Ecommerce businesses can take advantage of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to find scalable solutions and improve their performance, leading to a long-term success. The impact of AI technologies on business is projected to increase productivity up to 40% and enable people to make more efficient use of their time. Apart from efficiency, AI is transforming eCommerce in many ways from improving customer service and meeting consumers’ demands, to cost savings and gaining advantage over competitors.
AI and machine learning techniques adopted by sales and marketing departments are driving decision making process, leading a customer to completing the purchase. By next-level personalised content and recommendations, businesses can improve customer satisfaction overall, and with data insights offer pricing that will still bring profit. Analysing customer behavior and using AI in b2b commerce creates loyalty, consumer satisfaction and make your shoppers want to come back for more.
When asked about expectations for marketing technology providers to have native AI capabilities, more than 50% of respondents said it was important or a must-have. Data processing, decision making, voice and visual recognition- all of it is AI. The use of AI in eCommerce websites is not an option anymore, it’s the kind of technology that delivers better results to users quickly and efficiently.
The wondrous capabilities and cost-effective solutions brought by eCommerce AI tools are attractive for many brands, both established businesses and startups. In this post, we’ll go over 5 ways to utilise AI to improve B2B eCommerce.
B2B Ecommerce Better Than Ever
Despite constant challenges, such as growing demand for personalised experiences in B2B eCommerce, inventory management and maintaining customer relationships, businesses can effectively solve problems and fill in the gaps with the development of AI technologies. The part of a good strategy is being ready for the future and the ability to regularly change according to trends and predictions. Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques are becoming the resource that everyone wants to learn about and use to reduce costs, work more efficiently and rapidly adapt to the future.
Ecommerce now creates the potential to reach more customers worldwide with automated marketing and offering the right products at the right time and price. With emerging technologies, building customer’s trust and loyalty, as well as meeting buyers needs is becoming easier and necessary for returning customers and a long-term strategy. Businesses that refuse to acknowledge the future eCommerce trends will soon fail to keep up with the competitive market adapting AI technologies and will likely lose customers in the process. In the next part of the article will cover how you can use AI and machine learning to grow your B2B eCommerce store.
The role of AI in B2B eCommerce
Artificial intelligence is constantly improving the way that eCommerce works in terms of marketing, recommendations & personalisation and enhancing customer journeys that convert. Let’s go over the ways you can utilise AI for your B2B eCommerce business.
1. Product Search
The traditional eCommerce search that is primarily driven by text is now being slowly replaced with voice and image recognition. Such technologies can significantly speed up the buying process. Digital assistants have the ability to check the stock availability of the product and even place an order for a customer. You as a retailer need to optimise your online store, so it is easy for the users to find what they’re looking for. Consider enabling image search, which will allow shoppers to upload the photo of the item they like, and AI will then return with the most relevant products from your store.
2. Customer Service
One of the biggest benefits of artificial intelligence in eCommerce is that AI can function as your fully automated customer service rep. With the rise of AI, chatbots have become a major feature across the internet. By integrating chatbots with your website, you can give users access to the information they need and free up your team’s time to accomplish more important tasks — no messy back and forths, no angry eCommerce retail associates, just simple and easy questions and answers. Plus, you only have to train a chatbot once and they remember the training forever.
3. Marketing Automation
A harmonious couple to date- marketing automation and artificial intelligence. From personalised advertising capabilities, to market research and even content marketing, AI has a huge impact on this industry. To leverage that power for your business, start thinking about where your marketing strategy needs a bit of help. Once you’ve determined where you want AI to fill in the gaps in your marketing strategy, you can start figuring out which intelligent tools you want to use. Just to name a couple: Oribi, The Grid, Unmetric or MarketBrew.
By looking at customer’s previous browsing history with a brand, AI can retarget that user and recommend certain dresses or accessories they’ll find appealing. This is a great example of how AI empowers brands, as recommendations increase engagement while effectively selling the products. Brands like Nike, Missguided and Urban Outfitters provide personalised shopping experience for each customer, based on shopper’s browsing patterns and previous searches. This technique aligns the items that match buyer’s interests right in front of them, which boost sales significantly.
5. Omnichannel Sales
The rise of shopping apps and new payments solutions such as Apple Pay and mobile wallets are making retailers move from desktop-only eCommerce and empower multi-channel sales experimentation. AI helps businesses to keep the consistency across platforms and every aspect of the company. The insights that AI gives us access to help brands create a stronger strategy with fewer gaps for the future, creating seamless experiences, whether your customers are shopping at brick and mortar store, on their mobile device or on desktop.
Brands using AI in B2B Ecommerce
Now you have an idea of the ways that AI and B2B ecommerce work together to achieve the impossible. Let’s have a look at the brands that successfully leverage this technology.
This beauty retailer creates exceptional omni-channel experiences for their customers. During the in-store visits shoppers have the ability to access their Beauty Bag account using the tablets placed in the physical stores. Thanks to AI technology and digital software, customers can virtually try on the products, add them to the wish list and save them for later at that right moment via the app.
One of the oldest British designers has adapted trending technologies to reach out to their audience and provide exceptional customer service online. The bot is set up to answer any questions, help with browsing products and pre-order pieces from the newest collection. Customer receive a luxury treatment and advice as they were in the physical store assisted by a sales representative.
Can you imagine being on a product page, yet still in a search mode? That’s exactly what Nike does. The brand offers alternative but relevant items that appear on the product page, known as up and cross-selling. This is a great opportunity to offer recommendations and alternatives to previously viewed products. In fact, the brand has reported that 35% of its revenue was a result of this strategy.
Advancements in AI are made every day and give ground to voice, textual and visual conversations that empower shopping experiences and customer satisfaction. While voice gives shoppers digital assistants to do the searching for them, text gives us chatbots that help us along the way, and visual presents a great way of finding what customers want at the prices they desire, thereby transforming eCommerce one image at a time. As the AI technologies are becoming widely accessible, remember these 5 ways that can help you grow your B2B eCommerce store:
- Product Search
- Customer service
- Marketing Automation
- Omnichannel Sales