" Forrester released a report predicting a 300% growth in investments in 2017 for Artificial Intelligence (AI) compared to 2016. Other studies report that more than 60% of business buyers expect that suppliers will use AI in the near future to automatically anticipate their needs."
The growth of AI has now started to influence a number of industries and among them is the e-commerce industry. In an economy where online selling and buying happens round the clock, businesses need to be able to deliver quality services within the required timeframe. This is where AI steps in. A large number of businesses are looking to invest in AI because it allows the companies to collect and analyze data in real time, streamline heavy processes, enhance search results and personalized customer experience, aiding in increasing the efficiency of businesses.
Let us look at 5 primary ways in which AI is improving B2B e-commerce:
1. Improving recommendations
Businesses have started personalizing their websites to accommodate artificial intelligence. AI recognizes a customer's shopping patterns and aligns them accordingly to make more accurate future recommendations. This technology anticipates a customer's needs based on his past choices and predicts what he might need in the future. This process makes marketing campaigns more automated and further optimizes the reordering process. This
enhanced shopping experience also aids in building brand loyalty.
2. Enhancing search results
A lot of businesses have started using AI to improve the search results. "Twiggle utilizes natural language processing to narrow, contextualize and ultimately improve search results for online shoppers." People aren't always interested in looking at everything in the catalog. AI helps make the search process more customer-centric. With the AI's image-based search embedded in smartphones, customers can search for the desired products using similar images taken from their smartphones. Suppose a customer wants an electrical device to be repaired. Now
instead of first searching what it's called and then searching for it, he/she can simply click a picture and upload it in the search bar of the shopping website and he will immediately get results pertaining to his search.
Chatbots are probably the best way to provide a flawless brand experience. To be able to respond to the needs of the customers 24*7 is a great way to make sure that every customer is a happy and satisfied one. Chatbots are the most cost-effective way of providing the best customer service. Gone are the days of email and contact forms. Chatbots can
improve the customer service process by making it easy for customers to reach the retail businesses using their daily messaging apps.
"By 2020, Garter Research predicts end-user spending on VPA speakers will reach $2.1 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 43% from 2015 through 2020, while by 2018, 30% of our interactions with technology will be through conversations."
4. Better management of data
Data is everything but what is important and what isn't from the vast pile of data is something that is too time and resource consuming. AI makes it possible to extract the need only information from the large pile of data collected by the businesses. Simply by knowing the order history and buying behavior, AI can do wonders. This is not just time-saving but also effective resource management. While AI is left to analyze the dump of data, human
resources can be put to better work leading to both employees' and the companies' overall development.
5. Fighting Astroturfing
The online shopping world runs on customer reviews. Even a single bad review can have lasting repercussions on the brand image and have a negative impact on sale. But many a time these negative reviews are fake. It is called astroturfing. This is where AI steps in. Today, a large number of e-commerce websites have started using AI to combat astroturfing by boosting good reviews with the help of this technology.
"Amazon uses AI to combat fake product reviews and inflation of their popular star ratings. Built in-house, their AI machine-learning system ensures that the prominence and weight of verified customer purchase reviews are boosted. Preference is given to those reviews that are marked as helpful by other users as well as the newer and more up-to-date critiques on its site. The business is continuously reviewing several review characteristics such as ratings to detect fake reviews. They are critical to the company as they help to build customer trust
in Amazon." Although this entire concept of "artificial" intelligence has met with a lot of negative
feedback, there is no denying the vast number of ways in which AI will change the world for the better.
As the marketing guru, Seth Godin recently said: “Artificial intelligence does a job we weren't necessarily crazy about doing anyway, it does it quietly, and well, and then we take it for granted”. The impact AI technology is likely to have on the e-commerce industry is very promising. It will not change the way businesses do sales but will enhance the customer experience as well.
Have you thought about the fact that how AI can be implemented to your business? It is the time rethink and use the technology for business growth. Want a consultation for your business scenario ? Mail us at : firstname.lastname@example.org