AI eCommerce: How Brands Can Benefit from Artificial Intelligence

According to recent research, 99% of leading businesses are currently investing in AI. 96% also say their efforts are already yielding results.

While AI is nothing new, recent technological advancements are about to bring big changes to the world of eCommerce, so AI eCommerce is an area that brands need to focus on if they want to stay competitive.

Find out more about AI eCommerce and how it can benefit your online store.

 

How is AI eCommerce making an impact?

Artificial intelligence eCommerce isn’t just a fad. It is a technology that has the potential to impact every area of your business – from marketing and targeting, through to logistics and ordering.

AI encompasses data mining, which can be used to inform future marketing strategies, sales and inventory levels. It also includes machine learning, which can be used to automatically solve problems, create better customer experiences and increase conversions.

The likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon are all early adopters of AI eCommerce. However, AI technology has become both more powerful and more accessible in recent years. Today, eCommerce brands of every size can implement it in an effort to save money, wow their customers and compete with market leaders.

With AI, eCommerce brands can understand shoppers and improve their offering at every stage of the consumer journey. However, this also means that customer expectations are rising.

 

Benefits of AI eCommerce for brands

Recent research from McKinsey indicates that every area of retail can benefit from the use of AI. Online brands are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of AI commerce thanks to the ease with which they can gather detailed shopping data.

Here are just a few of the benefits that come with implementing AI eCommerce:

More precise marketing campaigns

There are countless ways AI eCommerce can boost the results of your marketing campaigns and reduce ROAS. Whether you want to present the right message at the right time, gather insights to help you make better decisions or discover audience traits that lead to higher conversions, AI can help.

Better customer experiences

With AI, brands can track and analyse millions of customer actions every day. They can personalise content for each user too.

As a result, AI eCommerce stores are better able to provide engaging conversations, helpful advice and intimate interactions akin to the services of an in-store assistant. This is something that eCommerce brands have struggled to provide consumers until now.

Increased productivity and reduced operational costs

While marketing automation has been around for quite some time, AI means it’s more powerful than ever before. Brands can confidently automate more of their store functions, such as A/B testing, ad optimisation, product recommendations, low-level support and loyalty discounts.

AI also takes a load off your team’s shoulders so they can spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on creative brainstorming and strategising for your brand. Research suggests that most businesses have found AI tools boost employee productivity.

 

Examples of AI eCommerce

Amazon has been a leader in AI eCommerce for many years, using it to improve product suggestions, UX and logistics. But now smaller brands are using it too, especially to improve their marketing efforts.

To inspire your store’s AI strategy, here are some examples of how brands of every size are putting AI commerce to use.

1. Personalised product recommendations

eCommerce brands can use AI to automatically offer shoppers highly relevant product recommendations based on purchase history, individual behaviour and lookalike audiences.

By using AI eCommerce to create sophisticated predictions about what customers really want, brands can improve their cross-merchandising strategies and push up their Average Order Values.

As the technology develops, AI eCommerce requires less and less input from data specialists so these bespoke recommendations are available to brands of every size. Just be sure to compile all the data your AI tools need to make the best predictions possible. Look at sales insights, browsing history and basket-level data on your website. It is also possible to use insights from a Where to Buy tool to supercharge your suggestions.

Brands can also use custom search results, shopping assistants and other automated merchandising to seamlessly direct customers toward highly relevant products.

2. Intelligent logistics

The predictive power of machine learning is particularly useful when it comes to logistics. That’s why 40% of leaders in the transport and logistics industry say AI improves inventory management.

AI can help forecast arrival times, product demand, shipment delays and packing times. Plus, the longer you use AI eCommerce in this area, the more accurate your predictions will become.

Brands can take things even further by using AI-powered robots to complete a wide variety of logistical tasks. AI-powered PIM software can also help with omnichannel product updates, while RFID tags and AI can monitor stock in real-time for optimal management.

3. Customer segmentation

The data processing capabilities of AI tools enable eCommerce marketers to better understand their customers. AI systems can effortlessly analyse complex behaviours and traits to optimise audience segmentation and increase conversions.

Marketers can use these intricate insights to create their own segments or automate the process. Either way, they’ll benefit from data analysis that simply wouldn’t be available without the use of AI.

Implementing this kind of segmentation may be possible with the tools you currently have in your marketing stack. Marketers can implement the likes of Google Smart Shopping, Facebook’s dynamic ads and creative ads to take advantage of AI learnings and improve their ad targeting. Alternatively, they can implement third-party AI tools, like Adspert and Teradata.

4. Pricing optimisation

With access to the right information, AI tools can know when and what to discount based on supply, demand, sales trends and other market dynamics. This takes the guesswork out of product pricing and ensures eCommerce brands price each of their products optimally

This means brands can stay competitive, while also optimising both their sales volume and their profit margins.

For brands with large retailer networks, it’s also wise to use a Digital Shelf tool to monitor pricing across all the channels you sell on. This way, if a third-party retailer changes the price of your products, you can adjust your own price tags accordingly. In situations where it is necessary to negotiate your pricing levels, you’ll also have real-time data and analysis at your fingertips.

5. Clever chatbots

Customer service chatbots have been a part of AI eCommerce for a while now. They can help guide customers through the sales funnel 24/7 by answering simple questions and queries. But chatbots are improving and can now be used to facilitate virtual assistance, gift recommendations, simple transactions and conversational commerce.

In terms of providing support, chatbots are now beginning to deal with more difficult requests and provide more personalised experiences. Some modern chatbots can even access your customer database to provide helpful and bespoke responses in real-time.

 

The future of AI for eCommerce

As AI eCommerce helps brands leverage their customer data more and more, their ability to forecast future demands and anticipate individual needs will grow.

While the move away from cookies will see some businesses misstep in terms of customer segmentation, targeting and eCommerce personalisation, those who implement AI will successfully overcome these issues and come away from the experience stronger than ever.

The uptake of AI eCommerce tools is sure to increase as brands continue to focus on online sales post-pandemic and technology continues to make significant breakthroughs.

Final thoughts

AI is changing the way online shoppers find, interact with and purchase products – and this won’t change anytime soon. With 86% of decision makers already saying that AI is central to their business operations, AI eCommerce is here to stay. If you haven’t implemented it yet, now is the time to start.

What is a Where to Buy Solution