Artificial intelligence can be defined as the capacity of machines to demonstrate abilities inherent in humans – to think, learn, plan or create. We talk about artificial intelligence when technical systems observe their environment, receive data (which is prepared by another or that they collected themselves), process it and perform actions related to achieving a specific goal. Artificial intelligence systems are able to adapt their behaviour to some extent by analyzing the results of previous actions and working autonomously.
In today’s world, AI is everywhere.
So it’s really no wonder how machine learning is coming to the front of E-Commerce development worldwide. Multiple studies from Statista show that – “As internet access and adoption are rapidly increasing worldwide, the number of digital buyers keeps climbing every year. In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide”.
A big part of that growth is integrating AI technology into the various processes that take place in e-commerce such as business-client relationships, training staff, logistics, distribution, electronic payments, network marketing, supply chain management, human resources and much more.
How You Can Use Artificial Intelligence To Boost Your Business
If you’re a small company or a start-up, using AI in your external and internal business tasks and goals can only increase your revenue and overall success. Let’s take a look at the most popular and sought after uses of AI in electronic commerce.
Sales teams are facing daily challenges with the biggest one being boring operational tasks. This is when automation software comes to play. You can use certain tools to help with the following tasks:
- Schedule and follow up on meetings – Calendly, Appointlet, Doodle;
Sales staff are usually quite busy with dozens of meetings per week so it’s quite hard to keep track of everything. Scheduling apps help streamline that process and optimise the workflow. Most of them can be easily integrated with CRM systems, Google, Office 365, and Outlook, and are available on all devices, allowing the sales rep to access their info in seconds, no matter where they are. Notifications, follow-ups, attachments to scheduled meetings – the opportunities are endless.
- Research, convert and retain leads – Hubspot, Salesforce, Autoklose;
An E-Commerce business that doesn’t use a CRM is definitely behind. Systems like this offer a customised automated experience throughout the entire process – from finding and qualifying leads, to conversion and retention after closing the deal. It’s a database for all current and potential clients, it keeps track of the engagement history and offers real-time notifications for every click, opened attachment, and responded email.
- Minimise operational tasks – WeFlow, YesWare;
No need for your sales staff to waste time with notes and to-do lists. Tools like this help organise and automate tasks by creating custom sales pipelines, deal signals, and help customise the sales process with frameworks such as BANT, GPCT, etc. The great thing about these tools is that they are easily connected to any CRM, schedule and meeting software that your business is currently using so there is no data loss in the process.
If we take a look at the three elements of AI Solutions, you will see that AI Marketing falls under the Application AI and Industry AI. This is because it uses already established core elements and applies them to the marketing process.
As a matter of fact, many marketing automation tools can be found in CRM systems like Hubspot so that a business can use a single software for all their automation needs. Here are some examples:
- Social Media Marketing
Keeping up with social media trends and posting regularly is a full-time job! It takes a lot of time and effort which is why all successful professionals opt for a tool that will help them optimise the process and the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. Huge brands like Facebook, for example, use AI to improve their target advertising, while LinkedIn improves their job recommendations.
With that being said, AI automation tools are a great helper with other tasks such as scheduling posts, creating visual content depending on the topic, researching current trends that can be used in a campaign, automatically including relevant hashtags and links, and much more.
- Link Building and Outreach
Whether you’re sending mass emails or going for a more personalised approach, automation tools are essential for every outreach campaign. It’s not just about sending the emails or doing the call. You need to be able to track your efforts seamlessly and analyse the data accordingly.
For example, Semrush’s link building tool is amazing at finding relevant prospects which the person can contact directly from the platform by using personalised templates. You can schedule a follow-up email or a call, keep track of all prospect engagement and live links.
It’s true that nothing can compare to communicating with a real person but chatbots can still be extremely helpful for e-commerce businesses. They can be customized to answer the most common questions and depending on the customer’s request – transfer them to the relevant department.
There are many different types of conversational AI chatbots so it’s essential to choose the right one for your business. Ask yourself the important questions and see how you can implement AI chatbots to best suit your needs.
- Predictive Marketing
AI analysis of customer behaviour and purchase history will aid in future marketing campaigns, product and service development, as well as customer interaction. It will help you always stay one step ahead of your competitors and build meaningful relationships with your clients.
- Email Marketing
There are so many ways in which AI can help you create a successful email campaign. As you probably already guessed, scheduled emails and results tracking are amongst the basic requirements, but there are so many opportunities. Let’s take a quick look:
- Optimise the email copy
- Automate catchy and successful subject lines
- Make personalised newsletters
- Constantly refresh customer email listings
- Easily track deliverability and open rates
- Help better understand the lifecycle of a customer
- Content Creation
Good content takes both time and effort, and nothing can really replace our incredible human brain and creativity. However, even the most productive writing team will need a bit of help eventually. AI copywriting tools are gaining increasing popularity because of their user-friendly interface and the fact that they can produce SEO optimised content in a matter of seconds.
Most of those tools only need a little bit of information to create all types of content – sales copy, blog posts, social media posts, etc. Just enter the required keywords, the industry of your business and some ideas about the nature of the content itself, and you’re ready!
Of course, many times you would still need to edit that content, especially when we’re talking about articles, but that will still help optimise the content creation process which usually takes a lot.
Inventory management is a tedious and time-consuming process that anyone would rather skip. Well luckily for those people, this is possible! Tech companies now offer custom-built AI companions that are tasked with keeping track of the current inventory, making sure it’s up to date, analysing current market trends and helping procurement and warehouse staff to better manage their daily operations.
When it comes to stock, current AI technology can offer real-time inventory control, make predictions about supply and demand, and even act without the need for human approval. It also leaves no place for error as machine learning technology can make accurate calculations, minimising the amount of excess product.
Generally, AI technology in inventory management helps to minimise the amount of operational and calculating tasks workers need to perform and allow them to spend more time on strategic planning.
There are many other ways that Artificial Intelligence has entered the world of E-Commerce and by the looks of it, that’s how the future looks like. In summary, AI has changed the way companies interact with their customers, employees, and competitors, and along with that, it has changed our expectations.
Nowadays, not having an online chat feature or sending your emails one by one and using sheets to track your efforts, simply looks ridiculous. Besides that, however, it’s also time-consuming and inefficient. So if you’re an online business that wants to be a part of the current e-commerce world, AI is the best way to do it!