10 reasons why AI for ecommerce is the must-have tool of 2024

By Ian Nadeau on August 7, 2023

What if you could implement a marketing tool capable of delivering the right product, message, and incentive — all at the right time? This is the potential that AI has for ecommerce. More than generating words, AI can help online retailers generate conversions using a wide range of automated capabilities that cut the time and resources needed to grow. 

AI can also provide brands with new functionality to improve their customer experience by removing friction and pain points. Combined with in-session marketing, AI even has the ability to understand and convert anonymous shoppers.  

If AI sounds like a must-have tool, that’s because it is! However, a survey of 100 senior ecommerce professionals found that 89% of them think that their organization lacks the internal skills to realize the full benefits of artificial intelligence. 

These organizations are dealing with bottlenecks that take time and focus away from optimizing AI for ecommerce. Things like data integration, content creation, and A/B testing take a large chunk of resource bandwidth. If only AI could automate these processes. Guess what, it can. 

Freeing up your resources by automating time-consuming tasks opens up the opportunity to truly experience the benefits of AI for ecommerce. 

In-session marketing

In-session marketing uses artificial intelligence to understand shopper micro-behaviors and segment them in milliseconds. This enables in-the-moment experiences that are relevant to every session, both anonymous and known.  

In-session marketing only uses clickstream data to fuel its AI decisioning, so no historical, demographic, PII, or CRM data is needed for it to be effective — helping ecommerce brands create custom journeys that are regulatory compliant. 

Personalized recommendations

Every site engagement (such as browsing history, items viewed, or past purchases) can uncover the intent behind that visit. As AI monitors what the visitor is doing, it can output recommendations specific to them. This can help with product velocity as well as increase average order value through up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. 

Automated chatbots

Friction and frustration are the main reasons why a session ends without a conversion. AI-powered chatbots can provide immediate assistance by answering questions, giving product information, and pointing visitors in the right direction. Automating some of the less intensive customer service needs frees human resources to focus on higher-value customers. 

Verizon did just this and boosted their assisted chat orders by 161%

Targeted email marketing

It’s estimated that 70% of all carts go uncompleted. An abandoned cart can trigger AI to send a reminder to purchase, provide product social proof, send a discount, and more. The biggest advantage of using AI for email marketing is the level of experimentation it can do at scale — synthesizing real-time analytics to test and adjust the messaging for every shopper. 

Dynamic pricing strategies

Price sensitivity is top of mind in our current economic environment. AI takes market trends, competitor prices, and shopper behavior to create dynamic pricing strategies. This allows brands to stay competitive with real-time offers that incentivize conversion during that session.

A leading furniture retailer used dynamic pricing strategies to increase their conversion rate by 30%.

Search and discovery

Improving search and discovery removes friction from the customer finding their next purchase. AI has the ability to enhance search functionality by using the same language library that powers generative AI to output relevant search suggestions and results. Further, AI has visual search features that help customers find products using imagery.

Omnichannel ad targeting

Privacy-first features like Apple’s App Tracking Transparency give shoppers the ability to be anonymous across devices by disabling information sharing. In a CommerceNext webinar, Courtney Herb, Director of Brand Marketing at AdRoll, says that advertisers should explore retargeting strategies that don’t require third-party cookies as they are quickly being sunsetted by every digital channel — meaning less data to track and target shoppers. 

AI can track omnichannel activity by analyzing micro-behaviors and connecting the visit to the visitor. This cross-channel bridge enables ecommerce businesses to provide tailored experiences and ads even as the shopper switches from one device to another. 

Inventory management

Inventory is a major concern for all ecommerce businesses as shopping behaviors shifted from record spending to saving. AI can predict customer demand patterns and enhance inventory management by highlighting when products are most likely to be purchased. This helps reduce the risk of stockouts and overstock

Supply chain optimization

Glassbox’s Global Director of Business Insights, Greg Dowling, says that manually analyzing real-time data is an overwhelming endeavor — which is why AI and machine learning are critical to efficiently process and derive actionable insights from data. 

AI makes it possible to optimize the entire supply chain with real-time data. This allows brands to track shipments, avoid delays, and be proactive in disruption management. Streamlining supply chain processes can also reduce costs and improve the customer experience with faster order fulfillment.  

Customer sentiment analysis

AI can synthesize shopper feedback across all digital channels, allowing brands to track customer sentiment. Doing this helps retailers understand their customer’s preferences and pain points — a level of insight that can be used to improve marketing, sales, and product development. 

AI’s potential to deliver the right product, message, and incentive — all at the right time — is vital to standing out from the competition. Much of this can be automated, helping brands maintain growth in a time when resources are shrinking. Because of this, AI for ecommerce is the must-have tool of 2024. 

Ready to implement AI into your ecommerce business? Schedule a demo with one of our Session AI experts. 

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