Artificial Intelligence streamlines processes, helps increase the accuracy and financial gains of businesses across industries. Let’s see the possible applications for online stores.
Artificial intelligence is not a new term in IT and modern business landscapes. From phones to televisions, from cars to spaceships and from homes to businesses, use of AI can be seen everywhere around us.
If we take a deep look, it seems to have a close connection with most of the things we use today. Artificial intelligence has an impact on how businesses are done.
In fact, use of AI streamlines processes and helps increase the accuracy and financial gains of businesses across industries. If we talk about eCommerce, where the entire process is online, introducing AI applications can help improve the accuracy, ensure time saving, better customer experience – that all together works in the favor of the business.
What Is AI?
In the simplest term, artificial intelligence is the intelligence shown by machines and computer programs. And no, this is not about fast a computer that does correct calculations. It is rather about how quick and accurate its analysis and programmed actions are. It is far different and faster than the natural intelligence of humans and other living species on the planet.
AI applications are programmed machines that can think, analyze and take decisions on their own. When AI was a new concept, AI was referred to as robots taking over and wiping out the humanity. That’s how movies portrayed it. But that is not the case today.
AI is very much controllable and programmable to be in the interest of humans and our businesses. The aim of the developments taking place in artificial intelligence is to create machines that can think and behave like humans.
AI & eCommerce
AI is useful in almost all aspects of life. eCommerce is not left alone. As a customer, when you visit a showroom or shopping mall today, you will often see self-service kiosks and self-checkout points that will offer you information you need and even allow you to make payment by yourself.
These are the machines that have been programmed to assist humans or customers. Though, these machine aren’t just to help customers. They offload the responsibilities of the staff of the retailer so that they can focus on other core activities demanding their attention.
Similarly, when you visit an online shopping website, you mostly see products that you have already seen (or technically, those products that the AI application used by the website thinks you will be interested in). These products are shown under “Recommended for you”.
The AI implemented in the process takes your purchase and search history in its consideration while preparing the list of recommended products for you. The artificial intelligence of the process will also send you customized offers so you can buy/re-buy the products of your interest. AI applications in today’s tech savvy environment have emerged as an effective sales and marketing tool that already knows which customers needs a certain product or service.
This post talks about how leading eCommerce entrepreneurs are leveraging AI to grow their business, offer better customer experience and gain an edge over competition –
Customer Relationship Management – (CRM)
Maintaining customer relation is one of the trickiest jobs an eCommerce executive has to execute. Apparently, eCommerce sees the highest number of returning customers. In that picture, it becomes utmost important for a business to know and care for their customers and prospects.
AI-enabled CRM software can efficiently and safely manage the records of your customers. You can automate routine based tasks such as sending birthday and festive greetings emails, weekly offers, and customized recommendation for each customer or subscriber.
Use of AI applications can also be a great dependable support to your customer care staff as well as your sales and marketing teams. CRM software can automate your customer care and customer service processes such as customer emails, reviews, responses, and follow-up emails at initial levels.
It also allows for easy data segmentation – a more systematic way of database management and bookkeeping. Not to mention, segmented data helps orchestrate bulk email campaigns without any confusions deriving better open/click rates.
Content Management System – (CMS)
The content to be shown on an eCommerce portal can also be personalized with the help of AI automation. With that, you can choose to show your visitors/customers only those products (content) that they might be interested in.
Customers often search for products on your website. What they are actually looking for is quality, better price and positive reviews. Based on their search history, preferences, and browsing trends, AI-based CMS offers search optimization and shows your customers the products that fit exactly into their needs.
CMS automation allows you to offer smarter personalization which makes the visitor feel better on your website, increasing the chances of favorable buying decision. Working closely with CRM, the CMS can pick up the user’s browsing, buying and conversation history to pitch the right product.
AI-based CMS is all about making your content smarter, more personalized, and hence, more appealing. Artificial intelligence can also help you create surefire ad and email marketing campaigns. The post-campaign analytics and insightful reports give you a chance to fine-tune your content creation and content marketing strategies to see your campaigns do as per expectation. AI is making your business decisions fact based and more intelligent.
Sales & Marketing Predictions
Intelligent analytics is the most powerful feature of AI. Introducing artificial intelligent automation in your sales process can multiply the outcomes of your sales process. It does so by predicting insightful, accurate results derived from customer database and past campaigns.
Put simply, it reads and predicts customer buying patterns, and helps in pitching the right product to the right customer. Moreover, it all happens in blink.
Now imagine the amount of time taken by your staff to complete the same task. That too, with such accurateness!
Implementing AI applications in your eCommerce process can do all that with increased chances of sales. It can be used to present better and more affordable deals to your customers. Artificial intelligence helps your customers make informed decisions, at the same time making informed predictions for you.
Artificial intelligence also allows you to analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns and create informed strategies considering your budget and expectations. With AI sales and marketing apps – you make the most of your expenditure.
There are times when your customers or page visitors want to talk to you over issues regarding your product or service. They can also be potential buyers having questions about your products. Considering that, you have to deploy experienced professionals to take and respond to customer issues and queries.
In fact, it has become an unavoidable race every business has to chase. It costs you money and takes valuable time of your resources.
Introducing AI-enabled chatbots in your process can ease off this load. Chatbots can also help in guiding the customers throughout their buyer journey and even after that.
The intelligent chatbot – with pre-loaded common questions and their answers – can manage and resolve basic issues. Your staff will be responsible only for handling critical issues and important conversations over chat or call.
eCommerce businesses work with massive datasets to streamline their process and optimize their online funnel. Data analysis allows eCommerce businesses to improve their customer service and offer personalization by providing insightful buyer analysis, while easing and securing online payment methods. AI applications for data analysis offer augmented experience for the seller and ultimately, the buyer.
To err is human. When working with big data, no human has the capability to complete the analysis timely and precisely. Data has become big data and it is really substantial. It is difficult for humans to correctly interpret and create strategies using the bulk of data.
Using AI applications can prove resourceful here. AI-enabled big data analysis tools can help data scientists to record, analyze, and produce results from available data within a short period of time – without making any human errors.
These applications are specifically useful for eCommerce businesses, the success of which depends majorly on traffic, consumer feedbacks and buying trends. With data mining tools, it becomes convenient for eCommerce players to quickly process hundreds of gigabytes of data.
Use of applications built on artificial intelligence offers a tornado of technological advancements to eCommerce industry. Leading e-commerce businesses have already adopted AI capabilities to capture user attention.
AI applications allow identifying and moderating fake/negative reviews – the most terrible challenge every online business has to deal with. However, you cannot moderate (delete or remove) negative reviews posted on social media.
But you can certainly and immediately speak to and offer a solution to the individual who has posted negative feedback – with the help of AI-based social listening tools. Here, you will need to be careful with your selection of words, while offering a solution to the unsatisfied customer. Try to close and satisfy the customer with your resolution on the review’s thread if possible, because it shows that you care.
The measures you take or AI applications you deploy – everything you do is actually for the convenience of your end users. A report says that 80% of all customer interactions on eCommerce will be handled by AI enabled chatbots by 2020.
That’s a near future prediction and you can see it happening by simply visiting any popular eCommerce portal or large online shopping website. When you will choose to contact customer care, you will be welcomed by an AI chatbot having precise and standard answers to your questions.
It saves not just the customer’s time but also yours. Chatbots and other AI applications can be easily integrated in your existing process or automated CRM/CMS. So, before I wind up, I have a question to ask – are you leveraging the AI advantage?