With the advancements in technology and the innovation of the internet, starting an online business is becoming increasingly more popular. These websites and companies can be extremely profitable and can have a much lower overhead than a traditional business. There are hundreds out there and they sell a wide variety of different things.
While they can be lucrative and quite worthwhile to run, it’s not always easy. When running an E-commerce website or store, it can be a hassle to find time for everything and get everything done. You often will be busy with fulfilling sales, dealing with marketing efforts, the monitoring of Amazon ELB, and so much more.
As a result, it can get a little bit hectic when you are doing all of this on your own, or even with a few employees. In addition to increased stress levels, this can cause you to easily forget or miss some important things you should have done while running your business. This can obviously have dire consequences and could possibly cost you a lot of time and/or money.
However, thanks to the advancements in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), things might be becoming a little easier and more efficient for both online store owners and customers. With that in mind, this article is going to look at how AI is making e-commerce better for customers and companies alike.
Use “Chatbots” To Make Your Store More Personal
When many people think about AI, they think of a deeply impersonal experience in which they are interacting with robots and the experience loses the human touch. However, that is not always the case. Chatbots have emerged as a great way to make your E-commerce experience more personal, without having to have a dedicated customer service professional answering inquiries.
These chatbots are a computer program that is designed to simulate a conversation with users on the internet. Consumer needs have extended beyond calling hotlines or waiting days to hear back via email, so chatbots are a good way to have live chat functionality, without the overhead costs it usually is accompanied with. This can make shopping on E-commerce sites more personal for customers, which is much appreciated.
Better Recommendations for Customers
Companies offering recommendations to their customers is nothing new, but AI is changing how it is done. Instead of having to manually scan through a ton of data about consumer behavior, preferences, purchase history and more, AI can do it for you. This can save you a lot of time as analyzing that much data could take a human hours and hours.
Not only is this good for companies as it makes analyzing data and offering recommendations more efficient, but it also helps customers get accurate and tailored recommendations to help them find what they need easily. It can be a quick and seamless way to customers to be sent recommendations that they actually want, based on the data the AI analyzes.
Dealing with Fake Reviews
Customer reviews are arguably one of the most important things in the online shopping world. Many of us use them before making any purchase and they have a massive influence on how people shop. However, because of how important these reviews are, fake reviews have started popping up nearly everywhere.
Some are false positive reviews used to make a terrible product seem better, while some are negative reviews which are used to discredit a good product. Both are widespread and can ruin the customer experience and lead to them getting wrong products if they are swayed by online reviews. However, AI can help.
Many companies, such as Amazon, are using AI to limit the power that fake reviews have. They do this by giving more weight to verified reviews and using an algorithm to review various characteristics that could indicate a fake review. As AI continues to advance, there will be more and better ways to deal with fake reviews.
Assist With Inventory Management
If you have ever run an online store, you know one of the biggest headaches to deal with is inventory. Even in traditional brick and mortar stores, dealing with inventory is always a little annoying. Tracking it can prove to be time consuming and missing one thing can throw everything else off a little bit.
Thankfully, AI technology is here to help. AI can help those who own online stores to get important information about the demand of customers and even touch on future demand. This will help you predict current and future inventory needs of your business, which will save a lot of stress that often accompanies managing inventory. Also, the more frequently you use AI for inventory management, the better it will get at learning your companies and the patterns of your customers.
Visual Search Engines
Search engines are nothing new, but most of us use them every single day. Up until recently, most searches were done by searching via text. But what happens if you are looking for a certain product or item, but don’t know what it’s called. In the past, you would have had to simply try and figure it out, but now, now we have visual search capabilities.
So if you take a picture of a living room, and love the couch, you can get visually-similar results, and you will likely be able to get a link to buy it online. Gone are the days of settling or simply forgetting about something because you can’t find it. This can make it much easier for customers to find exactly what they are looking for (or something like it), in seconds.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the examples of how AI and related technologies can make E-commerce more efficient on both the company owner and customer sides of things. There are soon going to be even more ways to use AI in your E-commerce business.
Guest post by Ashley Lipman.