7 ways AI revolutionises commerce and transforms customer experiences
From enriching product descriptions and enhancing customer experiences to automating inventory management and predictive insights – in this guide, we explore seven ways in which AI can supercharge your commerce setup.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform the landscape of commerce in several fundamental ways, changing not only how businesses operate but also how customers interact with them.
“AI will play a major role in everything from elevating the user experience and enhancing customer service, to forecasting and data management. As giants like Zalando and Amazon set a new bar, elevating customer expectations, businesses of all sizes must rise to the occasion. The point is, you can get there faster with AI,” Ask Ullerup, Chief Technology Officer at IMPACT Commerce.
Here are our perspectives on seven key areas where AI is reshaping commerce.
1. ELEVATED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
AI is changing the game when it comes to user experience.
“IT development reaches a new level with AI, where you can significantly enhance the user experience and customer journey and progress much faster than we’ve been accustomed to,” says Ask.
Besides improved enrichment, such as more detailed product descriptions and information, AI can profoundly alter service and processing in online stores and significantly personalise the customer experience.
As Ask suggests, “AI-powered tools can analyse customer data, social media trends, and competitor insights to generate personalised and impactful content that resonates with specific micro-audiences. Whether it’s suggesting products, offering personalised discounts, or curating content and emails based on individual interests, AI can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
Moreover, AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants are transforming customer service, ensuring prompt responses and round-the-clock support.
This includes handling inquiries about the exact location of the order and when it will arrive, as well as managing requests for order modifications, such as changes in delivery addresses or product quantitates.
2. AI-GENERATED PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
We’ve seen first-hand how product descriptions are a vital way for brands and retailers to showcase their products accurately and consistently– they’re a great tool for communicating why a product is excellent.
But creating product descriptions for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of items in an online store can be a time-consuming task, prone to quality issues.
AI is stepping in to streamline this process.
With the help of AI-powered solutions like ChatGPT, businesses can generate rich product descriptions in multiple languages effortlessly.
“Today, using various prompts, you can ask ChatGPT to create both long and short product descriptions in twenty different languages based on the product data it has received. This enriches all the products on your site, creating a better experience for customers and making product navigation more user-friendly.” Ask notes.
As an example, Danish fashion brand, Kaufmann, is utilising a ChatGPT solution to create product descriptions for all their online products, enabling indexing by Google and improved visibility in online searches.
3. AUTOMATED INVENTORY AND PRODUCT DATA MANAGEMENT
AI can help automate and optimise key aspects of inventory and product data management such as order orchestration, customer service and inventory management.
“AI can analyse a multitude of factors, such as historical order data, traffic conditions and even weather patterns, to determine the most cost-effective and timely route for product delivery from A to B” Ask highlights.
I addition to this, AI can, in conjunction with robotics, optimise inventory management by providing retailers with precise insights into their stock levels.
While AI has made significant strides in various retail operations, Order Management Systems (OMS) are still in the early stages of AI integration. However, as stated by Ask;
“It’s not far-fetched to predict that OMS platforms will become essential sources of valuable data for retailers using AI to optimise their business processes. AI, combined with your OMS platform, has the potential to lower the cost-to-serve, reduce carbon emissions, decrease return rates and optimise supply chain management, to name a few.”
4. EMAIL MARKETING ON STEROIDS
In the age of personalisation, a generic mass email simply doesn’t cut it. Personalised, engaging email campaigns are essential for driving customer engagement and conversions.
“Brands and retailers leveraging AI in email marketing will cultivate stronger customer relationships, achieve higher email campaign ROI and outshine their competitors,” says Ask.
AI helps us understand customers better than we’ve ever understood them before.
By analysing user data, AI can tailor hyper personalised content for individual recipients, while also automating tasks like segmentation, translation and automation.
In short: AI empowers marketers to send highly targeted and personalised messages efficiently, elevating engagement, reducing costs and boosting revenue.
Take, for example, Søstrene Grene. With an AI-powered setup, the brand sends out approximately 80.000.000 emails a year, with almost every email personalised. Learn more here.
5. ACCURATE, INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL TRY-ON EXPERIENCES
One of the most exciting and visionary developments in AI-powered mobile commerce is next-generation virtual try-on technology.
“With the combined power of AI and AR integration in retail and commerce mobile apps, they are ready to deliver interactive, engaging shopping experiences that were once unimaginable. AI powers the underlying algorithms and data analysis, while AR brings virtual elements into the real world, creating a seamless fusion of technology and the shopping environment,” says Ask.
The magic happens through AI’s ability to understand and interpret consumers’ movements more precisely. Using computer vision techniques, AI algorithms can analyse the consumer’s input, such as images or live camera feeds, to more accurately identify and understand their body and facial features.
This allows virtual objects, such as clothing items or makeup, to be precisely mapped and aligned with the user’s specific body shape or facial structure.
Bonus for retailers: this development could help drive down the number of costly returns they need to process from shoppers who find their item didn’t match their expectations.
Want to learn more about how to bring down the number of returns? Learn more here.
6. CREATING VISUALS IN A SPLIT SECOND
AI, as suggested by Ask, has the potential to revolutionise the way visual content is created for campaigns and branding.
He notes, “We will see people no longer conducting photoshoots for advertising campaigns but, instead, writing prompts that autogenerate the visual universe they desire. The quality is already exceptional, and it’s poised to become even more advanced.”
Tools like Midjourney and Dall-E 3 are among the primary ones used for creating visual content.
Ask further highlights the benefits, emphasising, “If a customer wants to position themselves in front of a French vineyard with a group of people celebrating, it would cost a fortune to arrange with a traditional photoshoot. However, you can now create it artificially at a fraction of the cost. While there are ethical considerations related to copyright, the possibilities are immense.”
Interested in learning more about how AI can be used in design? Read our recent article on the topic here.
7. a new era of DATA INSIGHTS
AI provides data-driven tools to predict customer behavior, enhancing customer care and loyalty. According to Ask, the classic discipline of business insights enters a new era, where AI can help establish causality and forecasting based on the user data collected and processed.
“Machine learning and AI enable more accurate predictions of when a customer is likely to churn, what is causing them to drop off, and how to retain them with a compelling campaign or similar strategy,” says Ask.
By identifying hidden patterns and correlations in customer data, AI empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, optimise marketing strategies, and enhance customer retention efforts.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of commerce, AI stands as a powerful tool paving the way for more efficient, personalised, and data-driven transactions.
As businesses increasingly embrace AI technologies, it continues to redefine the way companies operate and interact with their customers – and how these customers engage with products and services.
The seven aspects of AI in commerce listed in this article are just a glimpse into AI’s capabilities in commerce. As Ask puts it;
“AI is one of the fastest-evolving areas in commerce. I urge all businesses, whether working B2C or B2B, to keep an eye on the development. Businesses that manage to harness the potential of AI-driven tools will not just stay relevant; they’ll actively participate in redefining the future of commerce itself,”
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