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The Groundbreaking Benefits of AI in eCommerce

Last updated May 22, 2023 7 min to read
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Hearing about artificial intelligence (AI) every time you turn around lately? There's a reason people are so enthusiastic, especially when it comes to AI in eCommerce.

When you use the right AI technology in the right ways, you can completely transform the way you do business. AI helps you save time, reduce manual effort, and boost the quality and accuracy of your data. Essentially, you can now finish work in mere minutes (or seconds) that used to take you hours, or even days.

This is particularly exciting for online sellers, where saved time equals more profit. Curious about which parts of your business could gain the most from AI, and how they could do so? Keep reading to learn about the groundbreaking benefits of AI in eCommerce.

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

According to IBM, artificial intelligence (AI) is a field which combines computer science and robust datasets to enable problem solving.

Put simply, AI enables smart machines to learn (AKA: machine learning) and perform tasks that previously required human intelligence. AI tools collect and analyze data, and use that data to deliver a result, answer a question, or perform a task. And because the propensity for human error is eliminated, AI-related insights and data are often more accurate and dependable.

The three main areas of AI include:

  • Data processing
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning

The Next Generation: OpenAI and ChatGPT

From self-driving cars to Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri, AI is increasingly becoming a part of our everyday lives. Online shopping, ordering groceries, and getting the answer to any question that pops into our heads have never been easier.

Businesses are also using AI more than ever. In fact, a recent report by Gartner shows that the number of businesses using AI has skyrocketed by 270% over the past five years. Furthermore, the global AI market is expected to reach $267 billion by 2027, and artificial intelligence is expected to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Artificial intelligence research company, OpenAI, changed the world of AI forever when it launched ChatGPT on November 30, 2022. Having amassed 100 million users by January, 2023, ChatGPT became the most quickly adopted tech software of all time.

The way this software works is in its name, which stands for “Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer.” Unlike older voice-assisted AI tools, such as Siri, ChatGPT is built around a Large Language Model (LLM).

While we won’t go into too much technical detail here, this AI tool is trained by both supervised learning and reinforcement learning in a technique known as “reinforcement learning from human feedback.” Put simply: these approaches both use machine learning in combination with human trainers. The process makes ChatGPT capable of the most human-like communication we’ve ever seen in artificial intelligence up to this point.

What do AI advancements mean for the future of work?

You can use ChatGPT to write articles and essays, create code, write and send emails, and more. This is big news for eCommerce sellers, as it opens up a range of possibilities for saving time and boosting productivity.

For example, ChatGPT could let you provide the first levels of customer service via email or live chat without you having to be physically present. And, unlike older auto-responder emails, these communications would be smarter and more human-like.

Need to write articles for SEO ranking? Content creators can also use ChatGPT to dramatically reduce the time they spend researching and writing.

OpenAI was also responsible for AI programs Dall-E-2 and Whisper, both of which are changing the work landscape.

Dall-E-2 enables users to create images for articles, social media posts, and more by entering keywords. This could eliminate the need for using stock photos, and enable you to quickly create more original imagery for your website content.

Similarly, Whisper is an automated speech recognition (ASR) program trained on 680,000 hours of multilingual and multi-task data, which enables translation and transcription in and from multiple languages.

That said, we know there are mixed feelings surrounding AI, but don’t worry. We aren’t saying you should use AI tools as a replacement for humans. AI tools aren’t here to replace people or supplant jobs. They’re here as virtual assistants to make our jobs easier. By learning how to master and implement AI tools into your repertoire, you can save time, improve the quality and accuracy of your data, and provide incredible value to your own company or to any employer.

AI Benefits for eCommerce Brands

As artificial intelligence technology continues to evolve, AI is being used to enhance and improve all areas of the eCommerce industry and online shopping experience. From automated customer service to targeted product recommendations, AI offers a wealth of advantages for both customers and businesses alike. Here are some of the key benefits of AI in eCommerce.

Automated Customer Service – Beyond Just Chat

One of the biggest advantages of AI in eCommerce is automated customer service.

As we’ve already said, advanced OpenAI technology such as ChatGPT can be helpful when  performing triage on your customer communications. By using a smart artificial intelligence-powered system, you can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort your team spends on customer support.

AI tools can respond intelligently to customer questions, and can even be programmed to glean things like sentiment from the content of customer messages. They can then send a personalized, conversational response that aligns with that sentiment and aims to resolve the issue. Imagine knowing right away whether you’re dealing with a happy or frustrated customer!

Wondering if AI leads to customer satisfaction? In a recent survey, more than 59% of consumers rated their AI-based customer support interaction at least 8 out of 10. Furthermore, a massive 71% of customers say they’d be happy to use a chatbot if it meant a better customer experience.

OpenAI technology can also enable better translations for global customer interactions, message categorization, and, in some instances, allow you to take care of customers completely hands-free.

By using AI customer interaction tools, businesses can respond to customer queries quickly and accurately, 24 hours a day. This is particularly useful for businesses with limited staff or resources, as it reduces the need for manual customer service.

And, as any eCommerce seller knows, quick, accurate responses to inquiries are key to customer retention and overall business success.

If you were curious whether eDesk is working on the next generation of customer support tools – the answer is a resounding YES. And it’s right around the corner…

Accurate Insights

Get more accurate insights into every area of your business to make the right decisions as an online retailer.

AI-driven systems provide businesses with valuable insights into things like customer behavior and purchase history, enabling brands to better understand their customers and make informed decisions. This data can be used to improve the customer experience, provide more targeted product recommendations, automate marketing campaigns, make changes to websites, and more. AI can also help improve product design and development, resulting in higher quality products that are tailored to customers’ needs.

Increased Personalization

According to recent data from Hubspot, 54% of shoppers say they expect all customer experiences to be personalized. Furthermore, your online conversion rate can improve by 8% when you provide a personalized shopping experience.

AI-based systems offer increased personalization for customers, as they are able to identify and analyze customer behavior patterns. The data can then be used to make product recommendations, identify customer sentiment, or display targeted ads that are highly relevant to the individual customer. This helps online shoppers find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, driving increased engagement and sales for your online stores.

Streamlined Processes

If you run an online business, you know how crucial it is to keep all processes organized.

AI can be used to streamline all your eCommerce processes, from customer service to order fulfillment and shipping. By automating these processes, businesses are able to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Fraud Protection

When it comes to eCommerce, security is of paramount importance for both your brand and your shoppers.

AI can be used to improve security in eCommerce by detecting fraud or other suspicious activity. By using advanced analytics, businesses can detect and prevent fraud more quickly and accurately, resulting in increased safety for customers. Additionally, AI-powered systems can be used to detect suspicious activity in real-time, allowing businesses to take immediate action to prevent potential threats.

Cost Savings (and Improved Efficiencies)

Want to save money? By streamlining your business processes with automated AI systems, you can reduce human errors and improve efficiency. This helps businesses save time and money by reducing needless spending, resulting in increased profits over time.

Improved Product Recommendations and Discovery

We've already mentioned how AI can help you get better, more accurate insights into customer behavior and other data. One of the biggest advantages of these insights is to improve personalized product recommendations and discoverability.

AI-powered systems can help potential customers find the products they’re looking for much more easily. By using advanced algorithms and consumer data, you can curate product recommendations and display them based on customer interests and preferences. This predictive marketing approach helps customers discover new products that they may not have found otherwise, resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction.

AI can also be used to improve search capability on eCommerce platforms and websites. By using natural language processing algorithms, businesses are able to understand customer queries and provide more accurate search engine results.

Automated Order Processing, Shipping, and Delivery

Want to process orders more quickly and accurately? Automate your order processing with AI.

By using predictive algorithms, businesses can anticipate customer needs and rapidly fulfill orders, resulting in improved efficiency and a better online shopping experience.

AI-powered systems can also be used to streamline the shipping and delivery process for eCommerce businesses. This helps reduce shipping times and costs and boost customer satisfaction.

Optimized Pricing Strategies

The use of AI-driven systems can help eCommerce businesses optimize their pricing strategies to maximize profit and provide customers with the best value.

By using advanced algorithms, businesses are able to analyze customer data and adjust product prices based on customer behaviors. This allows you to better target your pricing and gain more loyal customers.

Accurate Inventory Management

AI makes it much easier to keep up with your inventory levels.

By using AI to analyze customer data and purchase history, eCommerce companies are able to gain a better understanding of customer demand and quickly adjust their inventory management strategy accordingly. This helps reduce costs and ensure that products are always in stock.

Happy Customers + More Sales

Using AI in eCommerce can lead to happier customers and more sales for your eCommerce business.

From using AI to offer a personalized customer experience and better support, to adjusting your pricing strategy and product recommendations to fit shoppers' needs and preferences, you can exceed customer expectations and make more sales.

Plus, you can even use AI to keep up with customer comments on review sites and other platforms in order to address feedback and enhance your brand.

Benefits of AI in eCommerce: Final Thoughts

Artificial intelligence is all about gathering and analyzing useful insights, saving time, improving accuracy, and boosting the customer experience with ease – and it has a ton of specific applications in eCommerce.

Speaking of the customer experience, there's no better way to level up your customer support than by using eDesk. From time-saving templates to smart automation features to live chat, our robust features can help you smash customer support, all while spending far less time and effort on it.

eDesk has processed more than 45 million monthly messages from shoppers since 2012 and we’ve learned a lot about what customers ask and how to best organize data to create the most efficient support engine possible. That knowledge, combined with the power of generative AI, are the very building blocks we’re using to create the next generation of customer support tools for eCommerce sellers, and it’s coming very soon.

Ready to gain a competitive advantage that will make a real difference in the success of your online business? Try eDesk free.

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