By Dawson Gant, Vice President of Store Partnerships — Ecom Authority
The artificial intelligence revolution has taken the world by storm, and few industries have seen as much potential growth from this new technology as e-commerce. In an industry whose core facets are convenience and efficiency, there is little more important to a business’s success than technology that can significantly improve an organization’s productivity. Many e-commerce entrepreneurs have already begun to implement automation into their operations, realizing the potential the technology has to improve their processes in a way that boosts their bottom line.
AI In E-Commerce Can Improve The Customer Experience
The purpose of integrating artificial intelligence in any operation should be overall improvement, and the easiest way to bring about improvement in the e-commerce industry is through the customer experience. Using AI tools, e-commerce businesses can improve their customer experience in ways that a human staff alone could likely not achieve — and cost-effectively — setting the stage for impressive scaling.
One way artificial intelligence has been integrated into the e-commerce industry is to provide personalized recommendations to users. By taking data from the user’s behavior and preferences, an AI model can suggest relevant products to customers. This will have a considerable impact on the customer experience by making their shopping experience feel more tailored to their wants and needs, while also increasing engagement and potential for sales.
Businesses in the e-commerce sector have also seen success in implementing generative AI models for use as chatbots and virtual assistants for purposes such as customer support. On the one hand, these artificial intelligence tools help improve the customer experience by providing a resource that can be accessed 24/7 to offer them the answers to their basic questions. Perhaps even more beneficial is that, however — from the business’s perspective — these tools free up human support staff to handle more complex issues.
AI In E-Commerce Can Boost Efficiency
Still, it isn’t just with customer-facing roles that artificial intelligence could prove to be a powerful tool. Many e-commerce businesses have found that AI has the potential to be used by workers to streamline their processes and improve efficiency, thereby increasing their capacity and allowing much higher order volumes.
Part of what makes artificial intelligence such an exciting technology across industries is its ability to be customized to the user or industry’s unique needs. Through training processes, pre-existing models can be used to optimize virtually any process in the e-commerce back-end, allowing businesses to improve anything from their production to their marketing and sales.
One of artificial intelligence’s key capabilities is its ability to process data much more efficiently than humans, which allows AI platforms to provide e-commerce businesses with unprecedented levels of consumer insight and predictive analytics. With the level of data they can process using AI models, businesses have the ability to forecast demand better than ever before, allowing them to make data-informed decisions on their product offerings, marketing strategies, and supply chain decisions.
Similarly, artificial intelligence tools can be used to detect potential fraud. Thanks to AI’s enhanced data processing capabilities, a model can be developed to analyze transaction patterns. This not only helps businesses minimize losses by preventing fraudulent transactions, but also cuts down on scalping and other illicit purchasing activities, creating a fairer market for consumers.
Another back-end task that artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize is market testing. Many e-commerce companies have seen success using AI to conduct A/B testing on aspects of their business, like website design, product placement, and marketing campaigns. Some platforms have even begun to adopt live testing, where artificial intelligence adapts the customer experience based on their behavior, optimizing the process with an eye for conversion.
The most obvious back-end use of artificial intelligence, though, is the use of automation for pricing and inventory management. AI can help analyze purchase patterns, ensuring that inventory is kept in stock according to demand — avoiding both out-of-stock and overstock situations — and ensuring that pricing is kept competitive in real time.
Many e-commerce businesses have also begun to automate their warehouses to some extent. For example, by automating order picking and packing processes, efficiency can be substantially improved, and labor costs can be significantly reduced. The workers who would be doing this more menial type of labor can then be reskilled or upskilled into oversight or quality assurance roles.
Entrepreneurs who incorporate artificial intelligence technology into their e-commerce operations will achieve a significant competitive advantage. Whether it is using AI-powered tools to improve the customer experience, or automating back-end processes to improve the efficiency of the entire operation, artificial intelligence is set to become an indispensable part of any successful and efficient e-commerce business.
About the author
— Dawson Grant is VP of Store Partnerships at Ecom Authority. A serial entrepreneur who dropped out of college, Grant started a successful real estate company focused on flips and wholesaling, but realized how transactional the business was during Covid, when construction stopped and liquidity events dried up. He then entered the Amazon FBA space and began seeing early success, seeing the potential in wholesale name-brand products. After proving the business model over the following two years, he teamed up with the founder of Ecom Authority, Dan Cohen, to offer this to clients.
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