Amazon sales revenue has recently soared up to $136 billion in the US alone.
The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed that,while total ecommerce sales increased by 15.6% in 2016, the majority of growth went to Amazon.
At this rate of expansion, how can you, as an ecommerce executive, reasonably compete with Amazon?
Here’s a hint: Artificial intelligence (AI).
No, we’re not condoning buying a BB-8 droid, but we are suggesting you learn everything you can about how AI can personalize digital shopping experiences.
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The Power of Digital Personalization
When competing with top digital retailers like Amazon, innovation, differentiation, and providing personalized experiences are key factors to knowing and understanding how the less tangible data points, like quality customer service and overall brand messaging, can work in their favor. Only a truly personalized, consumer-centric business model will succeed in making a dent in the competition against online retail giants.
Consider this: eCommerce has leveled the selling field. Choice is unlimited, location is irrelevant, and even price no longer creates a competitive edge.
The emotional, personalized piece of the puzzle is what appeals to consumers and what ultimately drives revenue. Your audience expects—and will reward—timely, effective communication, and an experience that makes them feel as if you genuinely know them, understand their preferences and needs, and are attentive to their taste.
This is the trend. Millennials, for example, are a generation of shoppers who make up one-quarter of the US population, soon to outnumber baby boomers. They are estimated to spend over $200 billion in 2017, alone. Millennials prefer to have a personal and emotional connection with the business’ in which they choose to invest their time and money.
The challenge for ecommerce executives in delivering effective levels of personalization is doing so without a way to collect and analyze tremendous volumes of customer data. This is where AI steps in to provide the solutions needed to collect and analyze data and thereby help you get ahead of the Amazons of the world.
Examples of Personalized AI-Powered Solutions
AI has the power to collect omni-channel audience data. This includes consumer data collected from a variety of channels such as social media, chatbots, customer service interactions, site-pathing, mobile messaging, and really any digital channel that consumers touch. AI can capture data from all of these avenues, collate it, analyze it, and present it in a way that makes good business sense. Personalized AI-powered solutions dictate next steps that are immediately apparent and actionable.
This data may be used to personalize a business’ message to each unique consumer. It removes the guesswork from sales and marketing strategies and reveals streamlined, action-oriented plans for success. AI also provides information that helps business owners or sales and marketing teams know what price point delivered at what time will increase the likelihood of a given consumer to purchase.
Personali, for example, empowers online retailers to tap into the power of AI in order to analyze consumer data and provide personalized incentives to each shopper. Using the principles of behavioral economics, messaging is specifically tied to the individual. This is useful to both the seller and the buyer. It’s efficient. It’s streamlined. It saves time and, more precisely, delivers what the consumer needs.
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Another example can be see with ecommerce retailer Adore Me, who recently leveraged Optimove’s AI capabilities to create meaningful connections with their customers. “Built for smart marketing teams,” Optimove uses machine learning and AI algorithms to scientifically segment customers according to their past and predictive data.
This makes audience messaging and targeting far easier from the company’s perspective. Time and money are saved by adopting more precise strategies that more immediately deliver results. What’s more, consumers are happier because they get more direct messaging that delivers faster solutions.
What the Future Holds
It is possible to compete with Amazon and other major retail giants.
The AI and machine learning technology exists. It is simply a matter of having the ability to collect and measure the audience data in an impactful, revenue-driven way that resonates with consumers on a personal level.
Perhaps more easily said than done, the important thing is that there exists a real solution. It’s up to ecommerce retailers to adopt these personalized methods if they aim to compete with the big stores of the digital world.
By harnessing the power of AI, smaller ecommerce sellers can differentiate themselves and deliver a far more personalized message. Companies can remain competitive by providing consumer-centric service, pricing, and solutions.
The time is now. AI is becoming more widely accessible and affordable and it can truly propel ecommerce brands forward.
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