5 ways to use AI for e-commerce
AI is being used in eCommerce to enhance the shopping experience through chatbots, personalized recommendations, predictive analytics, image recognition, and augmented reality. These technologies improve customer service, increase sales, and make shopping faster, more personalized, and more enjoyable.
Artificial intelligence(AI) for eCommerce has emerged as the major driving force in the growth of many enterprises. Many businesses, including startups, use this powerful tool to optimise operations and boost sales. Hence, online retailers need to know the latest marketing strategies and trends to survive in today's eCommerce world.
Introducing technologies like conversational chatbots, personalised product recommendations, and tailored search is only the beginning. As AI continues to evolve, more innovative and beneficial applications will be developed, changing the online shopping landscape in ways we cannot even imagine.
Let’s look at how AI is moving the eCommerce industry forward, from improving customer experience to streamlining business processes. By the end, you will learn how to effectively use AI in your marketing efforts to boost your business operations and increase sales.
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that focuses on building and managing technology capable of autonomously learning and performing tasks. This includes using deep and machine learning to mimic human actions and use image recognition software. As a result, these machines can learn to send personalised content and perform day-to-day tasks.
In recent years, there have been several technological innovations as the outcomes of AI, including chatbots that provide customer support, voice assistants that understand natural voice commands, and recommendation engines to personalise user experience. These have penetrated almost every sector, and eCommerce is no longer an exception.
Let’s look at the ways eCommerce businesses use artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline operations.
5 ways AI is transforming eCommerce + benefits
AI is paving new ways for eCommerce businesses to improve customer experience and streamline operations.
Customers expect personalisation as the standard when it comes to many eCommerce companies. But delivering a personalised shopping experience means collecting and analysing a ton of data to understand customer behaviour and needs.
That’s where AI comes in.
Personalisation in AI for eCommerce refers to using AI algorithms to analyse shopping patterns and provide personalised product recommendations and online shopping experiences. The AI system makes recommendations based on your previous purchases using a semantic analysis tool and deep learning.
A great example of this is a podcasting software platform like Lumen5 which uses AI to enhance customer engagement and drive sales.
Lumen5 uses AI to assist users in creating high-quality podcasts by providing tools to help users easily create and edit podcasts. With the help of AI algorithms, you can analyse customer preferences and suggest products that match their interests, helping you to create more personalised experiences and relevant podcasts.
More than what was mentioned, the benefits of personalisation in AI for the retail industry include the following:
- Improved customer engagement: Personalised recommendations and content to improve customer retention, increasing the likelihood of customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
- Increased conversion rates: Customers are more likely to make a purchase when presented with products that match their interests and preferences. Hence, personalised shopping experiences can lead to higher conversion rates.
2. Customer service
Response time can either make or break your eCommerce business as today’s users are more connected and expect instant responses to their queries and complaints. Chances are you don’t have time to type out personalised responses to every customer query.
That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) customer support can free you from the burden of sorting out your inbox and thinking about and writing a response to every query.
AI-powered customer service in eCommerce refers to using AI algorithms and technologies to improve customer interaction and provide efficient and effective customer support. A great example of this is using chatbots.
AI-powered chatbots can provide 24/7 support to customers, answering FAQs, and resolving common issues quickly and efficiently.
For instance, chatbots for an eCommerce site selling face masks can provide several benefits for both customers and businesses, including improved customer experience and engagement. You can program your chatbot to answer questions like “what types of face masks do you offer” or “what material do you use with your face masks?”
These questions demonstrate the information and support customers want when shopping for face masks in online shops. Just tweak the product to fit what your offer. By providing quick and accurate responses to these questions, AI chatbots can help customers make informed purchasing decisions, improving the overall customer experience and increasing customer satisfaction.
Moreover, with the help of chatbots, you can analyse customer feedback and gain valuable insight. For instance, AI algorithms can analyse customer reviews and determine the sentiment expressed in each review.
The algorithm will determine whether a review is positive, negative, or neutral. By allowing the chatbot to access and analyse customer comments, you can help AI chatbots provide better responses to customer queries and reviews.
A perfect example is Julbie, a lingerie site that uses online reviews to enhance customer experience. With this information, the brand can understand which products are popular and which may need improvement to better serve the customer base.
This way, AI chatbots can help an eCommerce lingerie site gather valuable customer feedback, improve customer satisfaction, and drive sales by providing personalised recommendations and quick customer support.
The advantages of using Artificial intelligence in eCommerce include the following:
- Improved customer satisfaction: AI algorithms can provide quick and accurate answers to individual customer inquiries, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
- Increased efficiency and productivity: Automated customer service processes reduce the workload on customer service teams, freeing them up to focus on more complex issues.
3. Inventory management
Intelligence inventory management is the backbone of any online store. It focuses on tracking and controlling a retail business's stock or products. This includes monitoring inventory levels, managing the flow of products into and out of a company's inventory, and ensuring that adequate stocks are available to meet customer demand.
For instance, having accurate and real-time inventory data helps the eCommerce industry avoid stock-outs and lost sales. They can quickly reorder products running low, ensuring that customers can find the products they want when they want them.
The benefits of AI for inventory management include the following:
- Improved accuracy: AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns and trends, helping businesses to make more accurate inventory predictions and forecasts.
- Increased efficiency: These algorithms can automate many manual tasks involved in inventory management like order processing and stock replenishment, freeing up time for other tasks and improving operational efficiency.
4. Content creation
Content creation is a crucial aspect of any successful eCommerce strategy. This includes producing written or visual content like product descriptions, product images, blog posts, and social media to help eCommerce retailers educate and persuade potential customers.
With the rise of AI technology, eCommerce businesses can automate and streamline content creation, improving accuracy and efficiency while providing a better customer experience.
AI content creation can give your eCommerce biz a boost by:
- Saves time: With AI, you can automate content creation, freeing time for other important tasks.
- Increases accuracy: AI algorithms can analyse product data and generate content that is accurate and relevant to the product, resulting in better customer experiences.
5. Fraud detection
Fraud detection is a big deal in eCommerce. eCommerce has made shopping more convenient for everyone, but it also brings new security concerns. That's why it's so important to have systems in place to detect and prevent fraud.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a significant role in eCommerce fraud detection by providing fast and accurate fraud analysis. AI can analyse vast amounts of data and identify patterns and anomalies that indicate fraud.
For instance, AI-powered accounting software is a real game-changer in limiting fraud. With its ability to analyse financial data, AI can quickly identify any unusual transactions or patterns that indicate fraud. It can also perform real-time risk assessments, flagging transactions that pose a high risk of fraud.
Similarly, virtual assistants powered by AI play a crucial role in detecting and preventing fraud in eCommerce. An AI virtual assistant can monitor customer behaviour and flag any suspicious activity, such as repeated failed login attempts or unexpected changes in ordering patterns. This helps to prevent fraudulent activity before it occurs.
AI fraud detection in eCommerce can provide numerous benefits, including:
- Improved accuracy: AI algorithms can analyse large amounts of data and identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate fraud, providing more accurate detection than manual methods.
- Real-time detection: AI can analyse transactions in real time, helping to detect and prevent fraud as it occurs. This reduces the potential financial losses and reputational damage associated with fraudulent activity.
AI has the potential to revolutionise the eCommerce industry in numerous ways. From improving customer experience through personalised recommendations and chatbots to optimising fraud detection, AI can give e-commerce businesses a competitive edge by providing a seamless customer experience and efficient sales process.
And let's not forget AI is only improving, so the future of eCommerce is looking bright. As AI technology continues to progress, it is clear that its impact on the eCommerce industry will only continue to grow, offering transformative new ways for businesses to engage with customers and succeed in the competitive eCommerce landscape.
Whatever your reason for considering AI, it will change how your business operates. All it takes to start is an open-minded attitude and a willingness to embrace new opportunities wherever and whenever possible.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. He helps innovative B2B companies implement revenue-driven SEO strategies to scale their organic traffic to 1,000,000+ visitors per month.