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Wonder how certain brands and retailers are consistently dominating the digital shelf? It isn’t intimidation tactics. Those embracing digital transformation by adopting now-common tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are at the helm of this takeover.
AI commerce isn’t something to be feared, but rather, a powerful methodology you can wield to your advantage in various ways.
Using artificial intelligence in ecommerce might not be second nature for your organization just yet, or perhaps you have a few tools in place, but you’re not employing them to their full potential.
Here are the top six applications for artificial intelligence in ecommerce and help you infuse a bit more of the “future of now” into your tech stack.
Regardless of some beliefs, AI works for you, not the other way around. Powerful applications of AI for ecommerce are emerging every day, all with the goal of saving organizations time, reducing errors, and boosting operational efficiency. The following are some of the top ways artificial intelligence in ecommerce just makes sense.
When was the last time you met someone new and immediately forgot their name? While you can’t apply AI to your budding social circle (just yet), it can be applied to a trend that continues to be in demand among modern consumers: personalization.
Seventy-one percent of customers want personalized shopping experiences, and 76% are frustrated when they don’t receive them, according to McKinsey & Company.
However, even when you’re able to collect tons of data and become discerning of customer preferences, it might be hard to apply it all.
AI commerce capabilities can help you suggest similar or complementary products based on customers’ past browsing or purchase history and send these suggestions as on-site notifications or emails, or as other communication types, like texts and mailers.
For example, if someone recently purchased a piece of carry-on luggage, they might want a matching packing cube or toiletry kit. But, perhaps they wouldn’t buy any accessories without the recommendation (and perhaps a discount to sweeten the deal). It’s a win-win: more organized luggage for them, higher order value for you.
Whether normal day-to-day customer service requests are running your growing business’s customer service team ragged, or you just need supplemental support around busy times, such as the holidays, ecommerce chatbots can be your new best friends.
These virtual assistants don’t have to take over your customer service department as a whole — and research shows that consumers in some areas of the globe still like connecting with real humans. However, in other areas, humanless customer service is sometimes emphatically preferred.
By partnering with AI, you can always be ready to welcome a new (or returning) shopper to your site and offer an initial point of contact. AI can also help you sort through and store any inquiries or issues a shopper might have (and, in some cases, even solve them) before deferring to a representative on your team.
The ticketing or resolution process will vary by solution, of course, but a member of your team can use information gathered by the virtual assistant and immediately get to work on a resolution with a few steps already taken care of. Recurring inquiries or errors can also likely be flagged for resolution more easily.
Plus, having a 24/7 operative to field requests gives you peace of mind that your customers are at least being acknowledged, even when your team members are enjoying much-needed time off or are busy with other initiatives.
Sweating at the thought of having to verify images of traffic lights? Yeah, that’s how fraud feels once you implement additional protection from AI.
AI fraud detection works by analyzing patterns in transaction data — and flagging anything that looks fishy. It can offer both you and your customers additional assurance that their information is safeguarded and that you take security seriously.
These protections also empower you to collect more data and preferences from your consumers, which can lead to better personalization, recommendations, and more.
It’s no surprise that stockouts and out-of-stock products can sink your brand. But keeping track of inventory can be a seemingly impossible task, especially with the rise of omnichannel commerce and added complexities like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS).
An AI-powered inventory management solution can also empower you to dominate the channels you’re currently on — and reach new ones — by eliminating the guesswork of what and how much inventory is available.
Additionally, inventory management tools equipped with AI can help you analyze sales data, predict future demand, and suggest future order points.
With inflation and other economic uncertainty, you can be your customers’ ally by keeping prices low thanks to AI-powered insights.
Artificial intelligence in ecommerce can optimize prices by helping you analyze consumer behavior, check the prices of competitors, and keep an eye on market trends.
You can also go the extra mile for your customers with personalized offers and discounts backed by data from past purchases or browsing history.
Thanks to the legwork of AI bots and writing assistants (metaphorical legs, of course), creating hefty amounts of quality product content at the speed and scale you need can be a lot less arduous.
According to Salsify’s “2023 Consumer Research” report, 55% of global shoppers surveyed say that “bad” product content keeps them from making a purchase online. In this context, “bad” means missing or incomplete product information, low-quality product images, or other inconsistencies and errors.
You can use AI to ensure a consistent foundation of your digital shelf presence — wherever your products reside online — thanks to the capabilities of some powerful (award-winning) options that enable the integration of data from product information management (PIM) systems and bulk content generation.
In some cases, an AI bot’s best attempts at creative copy might lack a certain authenticity or originality — but that’s where the rest of your team can tag in.
With AI writing assistants, you can spend more time spicing up content for different seasons or formulating complex messaging and thought leadership that fits your evolving organization and answers trends.
For brands and retailers looking to dominate the digital shelf, it's essential to be open-minded to adopting new trends and partnerships, especially when they’re one and the same.
AI won’t take over the digital shelf on its own — it’s up to brands and retailers to thoughtfully employ this intuitive technology to their advantage, ultimately to consumers’ delight.
Meet the shifting demands of shoppers worldwide with insights from this guide, equipped with steps for building an effective omnichannel commerce strategy.DOWNLOAD NOW
Yvonne Bertovich (she/her) is an editor and writer at Salsify, reporting from Knoxville, Tennessee. With a longtime passion for research, she enjoys flexing her perspective on ecommerce, trends in consumer behavior, and health and wellness.
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