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How AI and Machine Learning are shaping eCommerce

AI and Machine Learning

Whether you have experienced immersive virtual reality (VR) in a gaming environment, artificial intelligence (AI) robots in an industrial manufacturing application, or machine learning (ML) to improve 24/7 chatbots for customer support, technology is changing the way we live.

Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) for AI and ML markets are projected to be around 40% by 2025 as more industry sectors adopt new technology to improve performance. For ecommerce businesses applications such as AI-driven learning and automation are revolutionizing online sales.

Improving efficiency by streamlining data entry and minimizing manual input is just the beginning. You can also optimize your customers’ experiences with near real time personalization and collect valuable information that will help you to make data-driven decisions. All your customer touchpoints and business processes could benefit from AI and ML.

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

When you visit a physical store you will expect to find knowledgeable sales assistants to help you make your choices. Now AI technology allows you to provide immediate online advice around the clock, reducing the number of customer support specialists you need and minimizing out-of-hours working.

AI chatbots on your B2B ecommerce platform can interpret voice-based enquiries from your online customers through natural language processing (NLP) and provide personalized responses. They can improve all the time by learning from each interaction to respond more effectively to future enquiries.

Personalization

ML can offer autocomplete and search suggestions tailored to each customer’s online behaviour, making it easier for visitors to your site to find the service or product they want.

As we head towards a cookie-less world, AI will be the tool to use for personalized experiences for your customers. Where huge datasets would once have been prohibitive, AI algorithms can now interrogate information quickly and effectively to create actionable insights about what your customers are looking for. This could include making personalized product recommendations on your B2B ecommerce platform based on their interests, searches and shopping history. These AI tools can be used across your ecommerce site, mobile apps and your email marketing campaigns to create consistent and enjoyable purchasing experiences.

While seven out of 10 people won’t read an email if it isn’t personalized effectively tailored campaigns can see a seven-fold increase in revenue, so AI and ML can make a significant contribution to your results.

Inventory Management

Predictive analytics using AI can also improve your inventory management so you can make the best use of your space and minimize the amount of stock you hold. You can prioritize ordering and storage based on reliable data about customer demand and estimates of your future market requirements.

Include ML and your process can become more and more accurate and you will even be able to anticipate sudden changes in demand, carry out preventative maintenance when you’re less busy, and automate packing procedures to improve efficiency.

Audits using AI in your supply chain and warehouses can also help to identify pricing errors and out-of-stock items to improve your margins and customer satisfaction. You can even notify buyers when their chosen products are back in stock or if they are available from other suppliers.

With real-time tracking technology you can also see the location of your goods during delivery, reducing the risk of misplaced orders. Delays and bottlenecks can be quickly identified and analyzed to minimize errors and improve customer satisfaction.

Virtual ‘try before you buy’

When people were unable to visit brick and mortar stores, virtual fitting rooms for everything from jewelry to underwear became an important alternative. Now that it’s a mainstream option brands like Gap have committed to virtual ‘try-on’ rooms, which have become an increasingly important part of their revenue stream.

IKEA’s Place app allows customers to see how furniture will look in their own homes using AR and the camera on their smartphone while AI calculates whether their choices will fit. They can also select a color or material and try different options to help make their decision.

Via your B2B ecommerce portal your customers can also review plant, equipment, or office furniture in a virtual reproduction of their site to help their decision-making process.

Streamlined check-out

Amazon Go stores have tested Just Walk Out technology which combines video monitoring, sensors, beacons, and ML. AI-powered technology recognizes that there is a customer in the store and can automatically add goods to their virtual shopping carts as they take them from the shelves. Their payment will be automatically taken  as they leave the store, with no need for cashiers or queuing.

For your after sales support, you could simplify and streamline replacement of consumable items and parts. Buyers can confirm that products are available at your nearest store via your B2B ecommerce portal and visit at any time of day to collect and pay for their items without the need for around the clock staffing.

Visual search

Customers can upload images and find similar products based on their shape and color using AI-powered visual search systems to find their ideal choices. For replacement products and parts, a simple image can allow you to recommend options to speed up the search process for your buyers and improve purchase decisions.

Mood detection

To improve engagement when buyers visit your B2B ecommerce portal automated customer interactions are improving all the time. Tools like service robots use AI to recognize a customer’s voice and movements. Using speech and image recognition systems, these robots learn how to detect and interpret a smile and angry, sad, or happy voice tones to improve customer service.

Work with forward-looking B2B ecommerce partners

At Cloudfy we believe that AI and ML can help deliver next-generation functionality to achieve and surpass the expectations of your B2B buyers. It’s part of Cloudfy’s  ability to offer predictive B2B ecommerce platforms.

To find out more book a free Cloudfy demonstration.

Heineken

FEATURED CASE STUDY

Heineken needed to quickly deploy a B2B ecommerce solution to allow their wholesale customers to order online 24/7. From their P.V. Union Brewery in Slovenia, the new client ordering portal would serve nearby bars, restaurants, and distributors with their daily, weekly and monthly orders… Full Case Study

"Great work by the Cloudfy team launching our B2B portal in record time."

Tilen K., Ecommerce Manager, Heineken