For millions around the world, the eCommerce shopping experience is already convenient and enjoyable. But organizations can’t settle for “good enough”—they have to make sure that their specific eCommerce experiences and stores are top-tier, convenient, and navigable to the extreme.
To that end, lots of businesses have started using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to improve and optimize their eCommerce brands. Let’s break down how AI has led to many of these changes now.
Targeted Marketing and Product Recommendations
First and foremost, AI advancements—especially in the areas of big data—have led to major changes and improvements in terms of targeted marketing and product recommendations.
With AI tools, organizations can now target their marketing materials to specific audience members with much greater accuracy and efficacy. For example:
- Companies can gather lots of data about their target audience members based on demographic info, stated preferences, past purchases, etc.
- Armed with that information, those businesses can then use the info to provide specialized, personally tailored advertisements to specific people or customer segments
The result? People see advertisements that feel like they personally speak to them or that they are tailored to their specific needs. This ultimately produces more effective marketing overall. When someone gets an advertisement that they connect with, they are more likely to shop at the brand and feel brand loyalty over time.
This new AI technology development doesn’t stop with just marketing, however. Many brands are using AI and machine learning tools to recommend products to customers based on past product purchases, time spent on page, and other factors.
That kind of machine learning technology can be beneficial for improving each customer’s money spent per visit while also assisting with retargeting customers who have clicked away from your store for one reason or another. If a customer has left your eCommerce brand, for instance, an AI-driven retargeting email could be just the ticket to get them back to finalize the purchase or buy something else.
Bottom line: AI has led to major improvements in the areas of marketing and product recommendations, resulting in better eCommerce shopping across the board.
But AI has also led to major optimization improvements when it comes to pricing. In fact, AI-enabled, dynamic pricing models allow brands to change product prices based on moment-to-moment supply and demand and on factors like credit card fees, which are normally less than 4% for digital transactions.
With access to enough data, your brand can determine exactly how it should price specific products in order to maximize roughened margins and minimize customer frustration. Even better, some AI pricing tools can even predict when you should discount certain products or services based on market trends, customer interest, and several other factors.
Thanks to this new information, you can guarantee that every product you sell will be perfectly priced to result in a profit (or to drive profits in other areas, like cross-selling). Regardless, better pricing leads to better profits for companies and recession-proofing, making this a big improvement for their bottom lines.
Similarly, organizations can use AI technology for sales and demand forecasting. These days, it’s incredibly important for brands to plan out their inventory based on historical and real-time data alike.
Artificial intelligence not only makes this process much easier and more accurate. It also enables you to reduce the extra inventory space you have to pay for without selling products. With AI tools, you’ll be able to purchase just the right amount of product to satisfy your customers and leave a little left over.
That results in savings for companies. But it also results in a better shopping experience for eCommerce buyers. Improved and optimized demand forecasting means that eCommerce customers should encounter fewer “product sold out” signs compared to earlier years.
Responsive Customer Service
A lot of digital ink has been spilled over the advent and improvements of chatbots and AI virtual assistants. In truth, this technology is getting better by the day.
AI-powered smart customer service tools, like advanced chatbots, can provide responsive customer service to a brand’s eCommerce visitors immediately. That’s an incredibly beneficial advantage, especially for smaller brands that may not be able to afford full human customer service teams.
The right chatbot can provide benefits to businesses and customers alike, such as:
- Providing customers with instantaneous responses to common questions, and FAQs
- Directing customers to the right customer service agent based on keywords or stated needs, reducing the time it takes to resolve customer complaints
- Freeing up manpower so customer service agents can focus on major problems instead of answering basic questions
- And more
As more time goes on, odds are that chatbots and other customer service tools will become even more effective and human-like, further elevating the eCommerce shopping experience.
Inventory Management Improvements
In addition to the above benefits, AI technology can be used to improve inventory management processes.
Big data analytics and predictive machine learning can be leveraged to look at sales trends over the past few years, project changes in product demands, and anticipate any supply-related issues that might impact inventory. All of this combined will give organizations better control over their inventory management, plus lead to better eCommerce stability.
As touched on above, this could translate into fewer product outages and more satisfied customers in the long term. Through AI-powered inventory management, organizations will feel more confident about expanding their product offerings or building up product stores for forecasted demand.
Smart Search Functionality
When a customer visits an eCommerce store and enters a product name into the search bar, they aren’t always directed to the perfect product for their needs. AI technology can fix this problem by offering smart search functionality.
In a nutshell, smart search functionality takes keywords and related keywords in order to route prospects to the products that they want. This function is highly beneficial for eCommerce marketplaces, as it connects customers to products more quickly and reduces frustration across the board. That’s doubly beneficial for companies, too—customers who input search terms in shop search bars are more likely to make a purchase than “window shoppers”.
Last but not least, AI technology can be used to automate various repetitive tasks, like customer support, product features (such as displaying products on the front page or landing page), Identifying high-risk transactions, offering discounts, and much more.
Automation is a wide-reaching benefit. It reduces the time and money that eCommerce business owners have to spend on repetitive tasks, helping to decrease their workload and reduce the number of people that they need to employ in order to serve a bigger number of customers.
All in all, AI technology has led to widespread improvements and optimizations for eCommerce shopping experiences. Many brands have already leveraged digital platforms, algorithms, and other tools to maximum effect. If you want your company to not just survive but thrive in the modern market, you’ll need to lean into AI technology, too.