Here’s How AI Can Help Your E-Commerce Store Thrive

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Running your own eCommerce store? Find yourself frustrated or agitated by certain tasks associated with your store’s upkeep? If that’s the case, there’s a solid chance that AI could help. Artificial intelligence may not have reached HAL 9000 levels of intelligence just yet, but the technology has reached the stage necessary to be reliably useful in the business world.

Tech giants like Apple and Google have already thrown huge amounts of cash at the development of AI, and as time goes on, the technology is only going to become more advanced. In fact, it might surprise you to learn that by 2025, 95% of customer interactions online will be managed without any human involvement at all. Intrigued? Dive in — below, we’ll detail some of the ways in which you can harness the power of AI to help your eCommerce store thrive.

By gathering (and using) customer data

If you’re looking to gather and make clever use of customer data, artificial intelligence can provide the solution. Software like Granify, for instance, is capable of collecting 500 behavioral data points per second on every visitor to your site. The data is then compared to billions of other customer behavioral patterns to calculate the likelihood of conversion.

ActiveCampaign’s clever AI utilizes customer data to transmit real-time updates to consumers after their cart gets abandoned. So, if a customer abandons their items part-way through checkout, or there’s an issue during dispatch, the software can send out an alert automatically. These notifications can be used to inform shoppers of sales or limited promotional drives too, vastly increasing the likelihood of conversion. The use of AI to collect data can also help you determine whether a campaign has been successful, or if any aspect of your store needs to be adjusted.

Artificial intelligence can be used to predict demand and velocity of orders, as well as plan inventory management based on factors such as past performance of products. Furthermore, the data collected can be used to compare and contrast these aspects of your business with those of your competitors. Whether you’re looking to boost your store’s visibility or increase conversions, artificial intelligence not only provides the opportunity to examine the performance of your business in exciting new ways, but also offers the ability to act on these data points autonomously.

By supporting your customer service team

The value of employing a well-staffed, knowledgeable customer service team cannot be overstated. As any business owner should know, employing agents capable of dealing with the demands of the customer should be a top priority. Of course, hiring a support team capable of working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is an extravagance that only the most affluent of businesses can afford. For plenty of stores online, support availability roughly mirrors standard working hours. Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t quite match up to the expectations of the modern ecommerce customer. To make matters worse, failure to meet their needs could result in a scathing review, resulting in a loss of future business and a dent in your brand’s reputation.

This is where AI can help. Chatbot software from a provider like Crisp can automate common customer service interactions, ensuring that assistance is provided round-the-clock. This is particularly handy for periods of high demand, or for times when there are simply no support agents available. While more complicated requests are likely to require human input, chatbots do provide support agents with valuable extra time, easing the pressure that often mounts during particularly busy periods by responding to simple queries.

For traditional email-based support, services like Unbabel use a blend of AI and human intelligence to translate incoming and outgoing messages. Each message passes through an initial layer of AI translation, before receiving a final human revision and making its way to the intended recipient. Some live chat software operates in a similar manner. Using artificial intelligence, language barriers can be completely eliminated, allowing agents to communicate in their native languages, with their messages translated in real-time.

By protecting your store from fraud

As convenient as online shopping is for both consumers and vendors, it’s also made things easier for fraudsters. Deterring criminals from using your store isn’t easy. A recent study found that online fraud is actually seven times harder to prevent than fraud in-person. Of course, this isn’t surprising. Given the speedy, impersonal nature of the online marketplace, it’s impossible for store owners to thoroughly check every purchase — especially when both card and cardholder aren’t physically present.

The techniques used by cyber-criminals are as varied as they are complex, but artificial intelligence can provide some protection for merchants. For example, a common scam involves fraudsters placing an order and requesting a chargeback from their bank, in the hope of receiving their goods for free. SEON can guard against these schemes by analyzing every visitor to your site and identifying any outlying orders it deems as suspicious.

As useful as tools like this are though, some human intervention may occasionally be required, as AI can gradually become too cautious. Given enough time, legitimate orders may be canceled due to the AI spotting patterns where there are none. Artificial intelligence can also help to identify false reviews, with complex algorithms able to spot fake submissions at a far higher rate than humans alone are capable of. A particularly pertinent point when considering that 90% of customers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews.

While the AI of today isn’t quite up to the standards set by science fiction, it’s more than capable of saving store owners a lot of time and effort when it comes to running an ecommerce business. The saying goes “work smarter — not harder”. Artificial intelligence may not be able to run your business for you just yet, but it can certainly help ease your workload!

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