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What Is The Role Of AI In eCommerce?


Published by: virtina 
Publishing Date: July 18, 2019

AI in eCommerce will play a crucial role in years to come, but how do the B2B companies leverage this and tune it to work in their favor. It’s estimated that by 2020, AI will handle 80 % of all customer interactions. Google didn’t invest £400 million to get DeepMind, for nothing.
Besides, early adopters, that redo their websites & install visual and voice search will increase their eCommerce revenue by a whopping 30%. So, it is paramount that your brand exploits this, for this is not a fad that’s going to wane away.
AI for eCommerce will revolutionize the way you interact with your buyers, get new customers, improve your ROI, simplify a lot of tasks on the back-end and finally reduce the time to market. So even if you are running a small business, you can’t overlook the influence of AI for too long.
Even a basic AI tool that learns from your customer’s buying pattern will be helpful to throw references for relevant products. In the process streamlining your marketing & sales activities. More and more CRM activities will revolve around AI in years to come.



Its time, to become an AI-driven brand going ahead and start clocking higher sales. The future for traditional selling is looking bleak. The Average gross profit margin for companies that use AI, was 50% higher than those who weren’t.
Once set, your company could switch from “Assistive AI“ to “Autonomous AI”. That brings the ability to collaborate with tech, machines making recommendations and a machine-driven campaign orchestration, optimization, & evolution.

How was the landscape, so far?
In the absence of Smart devices and voice assistants, all searches were typed and reliant on keypads. Thus, the algorithm in place was also not in sync for that.
No chatbots, in that era meant all the resolutions to queries/grievances were delivered through human intervention. AI wasn’t employed to help customers; tasks were more manual and very little was automated. Which would then mean providing adequate training to your staff.
The personalized experience strategy which served as an asset, also led to a lot of churn. Which in-turn consumed a lot of resources for these companies; when AI was not even on the horizon..
AI wasn’t gaining momentum for a very long time, and it was only later that the concept picked up & started getting the acknowledgement from the mainstream audience.

How can brands use AI?
AI can be useful to render a more seamless and intuitive omnichannel experience for customers. For B2B businesses on multiple-touchpoints, it is vital to create a more personalized experience. As such many companies are starting to invest in the AI arm.

Let’s delve into how AI can be beneficial for your business:



  • Inventory – AI can help retailers/manufacturers manage inventory. By forecasting any sudden growth/demand in products, especially in the lead up to heavy seasonal sales. The AI algorithm can gain insights into what and how much buyers want, which then helps brands to optimize inventory.



Stocks can be piled depending on the anticipated requests; if the AI output is high then it’d make sense to bring in more SKU’s. If low, then you’d save transportation + storage time by getting a low volume. AI automates warehouse operations and delivery process.
The F&B sector that realizes a significant amount of wastage and the Automobile sector that spends on logistics and loading items, can gain a ton by harnessing the power of AI.


  • Predictive Learning – The capability of AI to do exhaustive data mining, see patterns, bring a better understanding of consumer behavior is helping to change the business model for many brands. The advancement means, AI applications are now analyzing data patterns better.


AI tools study consumer behavior. Which by and large, gives the strongest insight into how well any brand is performing - to read into the way buyers are navigating any eCommerce store. Learn about your customers & how to market to them with data analytics.
AI has empowered store owners to use such means to do a more in-depth analysis of the browsing patterns of all the users (registered/guests/visitors). Which then helps them to give a more customized experience. When customers get personalized recommendations, it tempts them to return to the store.


  • Sales - Cold-calling is not as effective as it once was; especially when a customer’s life is more influenced by a variety of other sources from TV ads to social media. As such, it was time to realize compelling sales solutions and evolve the sales process to cater better to your buyers.


Sending random product/service suggestions will alienate any buyer from future purchases; but, the sweeping changes in eCommerce with AI means customers stand to get better info.
Even integrate AI into your CRM, which enables a natural learning mechanism to identify new opportunities for the sales team. A brilliant way to present fascinating offers to your buyers.


  • Visual Search – The ability to do a simple click and search to arrive at a relevant result goes a long way in making an eager customer’s search sessions smoother. Point, Click, and Find your choice product, without the hassle of typing and deducing the same.


Discover brands, product specs, more versions and a variety of other things from the ability of AI intelligence. Enabling a faster arrival at the product you see around you, by matching your photos with similar items sold online.


  • Voice Assistance – Consumers lately have jumped to newer ways of arriving at the desired product, the typing ways are slowing falling behind. The onslaught of Smart devices and the Voice Activated functions on many devices, have made it possible to do some hands-free search.Voice searchAt the helm of this was nothing but AI, which made it possible to do even a simple search, without lifting a finger. Now, the absence of keyboards or a non-operative touch screen will not become an issue.


Get this integrated on your eCommerce store to enable a more seamless search experience for your customers.


  • Chatbots – Your customers from time to time will have some query, grievance or any other issue with their orders. In which case they are looking for an urgent resolution on the matter - in this scenario having 24/7 availability through convenient channels is essential.


People want their problems addressed promptly or at the very least soon enough for them to see the value in purchasing from your webstore. Configure the AI chatbots to engage customers in a variety of ways, which will mean you could do this all day long.
Filling staff for this position will no longer be a headache, as you’ll let AI manage this end with ease. Adopt AI in customer service to improve your complaint engagements better. Which then helps to increase conversions by tailoring an online experience for the consumer.



  • Testimonials – Fake reviews can become an issue for online retailers and eCommerce sites. In which case you’d need automation to combat these nuisances and filter the positive responses from the batch.



AI focuses on veracity and reliability of verified customer reviews to boost them. AI also considers which reviews are marked as helpful by other users. Relying on AI means you can free your workforce from separating “bot spam” from genuine feedback.



  • Automation – Since a good amount of the work will be allotted to the intelligent AI systems, the need to use more labor can be cut-down. Baring the investment to keep the AI running most companies can save a massive part of wealth by cutting down here.



 The staff employed to manage these operations can be relieved or relocated. Benefiting a lot since many of the tasks will become more time & cost efficient. Embed AI and improve your profit margin.
Plus, the remaining workforce can now focus on acquiring leads, creating sales, driving ways to generate revenue sources and focus more on a strategic level of business.



  • Counterfeit Products – Fake products can become problematic to the consumers. Plus, the retailers also need to be aware of such fraudulent activities. The AI in use will cut this issue as it brings the concerned product on the marketplace to the owner’s attention.



 A quick removal of the same will prevent any further conflicts between the buyer and the brand. All made possible through the valuable use of AI in eCommerce.


Conclusion

The AI that exists now is capable of blending with your pre-existing systems to offer an ordered and sorted back-end experience. The same elusive tech that was once limited to elite channels is now becoming more commercial. Thus, no longer a notion of dystopian Science fiction flicks.
The integration of any new tech stems from the idea that it mustn’t weigh your company down. Plus become a benefit that helps you to develop a stronger relationship with your customer base and generate repeat business. Something that the sophisticated AI does well.
From the smallest to the biggest corporations, everyone is leveraging the positives of AI. In the hope of improving their working ways and interactions with the customer. The legacy techniques are on a decline, and AI for eCommerce is set to become the go-to support for all brands.
Smart AI solutions are in store. Using this in your eCommerce website; can help you to suggest products to customers & generate email recommendations. Don’t even have to invest in a frontline tool that can confuse customers.
After a series of short, successful tests, you can stretch your AI budget to explore different selections, to improve the UX and to grow your eCommerce bank of SKU’s. After all, 77% of businesses admit to using AI to improve their marketing and sales processes.
If your company seeks to change the way it's been doing business; by making the switch towards AI then your next move should be to get in touch with Virtina. Comprising of a team of astute developers & expert consultants, that are quite capable of solving the AI dilemma for you.
The advancement in eCommerce, will now go through AI, and your vision for the road ahead shouldn’t deviate from this for any reason whatsoever. Together we are confident of conquering the AI challenge. 

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