While some might think of artificial intelligence as belonging to the realm of programming geniuses and supercomputers, AI is actually being used in many different industries, from large scale enterprises all the way down to small retail websites.
The immediate benefits of AI are often what small business owners dream of. Less time will be spent on tasks, with increased efficacy in workflow and results. Not only does this enable business owners to earn more money (time=money), but also save money by shrinking their human workforce down to the essential tasks better left to humans.
In this article, we’re going to highlight several ways that artificial intelligence can benefit small businesses.
Chatbots in customer service
You could use artificial intelligence for a lot of communication with customers that doesn’t require thoughtful responses. Many retail and service websites have adopted chatbots, as they are cost-effective solutions at providing automated responses to general inquiries your customers may have.
On average, a simply chatbot with around +1000 programmed responses will cost between $500 – $1,000 USD per month, which may sound fairly steep for what it is, but also consider the savings of not hiring additional customer service personnel as your business expands, as well as the time you’ll be able to put back into your business not answering inquiries all day – not to mention your customers being immediately replied to, as chatbots provide 24/7 service.
Keeping tabs on your competitors
AI can be leveraged to gather intelligence on your competitors, whether by scouring their websites for price changes and promotions, or comparing their social media posts and figuring out what sort of posts are driving traffic to their stores.
Armed with this sort of intelligence gathering, and some reputable PPC competitor analysis tools, you’ll have a definite advantage in the field and can better strategize your gameplan, and adapt accordingly to the shifting landscape of advertising and promotions.
AI in small online retail
The online retail industry has been finding incredible uses for artificial intelligence since deep learning became more widely available, and it is a reality for small online retail owners to take advantage of the rapidly growing technology as well – even dropship resellers on retail sites. For example, AI could be used to scour through wholesale supplier listings and find the best sources based on factors like bulk discount and shipping complexity.
Other areas AI can help online retailers is in product categorization. I don’t mean something simple like properly categorizing t-shirts, pants, and watches, but more complex hierarchies like children’s red shirts, using advanced algorithms and image recognition. This allows you to offer your customers a more finely-tuned catalogue.
In fact, one of the areas where AI is proving strong in online retail is offering a more personalized experience tailored to the customer, such as by displaying products on your website the customer might be interested in, based on their interests and shopping habits.