This isn’t yet another AI ecommerce blog listing the 7 ways AI could change your ecommerce business and the entire world as we know it; be it in the spheres of music, art or even law. Instead, we’re going to consider how to cut through the hype and understand the opportunity that AI presents for your business (or not!).
One thing that seems clear is that AI is here to stay so formulating an informed opinion is important for us all – as the noise around this hot tech topic grows louder every day.
Current external challenges do mean that now is actually a great time to embrace AI across your ecommerce business. In an environment of reducing media budgets, lower conversion rates and increasing customer experience expectations the challenge for all ecommerce professionals is to do more with less.
AI can help with this, reducing the amount of time spent on mundane, everyday tasks as well as delivering new capabilities that help to develop the front-end customer experience and a seamless customer journey. And although generative AI is only recently breaking through as a mainstream topic, many ecommerce businesses of course started down this journey sometime ago by implementing machine learning with the likes of chatbots and personalised recommendations for customers but this is just the start of what’s becoming possible in the ecommerce world.
Now this may all sound great and exciting – but how do you look to start working with and integrating such new, powerful, exciting (and for some, scary) possibilities while still keeping the lights on and focusing on the always challenging day to day trading and management?
At Entropy, we often find a framework can be a useful way to organise your thoughts around how new technology can fit into your business strategy. So you could utilise this approach in considering – and ultimately innovating and integrating – AI and associated tech…
- Create the vision – find the possible use cases for your business, whether that is across your warehousing and operations functions, machine learning powered merchandising and recommendations, natural language processing for search, content creation (copy, inspirational imagery, videos etc) and so on, the list is almost endless. Particularly when you include internal tasks such as HR and management tasks which could be powered by AI. Consider which you would like to implement and how these could change your business for the better to define your end goal.
- Create the strategy – now you have the vision, define which have the most potential impact, whether that is saving time and money or dramatically improving the experience for your customers and prioritise. And ask yourself the tough questions here – are you implementing new tech or initiatives for the right reasons (rather than being impressed by shiny new toys)?
- Set targets – as the old saying goes: ”what gets measured gets done”. Put in place clear targets and timelines for integrating AI into your business. Make this part of your KPIs or team goals – Amazon has done this, all of their managers have an objective to roll out 1 AI use case per year!
- Create the time – allow your team the time to focus on this and embed it. New tech and processes are only as good as the people there to manage and optimise such tools. We’ve seen too many instances of budget for projects going purely on the tech; this is rarely a recipe for success.
- Test on a small basis – start small, get the learnings and optimise.
- Roll out – once you are happy with the tests, look to roll this out and share the learnings.
Of course, there is so much to cover with this subject and we’d be happy to take you through some wider thoughts on the subject – and more – if you wanted to get in touch.
And we’re all living breathing humans, as is the author of this blog, which is categorically not generated by ChatGPT. Or is that what AI would say?! Interesting times continue to lie ahead…