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Commerce is moving in an increasingly AI-centric direction and by 2020, artificial intelligence (AI) bots will power 85 percent of customer service interactions. Considering that is just around the corner, it’s in everyone’s best interest to get started with implementing or improving their use of AI in the customer experience.
The partnership between AI and commerce has so much potential in part because AI is a chameleon — it morphs and adapts depending on consumers’ needs. Most organizations see AI as a cost-savings strategy but unfortunately some are already losing revenue due to poor customer experience. In this case, the opportunity for AI is clear. Improving the customer experience through the use of AI will result in less customer turnover, establishing a cost-saving strategy to increase sales and improve profit margins.
In this white paper, we’ll identify the three key areas e-commerce companies should focus on right now if they want to ensure a successful future using AI in the customer experience: Voice assistants/chatbots, augmented reality (AR) and predictive technology. We’ll share actionable takeaways based on real-world success stories and the common pitfalls to avoid in your own implementation of AI.
Professional vs. public perceptions
The role of AI in commerce was borne of chaos in a rapidly changing world. Once brands gained the ability to sell products directly to consumers (think: buying your jeans directly from Levi’s), third-party vendors began slashing prices to keep up. While scrambling to stay afloat in this new fiscal world, retailers started losing sight of the customer experience and at the same time, losing consumer loyalty.
This may be where businesses have the most to gain from AI. AI has an outstanding ability to process data with far more speed and accuracy than a human being ever could, giving retailers far better insight into things like pricing structures, inventory management, target prospective customers and more. This data is also rich with actionable insight on how to better serve customers, somewhere AI can also play a huge role.
Chatbots are becoming one of the more recognizable uses of AI in commerce and with that, one of the better use cases to show its power to learn behavior and supplement human intervention. e-Commerce interactions generate a never ending stream of data and feedback, the perfect fuel for AI technologies. The more data they have at their disposal, the better they perform.
Because of this, AI has a bright and robust future when it comes to public-facing interactions, but how does it truly fare beyond the computer scientists that bring it to life?
How are you using AI right now?
This doesn’t necessarily mean customer-facing applications. Some of the same AI processes you’re using internally can be applied to any new technology you’re considering. You may already have internal experts ready and willing to take on a new or expanded role.
Which AI applications will most benefit your business?
Not every use is right for every retailer — for example, plenty of customers wouldn’t benefit from AR just yet. Consider surveying your employees and existing customers to see which forms of AI they most frequently use, and which they most enjoy interacting with. You’ve got a whole host of educated consumers at your disposal; why not use them as a resource?
Do you know how you’ll educate your employees and customers on AI? How will you gather feedback from them?
Start your AI journey with a partner who knows the technology inside and out and make training part of your contract. Just like the value proposition created between you and your customers, Elastic Path offers you complete value beyond the sales decision.
True success comes from the blend of artificial and organic intelligence. We’ll help you get employees and customers on board with these new technologies, calm any fears and pivot based on real-time feedback.
And, as the pioneer of headless commerce, our platform is purpose-built to meet the customer where they are, no matter the digital environment. We engage them using AR and live streaming, talk to them through voice technology and listen carefully to them with AI. Let us show you how Elastic Path can help you understand and deliver truly differentiating AI-driven commerce experiences.
Conclusion: Assessing your state of AI-readiness
By now, we hope you’re excited to see the differences AI can make in moving your sales future forward — and that getting started isn’t quite as daunting as it seems. But before you jump in for the first time or make big changes to your existing AI instances, you’ll want to assess your internal AI readiness.