“Artificial intelligence (AI) is something that we hear about a lot but don’t really know how it could benefit us. In fact, can it do anything rather than play computer games and being a subject of sci-fi movies?”
A lot of people could make a statement like this and question the progress made by AI in recent decades, but chances are high that eCommerce professionals won’t be among them. After years of seemingly slow progress and just a few significant victories, AI has become the hottest topic in our world for a legitimate reason. For eCommerce professionals, for example, represents a legit source of real-life benefits, not just something that we can expect to be delivered in the nearest future.
Amazon’s AI-powered product recommendation engine, for one, is responsible for 35 percent of the company revenue, which translates into billions of dollars. As technology continues to evolve, the number of use cases in eCommerce is increasing, with more and more companies investing in AI-powered solutions. In this article, let’s talk about some of the most impacting AI use cases in eCommerce as well as specific tools that enhance the experience of customers so you have a good idea about the current state of AI in the industry.
AI Use Cases and Solutions for eCommerce Businesses
1. Chatbots: Up Your Customer Service and Content Marketing Game
Chatbots have been making a lot of noise in eCommerce in recent years and for good reason. They can help companies in a variety of ways; for example, here are some of the most important use cases, according to a recent State of Chatbots report.
As you can see, many of these are applicable to eCommerce. For example, an AI-powered chatbot can assist to buy a basic and an expensive item, get ideas and inspiration for purchases, communicate with a brand, provide detailed answers or explanations, and share content.
By employing a chatbot, an eCommerce business thus can cover a lot of bases. For example, one of the most promising use cases of chatbots is customer support. They can answer to an unlimited amount of customers at the same time regardless of the time zone, all without human supervision. Moreover, you don’t have to pay for these hours like you would have if in the case with employees.
On top of that, chatbots can help you to increase your sales by providing product suggestions to those interacting with them as well as supplying them with fresh content like buying guides, new arrivals, discounts, and more. It’s also worth noting that the effectiveness of chatbots in helping eCommerce businesses depends on the script as well as programming. Essentially, they’re computer programs, so you could get more business value from them if you make them sounds “as human as possible.”
This, of course, requires superior writing skills, so the use of professional writing services such as Trust My Paper is recommended to companies looking to adopt chatbots.
2. AI-Powered Pricing Solutions
The next solution on our list seeks to optimize the sales of eCommerce companies by tailoring the prices to the geolocation of shoppers. Customers have gotten really good at online product research, so many know how to find the lowest prices for products. For you as an eCommerce business, this means that you should monitor the prices of competitors and adjust them quickly to make sure that more people will consider buying from you.
However, matching prices to your competitors’ may not be such a good idea if they don’t have a well thought-out pricing strategy themselves. Therefore, the data collected by price analysis tools may not be helpful when it comes to making the right decisions here. Using AI, however, is a totally different story. Since knowing the geolocation of customers is an important factor when it comes to setting the best prices, AI-powered tools use it to help with price personalization and promotion.
One of the most discussed dynamic pricing tools is Darwin Geo-Pricing. According to this Deloitte report, it utilizes machine learning algorithms to produce an artificial neural network, which, in turn, provides the data required to build a real-time model of the prices in different geolocations. The data is generated by running split tests every day to determine the best prices in geolocations.
By using the model, the users of Darwin can design sales campaigns based on local prices and create personalized discounts for customers who are about to abandon the website without buying anything.
As a result, you don’t have to match your price to the lowest price to stay competitive, which can improve profitability.
3. Personalized Product Recommendations
According to recent research, 44 percent of online shoppers say they will likely buy again from a business that provides a personalized shopping experience. One of the most important aspects of “personalized shopping experience,” of course, is product recommendations based on customer browsing history, interests, and previous purchases. In fact, 49 percent of customers admit buying a product they weren’t looking to buy after receiving a personalized recommendation from a business.
This once again proves the power of personalized customer experiences in eCommerce, and the potential gains that could be amazing (and supports the fact that Amazon is so successful with product recommendations). The fact that AI is quickly developing as a product recommendation engine because it’s all about data. People can’t deal with high volumes of data as good as machines, and it also has gotten really good at it; for example, AI is perfect – and the only tool to analyze huge customer data volumes – for analyzing purchasing history and search inquiries to create a customer persona that you can really use.
4. Predictive Advertising (Programmatic Advertising)
Even with the latest attribution tools and ad platforms, advertisers are still struggling with predicting customer behavior and designing better campaigns. Thankfully, AI is totally applicable in this case, too. According to the abovementioned Deloitte research, AI technology is used to create predictive advertising campaigns and predict customer behavior to help advertisers understand what customers want at a particular moment.
As an example of how technology can help with that Deloitte cites a tool called Programmai. It’s based on machine learning algorithms that collect and analyze huge volumes of data about the behaviors and traits of a target audience. The results reveal the most relevant traits and behaviors, as well as reveal those that were previously unknown by the company.
Also, the tool makes predictions on how likely a specific customer is going to make a purchase. This process is called programmatic advertising, and it can really change the way companies perform online advertising. For example, a tool using this technology is capable of a quick analysis of a visitor’s behavior and an almost instantaneous optimization of the campaign toward that specific person.
This real-time personalization of content to the needs of visitors is something that a lot of digital marketers are looking for. In fact, 77 percent of marketers think that it has “high importance” for their organizations, according to a recent Real-Time Marketing Insights Study from Adobe.
Real-Time Marketing Insights Study, Adobe
On top of that, the tool will continue to “learn” about the studied target audience and gather data to define a typical person who is likely to interact with the brand. This information and data will be stored to help with creating targeted marketing campaigns in the future. So, predictive advertising powered by AI will be an important tool to help eCommerce businesses to understand their customers.
In fact, a better understanding of customers is reported by 31 percent of businesses are the main success story with AI, according to BridgeEdge 2018 Future of Marketing and AI survey.
AI-Powered Content Marketing
AI is already something that digital marketers use to create better content for eCommerce businesses. In fact, according to the abovementioned BridgeEdge 2018 Future of Marketing and AI survey, more than 42 percent of digital marketers have already used AI or deep learning technology to develop content marketing strategies in 2018.
Source: BridgeEdge 2018 Future of Marketing and AI survey
As you can see, more and more marketers are opening up to the new technology and transforming the way they do content marketing. If you take one more look at the image from the BridgeEdge’s report in the previous section, you’ll see that only about 15 percent of digital marketers’ report that better-performing content is their success story with AI. This may suggest that AI and content performance aren’t that closely linked, but the reality is much different.
These 15 percent are only the beginning, and here’s why.
AI could be that missing link that helps marketers understand how to make personalized content and thus create more targeted campaigns. For example, an AI-powered content marketing tool can do such things as automating timing, communication channels, and content types, thus enabling to streamline marketing strategies to meet the ever-changing needs of online shoppers.
Besides, AI can help eCommerce businesses to leverage a target audience’s demographic data to increase the relevance of the content to customers. As the analysis of data from various sources will become much more advanced thanks to sophisticated algorithms that can recognize and analyze patterns, businesses will find it easier to create more impactful content.
Not only AI will help to create better content, but also to predict relevant content to the right customers. For example, AI-powered algorithms can analyze huge volumes of data about customers, including a device used to make purchases online, age, income group, geolocation, time preference for going online, interests, and many more. The results of this analysis will help eCommerce businesses to make truly personalized experiences for customers by supplying relevant content.
For example, instead of targeting all men aged between 20 and 40 who “like sports,” eCommerce businesses will able to target men who “prefer volleyball to running.”
AI-powered predictive analytics tools and analyze and predict customer sentiment and reactions for specific content topics, thus providing eCommerce marketers with a good understanding of the best-performing ones. These data-based insights can be thus used to create more relevant content topics for eCommerce blogs.
As you can see, AI is not just about making serious enemies for humans in sci-fi movies. Technology is quickly developing, and apparently has a number of important use cases for eCommerce businesses, including content creation and delivery, dynamic pricing, product recommendations, chatbot-powered customer support, and predictive advertising. These are just some of the most important benefits of AI in digital marketing and online business, but they already give a pretty good idea of the bright future of technology.
As more and more companies realize these benefits, they invest in AI-powered solutions to improve their eCommerce marketing efforts.