From the smartphones, we carry in our pockets to the cars we drive and from the banks, we store money in the platforms we use on our daily online interactions. Every aspect of our daily lifestyle is managed and optimized by AI.
But the most successful applications of AI and machine learning have been recognized and utilized in the field of e-commerce. E-commerce market currently controls a global retail sales share of 14% and is set to become the largest retail channel by 2021. With its booming market, online entrepreneurs are investing millions in digital marketing to build a robust digital footprint, increase their online exposure and generate more revenue. With AI’s innumerable benefits now in the picture, it becomes imperative for online entrepreneurs to leverage form its powerful applications and maximize efficiency in their online business strategy.
AI is now an essential ingredient in every startup’s marketing mix, capable of decreasing business operation costs, delivering improved customer experience and streamlining your marketing tasks. But how exactly can online entrepreneurs use it in their digital marketing strategy?
Content curation and search optimization
Content has always remained one of the deciding factors in any successful marketing model. Thanks to AI, content can not only be created but also curated according to the targeted customer segment. AI applications have helped online entrepreneurs develop better performing content, allowing them to reach the right audience with more enticing propositions. With AI, online entrepreneurs have increased the accuracy of their marketing campaigns by eliminating all the guess otherwise human resources had to do. Most AI algorithms use data on user habits, buying behaviors and interactional patterns to select areas of interest the target customer before presenting with relevant recommendations. By bringing user-selective content to the customer’s search log, AI helps raise the probability of conversions by several folds.
Netflix, one of the world’s biggest media-services providers, also uses AI to suggest video content to its subscribers. Eighty percent of what is watched on Netflix is due to an AI recommender.
Chatbots and data learning
Chatbots make another key addition to the digital marketing toolbox. With the late intervention of AI, the role of chatbots have become more significant than ever, offering marketers with unmanned customer support services that increase engagement, reduce business costs and improved sales.
Chatbots help online stores in running 24/7 customer service, providing answers to basic inquiries in real-time, generating unique content for emails, tracking customer behaviors and providing product recommendations. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots are now capable of creating human-like replies to complex queries and use natural learning processing to analyze keywords and influence buying decisions in customers.
Starbucks, one of the biggest names in coffee beverages uses an AI chatbot for its Facebook messenger to take complex orders from customers. According to an infographic compiled by FME, chatbots will help save $8 billion worth in Business costs by 2022.
Voice Search and virtual assistants
Voice-empowered shopping has been the most discussed technology trends of the last few years. According to PR Newswire, voice shopping is set to increase 20-times over and reach $40 billion mark by 2022. Currently, an overwhelming majority of online customers use voice search to look up businesses, search products and communicate with brands. Against traditions textual input methods, voice search has gained significant popularity thanks to its integration with powerful AI virtual assistants such as Google, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, etc. According to Gartner, the year 2020 will experience 30% of all web-browsing sessions without a screen.
Its rising trends have also complimented the growing use VPA enabled speakers in homes to perform voice-commands for different types of home appliances. Therefore, optimizing your content with voice search is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in the market and ensuring your online business remains futureproof.
Predictive Analytics and Sales Forecasting
One of the biggest advantages of AI in digital marketing is its ability to predict customer behaviors and forecast sales.
Using predictive analytics, AI combines data mining, statistics, and sales modeling to predict future outcomes for online businesses. Moreover, with the rise of machine learning and big data, possibilities have further diversified for digital marketers who can measure their activities more accurately and focus on specific areas in their digital stratagem. For example, predictive modeling has shown impressive results in customer segmentation, using AI to segment target groups that belong to multiple variables. Similarly, predictive analysis has helped online entrepreneurs in scoring leads with better maturation, nurturing their campaigns from demographics and behavioral data, increase their bottom line with upselling and cross-selling, while allowing detailed research on customer preferences.
Walmart, the American multinational retail giant observed 10% to 15% increment in online sales for $1 billion using AI sales prediction.
User experience and personalization
A good user experience is a defining metric of any successful digital marketing model. Since every online customer seeks a seamless user experience when they interact with an online store, many online entrepreneurs focus on providing tailored UX for their customers to increase conversion potential. However, with a highly diverse online community divided with their own regional preferences, identifying customer types becomes a challenging task for marketers. With AI algorithms, marketers are able to individually personalize their store outlooks for different customer groups, using AI for geolocation and behaviors tracking to offer preferential user experience on their stores. This not only self-optimizes the website but improves the store’s Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and generates a solid brand identity in the market.
A 2017 Evergage survey on personalization in real time showed that 33% of the marketers surveyed used AI to provide personalzied web experiences.
With AI’s precedence widely acknowledged among online entrepreneurs and corporates, AI has also had a fair share of controversy and skepticism in the Tech-world. While AI is far from causing any life-threatening events on our lives at the moment, its benefits in e-commerce are irrefutable and must be implemented to achieve better productivity in online businesses. By adding these five key AI applications in your digital marketing model, you can not only increase the productivity of your online venture but largely influence the choices of your customers in online shopping as well.