When we talk about ecommerce the first name that comes to our mind is Amazon, not only has the company been around for a long time it has been at the top all this long. With Alexa as it flagship AI product this is not all of AI it is invested in. When it comes to AI and ecommerce many other ecommerce companies too are not lagging behind in the race.
More than half (51%) of marketing teams already use AI, and 72% of high-performing teams use AI for product recommendations and predictive lead scoring. The use of AI has improved the efficiency and advancing personalization in the field of marketing and sales, Providing companies with better analytics and business insights all coming together with improved efficiency.
If you're considering investing in artificial intelligence because "it's the next great thing" or because you feel pressure from upper-management to try it, then you will likely have a hard time finding tools you like and discovering invaluable AI applications. Instead, look at your business problems first and then see if there are AI options that can do the job better.
Ask yourself these five questions before you buy a new tool or service, or even start the research process.
1. Are there any outdated technologies you want to replace or upgrade?
If your ecommerce business has grown over the years, then you may need to shed old technologies and upgrade to more advanced options. Email marketing is a key example of this. If you mass blast customers or manually segment them through your current provider, you may be ready to upgrade to an AI segmentation tool. These programs will send automated emails based on user behaviour or place shoppers in different segments based on their purchase history. In this case, the main expenses will be the cost of the new marketing tool and the on boarding time needed for your email marketer to understand the new software.
2. Is there a tool you wish you had for your e-commerce website?
If your existing e-commerce infrastructure meets your needs, but you are in the market for a new tool, consider looking at AI options.
There are dozens of product recommendation tools in the WordPress and Shopify app stores. If you are in the market for one of these apps to upsell or cross-sell customers, consider looking into a tool with AI capabilities. This is a great way to learn how AI works in regard to your brand while investing in a service you had already budgeted for that year anyway.
3. Do you really need an AI tool to do your work effectively?
Before you make a purchase on a SaaS system or new app, ask whether or not you really need AI capabilities to do the work you need. If you really only receive a handful of customer service calls per day, then you might not need a pricey AI chatbot to generate sales and leads. This isn't to say that there aren't plenty of affordable chatbots on the market, but you might not need one for your brand.
4. Are there more affordable AI tools on the market?
We're all guilty of falling in love with a flashy software platform or getting sold on a certain company at a conference, but it's important to stay level-headed and shop around. Treat AI like any other marketing tool or investment and research alternatives or brands that are doing the same thing for less. The shiniest AI tool might not be the best one for your ecommerce business.
5. How will you measure the success of your AI investment?
Setting a target ROI for your AI investment and creating clear benchmarks for when you expect to see improvement is crucial to understanding whether or not you made a wise AI investment.
Consider the email marketing example above. A company that invests in AI personalization would expect to see greater sales as a result of this efforts, as well as higher traffic from better emails and re-engaged customers that they otherwise would have lost. These metrics prove the AI tool is more valuable than the option the company previously used.
Just because artificial intelligence is popular and exciting doesn't mean every app or software platform is going to revolutionize your ecommerce efforts.
There are plenty of ecommerce tools out there that don't use AI, and they might be right for your situation. However, if you do choose to invest in artificial intelligence for your ecommerce business, go in with an open mind and know that you don't have to be the next Bill Gates to implement AI tools for your company.