With e-commerce flourishing, retail stores aren't exactly busy. Source: Shutterstock

With e-commerce flourishing, retail stores aren’t exactly busy. Source: Shutterstock

AI at your service: What can it do for the e-commerce industry?

E-COMMERCE is rapidly evolving. No longer confined by brick-and-mortar, merchants can now enjoy more freedom and a wider customer base as they take their businesses online.

However, it is not easy for businesses to be differentiated when it comes to e-commerce.

The market is increasingly saturated, and consumers have high expectations-it is no longer enough to just have a good product, customers these days place equal, if not more, value on their shopping experience.

Jose Daniel Duarte, an e-commerce expert, noted that to survive in 2020, business leaders can gain an edge over competitors by employing artificial intelligence (AI).

“AI is the next promising innovation with incredible potential to bring a change in outlook to e-commerce as well as practically all businesses. The e-commerce field has grasped AI with open hands-on account of the remarkable advantages it offers.”

AI can transform two major aspects of e-commerce: Customer experience and business operations.

# 1 | Personalized customer experiences

Gone are the days where items were presented to clients in a one-size-fits-all fashion. With AI algorithms, it is possible to run predictive analyses on massive data sets to capture customer’s behavioral trends.

This information powers recommendation engines, which help platforms like Amazon identify the target audience for their products.

When potential customers conduct a search on the website, AI algorithms pick up on and record the critical details that led to the product being searched.

Based on this, the search engine generates customized offers and recommended items, displaying them on a customer’s dashboard and offering them products quickly.

Also, no e-commerce business can go far without AI-driven chatbots.

Found on the home page of e-commerce websites, chatbots can support customers in ways that human employees cannot.

Often available 24/7, they help customers look for the right product, and even compare multiple products before helping with check-out.

Chatbots can also be programmed to connect customers with the appropriate service personnel should there be an issue they can’t resolve.

# 2 | Enhance business operations

For any business, having a good customer relationship manager (CRM) apparatus is crucial. Its basic functionalities include managing customer data, tracking leads, and filing customer feedback requests.

According to Duarte, integrating AI into CRMs will make CRMs “progressively powerful and exact”.

Further, AI can also learn from information about past buys to strategically promote specific items during a particular period.

Stock administration will also be colossally easier with AI. This is because there is adequate information on consumer buying trends.

This helps identify the latest needs and wants of the consumer,  and costs can be reduced as businesses abstain from stocking unpopular items.

Ultimately, these are only a few examples of how AI can benefit the e-commerce industry.

The full potential of AI has yet to be harnessed, and business leaders would be wise to seize this opportunity and leverage AI quickly and effectively.