables companies to anticipate demand changes and predict supply chain issues.
AI is helping to drive the massive growth of e-commerce. This will accelerate as AI takes over more and more functions of e-commerce.
The application of AI in e-commerce drives sales by making the shopping experience simpler and faster. Not only that, but it also helps prospects and customers find products they feel passionate about buying. In fact, AI can radically transform every facet of e-commerce.
By incorporating AI in your e-commerce business, your customers will keep coming back and spreading the word about your great service.
Want to take your e-commerce business to the next level? Sign up for a FREE 50-Point Marketing Audit to find out what is working and how to improve areas of your marketing that aren’t.