At Cloudfy we’ve been exploring the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) for business to business (B2B) ecommerce for a while.
To be ready for the future of B2B ecommerce businesses must be able to change quickly and frequently. Setting goals, making plans, innovating and measuring are all part of the process. The essential ingredient is an effective way to harness the data captured every day to validate the approach and to discover new opportunities.
Creating a culture that embraces continual change can be a challenge. While technology can improve efficiency, it can also create more work. Constantly checking data can become an impractical burden. Accurately interpreting what it means for your business can become an impossible task.
AI creates an intelligent digital environment were activities that would be too time-consuming to complete manually are automated to deliver results quickly. This intelligence can improve revenue, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.
Transforming B2B ecommerce using AI
Large volumes of data can bring people to a halt, but AI can only improve with more information. It can analyse, test ideas, interpret results and learn from experience, based on outcomes.
Most importantly for B2B ecommerce, the data captured during your online interactions with buyers can be used to identify patterns of inquiries and offer options based on other similar requests to improve customer experience.
Harnessing the power of AI
Strategy – with more accurate and timely information, you can make better business decisions. AI can provide insights into how your products are used by buyers, so you can create a stronger business strategy.
Efficiency – AI can be invaluable to predict future stock and inventory requirements, based on past activity. You can monitor market trends to identify future demand and seasonal patterns. Sales opportunities can be optimised, and overheads reduced when you hold the right amount of stock at the right time.
AI technology can also automate responses to questions such as “where is my order”, freeing your customer service team from routine tracking enquiries. Instead, they can focus on making product suggestions, handling returns, or dealing with complaints effectively.
Intelligent automation – using AI to automate tasks can streamline complex processes such as product classification, helping to reduce costs. Where there isn’t enough information the AI model can simply pass the task over to a human. This can free employee time for more valuable activities.
Buyer journeys – buying behaviour can be quickly combined into richer, more refined personas, helping you to understand your market in depth. Collating information about browsing, searching, clicking and buying allows you to identify potential barriers to sales and new opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell products.
Product search – text-driven searches are being replaced with voice and image recognition, which can speed up the buying process. The AI behind digital assistants and voice technology in most mobile devices supports research and makes it easy to check stock availability. Buyers can even take a photo of an item they are looking for and AI will return with the most relevant products.
Cross-channel – always one of the biggest challenges for top-quality customer service, understanding the similarities and differences in user experience across channels can be much faster and more reliable using AI.
Become more agile using AI
Including AI in your ecommerce strategy will help you to understand your processes more fully and identify ways to improve them.
Quickly gaining insights through automated analysis of large amounts of data allows you to anticipate and address problems, helping you to see the next major opportunity.
For advice on how to integrate AI in your B2B ecommerce in your strategy please get in touch.