Many industries leverage artificial intelligence to free up time and make business processes more efficient. Is your e-commerce company taking advantage of this opportunity?
With automation, you can increase the speed and efficiency of transactions and transform how your customers shop online.
In this post, we’ll look at a few powerful ways to use AI in your e-commerce operations.
How AI Is Transforming Online Stores
The biggest trend driving the need for intelligent, data-driven tools is personalization. But this isn’t an easy thing to pull off for an online marketplace or e-commerce store. Brick-and-mortar stores have a slight advantage over e-commerce businesses since they can interact with customers in person.
These retail staff members can observe customers’ preferences, body language, and cues. As a result, they can tailor recommendations and suggestions in real-time.
Customers want that same personalized experience from e-commerce stores. In other words, they want to feel special. And that the experience was curated just for them.
How can you achieve this online if you need to understand customer preferences, including where, when, and how they shop? You need data — and lots of it. AI can provide and analyze this data to deliver the insights you need as an online retailer to attract loyal customers.
Utilizing artificial intelligence in your e-commerce business can be further empowered by implementing Reverse ETL processes, ensuring seamless data integration and actionable insights.
7 Ways to Accelerate the Customer Journey and Boost Online Sales With Artificial Intelligence
Here are seven simple ways to turn artificial intelligence into a winning sales strategy.
1. Analyze Customer Sentiment and Feedback
You can use AI to access valuable insights into the needs of your customers. With this information in your back pocket, you can create better content, products, and services that meet your customers’ expectations.
When you gather enough data about your customers’ needs, pain points, and preferences, you can get a feel for how they perceive your product or service.
From there, you can make appropriate changes that please customers, making for a better customer experience.
For example, House of Joppa, a store that sells Catholic home decor, uses artificial intelligence to analyze customer reviews.
When a customer leaves a review about something they bought, the AI can trigger an automation action. The algorithm can determine if a review is positive, negative, or neutral.
So, for example, if a customer doesn’t like an item they purchased and leaves a negative review, the AI provides insights to sales reps.
It may tell a sales rep to reach out to the customer and try to smooth things over with the customer. The rep could issue a refund or find another way to make the customer happy.
On the other hand, if a customer writes a positive review, the AI can send them a special “thank you” email or offer a discount on new products (like the example below).
AI-powered customer sentiment analysis can help your store keep customers happy and generate loyalty.
2. Use Virtual Business Cards
Including physical business cards or thank-you notes in your customer shipments is a great way to help customers recognize and remember your brand.
Plus, it puts a face behind your brand. It’s a nice way to build long-term relationships with those who’ve made a purchase.
But what if you could turn those simple thank-you notes into something more? Enter virtual business cards.
Within seconds, customers go from the physical world (thank you note with QR code) to the digital world to find details like:
Primary location of operation
Social media profiles
Special promotional offers
You can also leverage virtual business cards to personalize the customer experience. For example, you could use virtual business cards in your AI chatbots or customer support systems.
Depending on a customer’s question or a problem they’re seeking a solution for, you can create an AI trigger. This trigger can instantly pull up personalized contact details, direct users to a landing page, or even open a custom chatroom with an available support agent.
The more you can reduce friction for your customers, the better. Plus, this solution helps improve collaboration among your customer support and sales team members. It’s a win-win.
3. Leverage Product Discovery Software
You know you’re ready to launch your next product. But wading through mountains of customer feedback and analytics is no one’s idea of a good time.
That’s where AI product discovery software changes the game.
With just a few clicks, these AI-powered tools gather customer reviews and survey results. Crunches the numbers. And voila. You know exactly what products or features your customers are itching for.
Even better? It gives you a heads-up on what’s likely to bring in the big bucks. So instead of guessing what’ll work, you get all the answers delivered on a silver platter.
Work smarter, not harder, to keep your customers happy by launching products and features they want and need. You’ll avoid wasting precious time and overhead costs on things they don’t care about.
Can you hear the sales rolling in?
4. Generate Quality Copy for Your Ads
One of the biggest marketing channels for e-commerce stores is advertising, whether via paid ads or organic search.
But as a business owner, you may find yourself bogged down in tasks, from overseeing business operations to conducting market research. So, there might be little time left to devote to writing compelling ads.
Sure, you could hire a copywriter, but you could also use AI to generate awesome copy (and save you a couple of dollars to use elsewhere).
An AI writer can generate quality ad copy in minutes rather than hours or days. It can also crank out copy for landing pages, product descriptions, social media captions, and emails. It can do it all.
Plus, these powerful writing tools can optimize your copy with keywords to improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). The best part? It’s free. What’s not to love?
5. Improve Recommendations for Customers
AI tools can gather information about customers’ preferences, behavior, and purchase history.
With this data, you can provide your customers with personalized product recommendations. As a result, you can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and conversation rates.
Starbucks uses AI to analyze customer data to deliver more personalized suggestions. The coffee franchise launched “Deep Brew” in 2020 to understand customer preferences, so they can offer better:
Personalized order suggestions
These AI and machine learning algorithms also help optimize staffing schedules and can predict inventory needs. That way, they’ll never run out of pumpkin spice lattes in the middle of the fall season.
Amazon and Netflix also use AI for personalized recommendations based on respective purchase behaviors or watching history. Here’s an example email from Netflix:
Screenshot by Kelly Dodge
But to implement these types of features, you need a secure and reliable way to identify and authenticate your customers across different devices and platforms.
One possible solution is to use JSON Web Tokens (JWTs). These compact and self-contained tokens can store user information and claims in a JSON format (encrypted to protect data confidentiality).
Then, you can easily transmit these JWTs via a URL, POST, or HTTP header. The result? A secure and simple way to authenticate your customers, collect their data, and prevent bad actors from getting their hands on this sensitive information.
6. Optimize Pricing
AI can help guide your e-commerce pricing strategy. There are many factors that influence the price of a product or service, such as your competitors’ pieces, manufacturing costs, and market demand. This scenario applies to both physical and digital products.
Due to these revolving factors, choosing the right price for your products can take a lot of time, strategy, and planning. Price it too high, and you risk a lower volume of sales. Price it too low, and you dig into your precious margins.
Thankfully, artificial intelligence can find the sweet spot for you. Advanced algorithms automatically change pricing (known as dynamic pricing) based on current market data.
For instance, when your competitor’s inventory is low, customers are willing to pay a higher price at your store since you can deliver it sooner. That’s the perfect time to leverage dynamic pricing to increase your bottom line. Uber is infamous for using this pricing strategy.
Do you have thousands of product skus in your online business? AI can also make changes to your prices for you, saving you hours of tedious work.
And if you need help with the heavy lifting, Reactev is a dynamic pricing software that helps retailers determine the perfect price to satisfy customers (and maximize profit). You’ll meet your sales objectives. Every. Time.
7. Improve Customer Service With Chatbots
Don’t have the workforce or resources to provide 24/7 customer service? Chatbots can be a great solution.
These AI-powered chatbots are up and running at all hours to support current and potential customers, answer frequently asked questions, and resolve common issues quickly.
Even top e-commerce sites like Sephora and Wayfair use AI chatbots to improve customer experiences. So, it’s only right to implement your own to keep up.
You can program your chatbot to answer common questions. For example, if you run an e-commerce site selling fragrances, you can program your chatbot to answer questions like, “I like [specific scent]. Can you recommend a fragrance?” or “Do you have any perfumes suitable for summer?”.
These questions can help customers when shopping for perfumes in online shops. And the best part of this experience is the swift and accurate responses AI chatbots can provide.
The result? Customers can make more informed purchasing decisions, guiding them down the sales funnel and making them more likely to convert.
Boost E-Commerce Retail Sales With the Power of AI
Brick-and-mortar businesses may have the advantage of in-person customer interactions. But your e-commerce retail business can still deliver the personalized experiences customers crave, just as physical stores do.
With the help of artificial intelligence, you can leverage data-driven insights to get to know your customer base.
So, take online shopping to the next level and boost retail e-commerce sales with advanced AI technology. You won’t regret it. And neither will your bottom line.
Sara Amin is a seasoned marketing and outreach strategist with a passion for fashion and a keen eye for digital marketing trends. As the Marketing and Outreach Manager at StudioSuits, Sara brings a wealth of experience and creativity to the forefront of the brand’s online presence.