Artificial intelligence is set to revolutionise the way we shop online. From suggesting alternative items to automatically sorting out refunds, AI has been long hailed as the next big thing in the eCommerce world.
When you think of market leaders in the AI industry, not a huge number of names spring to mind. In our experience, most people will immediately bring up Amazon – ironically not because of their exceptional growth into an eCommerce giant, but because of Alexa.
One of the most advanced chatbots in the world and a prime example of the possibilities AI could bring, Alexa combines its understanding of your needs with its inbuilt algorithms and recommendation engines. If you haven’t interacted with one yet, you definitely need to give it a try.
With the growth of voice search and new-found popularity of smart home devices like Alexa, AI is set to have a stronger impact on our lives – and with much more regularity.
So what are some basic things you should know about how artificial intelligence will affect the eCommerce world? Let’s take a look.
Your Competitors Are Probably Already Using It
Back in 2017, Salesforce conducted their annual survey of more than 3,500 marketers asking about their budgets, expectations and planned investments for 2018. The companies involved varied in size and industry, but all had one thing in common – AI was the highest tech investment they had planned.
When asked what it was about AI that would benefit their organisation, most marketers gave responses that fell into two areas – increasing efficiency and improving personalisation.
Artificial intelligence is bringing with it a better understanding of analytics and insights whilst creating a more immersive and personalised experience for customers thanks to features like dynamic landing pages, predictive journeys, customer segmentation and targeted messages.
Bear in mind that AI alone won’t grow your business – but it will enhance your promotion and revenue efforts.
With the growth of voice search and new-found popularity of smart home devices like Alexa, AI is set to have a stronger impact on our lives – and with much more regularity.Tweet this now
You Can Invest With Little Financial Risk
One of the biggest reasons more than half of all eCommerce businesses are looking to get involved in AI is the low costs associated with it.
Because AI experts around the world are constantly developing new tools which they then choose to sell on as an app or SaaS (software as a service), the time and cost required to add them to a store is still affordable for most.
If you have Google Analytics tracking on your site or use plugins as part of your store, you can handle the technology required for AI.
You Can Replace Or Upgrade Outdated Technologies
If your business has been built from the ground up and grown significantly over the years, chances are you’ll have some older technology that should be upgraded.
A great example of this is email marketing. If you have to take the time out of your week to manually segment customers and send individually tailored emails through your current provider, you’re a prime candidate to upgrade here. AI can manage this for you thanks to newer systems like DotMailer, which can send automated emails on your behalf based on user behaviour or purchase history.
The only real expenditure here is the cost of the email marketing tool and the onboarding time.
Consider All The Options First
Before you invest in any apps or SaaS systems, ask yourself if you really need the capabilities of AI to do the work for you.
To succeed with artificial intelligence, you have to understand what the available tools will do for your business and what goals you want to achieve using them.Tweet this now
For example, if you only receive a handful of customer service phone calls a day, then investing in an expensive chatbot might not make financial sense. There are of course affordable chatbots out there, but just not the one you need for your brand.
Adopting AI just to say your store utilises AI won’t have any real effect. To succeed with artificial intelligence, you have to understand what these tools will do for your business and what goals you want to achieve using them.
There are plenty of successful businesses out there selling online that still don’t use any form of AI, but that’s not to say they aren’t considering it. If you do choose to seriously look at investing in artificial intelligence, keep an open mind and just remember you don’t have to be a company like Amazon to see results.