Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) are three of the hottest technologies on the marketplace at the moment, and they power many of the tools and applications that we use on a daily basis, from Netflix and YouTube to the eCommerce stores where we spend our money.
Of course, if you’re reading this article then the chances are that you own or run an eCommerce store, and so we’re not going to dwell too much on how AI works. Instead, we’re going to take a look at how it can help you.
There are plenty of good reasons to use AI and ML in Business Communication and E-commerce, to the point at which we found it difficult to limit our list to just ten. With that said, let’s jump on in and get started.
1. A/B Tests
A/B tests are essentially scientific tests in which two different variations of a web page or other digital asset can be pitted against each other to see which one works best. Of course, you can carry out these tests manually if you want to, and so where AI really stands out is in the way in which it allows you to create and test huge numbers of variants at a time. By constantly deploying and testing new variants of your most important pages, AI can help to make ongoing tweaks and improvements to your website that continue to add value over time.
AI-powered natural language processing allows humans and machines to talk to each other much more easily and efficiently than ever before. When you talk to Alexa or Google Assistant, it’s using AI to understand what you’re saying and to formulate a response. The exact same technology can be used to power eCommerce sales assistants and chatbots that can answer customers’ questions around the clock or help direct them to the most relevant product.
3. Review translation
Building on from the last point, AI and NLP can also be used to translate reviews (and other written content) from one language to another. This might not be super relevant if you run a small, localized eCommerce store, but for those that serve an international audience, it can be a great way for you to boost conversion rates and to make your eCommerce store more profitable.
4. Personalized recommendations
Netflix uses artificial intelligence and machine learning beneath the bonnet of its powerful recommendations engine, and eCommerce stores can put AI to use to do much the same thing. By crunching the huge amounts of data that your site creates, you can use AI to identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities and make you more money.
5. Marketing automation
Marketing automation is the process of using advanced tools to automatically create and deploy high-performance marketing campaigns. You can use AI to create and deploy these campaigns, and it’s already powering most of the tools that are currently commercially available. You bring the marketing strategy and the AI brings the automation.
6. New product research
AI can be useful for product research by enabling you to parse through huge amounts of data from social networking sites and other sources and to generate insights from that data. It might not be useful for smaller eCommerce stores, but if you’re looking to add thousands of new product lines, you’re going to need some help from AI.
7. Virtual changing rooms
One of the most interesting use cases of AI in eCommerce is the rise of virtual changing rooms in which users are able to virtually try clothes on. These typically work by using AI to process the input from the user’s camera and work a little bit like a Snapchat filter, enabling people to try before they buy as they would in a physical store.
8. Image recognition
AI is used to power most modern image recognition software, and while that might not seem important to begin with, it can be super useful for eCommerce stores. For example, it can allow you to set up image search capability for customers to take advantage of. Using a fashion eCommerce store as an example again, it could allow people to search for clothes simply by uploading an image of a celebrity and searching for the closest matches to the clothes that they’re wearing.
9. Fraud protection
AI is used to power most of the anti-fraud tools that are in use throughout the eCommerce industry, and while you might not know that AI is actually there, it’s usually sitting beneath the bonnet and making things happen. eBay recently revealed that its AI can now identify 40% of online credit card fraud with “high precision”.
10. Product info conversion
AI is also pretty good at converting information from one format to another. For eCommerce stores, that means that you can put it to work when you’re importing new products at scale, using the AI to convert product information and images into whichever format you’re using for your site. For example, if products need a featured image that’s at a 16:9 resolution, an AI algorithm can make all of those changes for you.
Now that you know just a few of the ways that you can use artificial intelligence in eCommerce, it’s time for you to start thinking about your own company and the way that you approach new technologies like AI and machine learning.
The important thing to remember is that all of these technologies are available right now and waiting for you to take advantage of them. Even if you don’t use them, you can bet that your competitors will do.
As you can tell, the advantages of tapping into AI far outweigh any negatives, and so if you’re not using AI for your ecommerce business but your competitors are, you’re at risk of being left behind. But if you do embrace these new technologies and your competitors don’t, you’ll leave them in the dust. Good luck.
Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash