The trend in eCommerce has been driving quickly towards AI and Machine Learning. The onset of COVID-19 has accelerated this development for many companies. With a reduced workforce and many employees having to work at home, AI technology has been filling the gap and keeping eCommerce running at full speed.
We know the Big Four tech giants: Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft are benefitting.
The big four love that we have the stay-at-home orders as more people shop from home and spend time watching movies and social media.
The Big Four are also increasing their use of AI and Machine Learning to streamline work and stay in contact with the customers with AI-powered consumer insights.
To stay ahead of the competition and to reach your potential customers more effectively, it is essential to integrate Machine Learning and AI technology into your eCommerce site.
Here are some powerful ways this technology can make a difference:
Chatbots have come a long way since they first appeared on websites.
They now can create a smooth, realistic experience that can make users feel as if they are conversing with a real person. Chatbots enable your company to keep in touch with present and potential customers any time, day or night.
These chatbots can get even smarter and personalized as time goes on, since thanks to AI, they can “remember” which kinds of replies worked well in the past and employ similar formats.
In addition, smart chatbots can make suggestions for new products based on past purchases and browsing habits of specific customers.
Take the tedium and expense out of writing product descriptions with the help of AI technology. Not only can you create descriptions, but AI technology can update listings instantly.
Revisions can be refined to what customers find useful and relevant according to consumer data. The technology can also pinpoint what listings are not working and how they can be tweaked to boost sales.
In addition, listings can be adjusted according to the region to appeal to different customers in the global marketplace.
Machine learning can make data collection for CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, automatic.
The old-fashioned way of doing things was to sift and work through customer data over a period of years, which can be incredibly time-consuming and expensive hiring people to do the work.
AI-enabled CRM can expedite and automate these data-collection tasks so your sales staff can add a personalized and human element to reaching out to customers and nurturing relationships.
Dealing with Reviews
Many customers will look at reviews before clicking a button to make a purchase. Most of them know that some of these reviews are fake, but an impression counts.
One strategy that has become notorious is some unscrupulous companies leave negative reviews about competitors.
It can be impossible to keep track of all of these fake and damaging reviews in time to deal with them — unless you have AI technology that can help determine real from fake reviews. Make sure you have positive, user-generated views reach the top of the list.
It began for most people with Alexa on Amazon, but pretty soon, nearly all eCommerce sites are likely to have voice assistants powered by AI technology.
The more finely-tuned the tech, the more useful your voice assistant will be for customers, and it may be able to “remember” what customers purchased in the past and make informed recommendations based on past data and changes in inventory.
Market learning can take algorithms and predictive analysis to determine what customers may find appealing and suggest items for them.
Inventory and sales management
Inventory can involve a lot of guesswork, particularly because it may be hard to predict future sales. To keep your business lean and profitable, sales forecasting is essential and involves predicting how many items you will sell in a certain amount of time.
AI and Big Data can prevent you from overbuying or understocking certain items and find the sweet spot that will make our inventory move smoothly.
Market learning can take past sales and new trends and help create forecasts that can inform merchandise buying decisions.
Taking demographics, weather, trends, and past consumer behavior into account, AI technology can help keep your inventory at the right level at all times and can update information instantly as the orders come in.
Incorporating Machine Learning and AI into the running of your eCommerce site and your marketing efforts can put you in the same league as some of the biggest companies, such as Facebook, Google, Coca-Cola, North Face, and thousands of others.
With the increase of the use of AI in the era of COVID-19, it is essential not to be left behind by competitors but reach your present and future customers through advanced techniques such as chatbots and voice assistants.
AI can also enable you to automate everyday activities and help your team focus its creativity and energy into fostering relationships with clients and customers and increasing sales.
Alon is a Tel Aviv-based Cheif Marketing Officer who supports b2b tech startups in capturing customers’ (and VCs’) attention through marketing based on data-driven storytelling.