The customer experience is becoming more important than ever to online businesses. Customers are already willing to pay more for a better experience, and 71% of businesses agree that a strong and positive CX is the best competitive advantage a brand can have.
When you are selling online, improving the CX is a task that never sleeps. Every part of the buyer’s journey must be perfectly in sync from start to finish. While the excellence of your product, design of your website, and overall branding message certainly play a role in this, AI technology has the potential to transform the CX through smart automation.
So, how can your small business embrace the power of AI?
Here are four easy starting points.
Knowing your audience is an essential starting point for any online business. And yet, gathering, translating, and applying data still remains a top struggle for many marketers. According to a report, most teams still are unsure of how customer data should be used or what it even means.
AI can easily solve this problem by gathering trustworthy datasets and transforming it into clear data reports for actionable strategies. For instance, it can break down your audience demographics with algorithms and behavioral patterns to guide your marketing tactics. The AI-powered platform from Crimson Hexagon uses a combination of social media data, public online information, and internal datasets that your business already has to create a comprehensive audience analysis. This information can significantly help your team understand who your customers are and what they want.
By using machine learning technology, every piece of consumer behavior data is analysed and translated into measurable data points. For this reason, 31% of marketers agree that the number one benefit they have received from AI tech is having a better understanding of who their customers are.
The biggest trend in marketing today, according to the top leaders, is without a doubt consumer personalisation. Again, your website’s ability to create personalised experiences for your audience is a huge competitive advantage that could lead to more revenue. According to many studies, customised perks and personalisation influence 91% of consumers to purchase from a brand.
Take JustFab’s personalisation strategy as a perfect example. The online fashion retailer invites customers to take a style quiz to determine the types of clothing they would be most interested in buying. Then, the website uses AI technology to create a personalised shopping experience by showing items that fit their preferences. Furthermore, VIP members can receive monthly curated deliveries, along with customised style tips and discounts. As a result, the brand has seen a 50% boost in online conversions and a 39% spike in revenue based on personalised shopping recommendations.
There are plenty of ecommerce apps and widgets that can be built into your website to get your personalisation strategy up and running. For instance, Monetate runs A/B tests to create rich databases for future personalisation strategies that can be automatically integrated around your customer segmentation. OptinMonster is another great tool that automatically adjusts your marketing messages, like popups, shopping suggestions, and onsite retargeting for higher conversion rates.
In the past, many marketing teams have struggled to find a way to offer this in real-time when a customer visits the webpage. However, AI automation makes this not only possible, but also profitable.
Keeping up with the customer service demands that come from running an online store can be nearly impossible for growing businesses. After all, customers are becoming more and more impatient when issues arise, as the majority expect assistance within just five minutes. Furthermore, they would much rather have the option to solve their issue through online help or self-service than reaching out to a customer service rep.
AI-assisted chatbots provide a solution to both of these preferences with instant, automated assistance. According to a study on chatbot use, the majority of consumers appreciate chatbots’ ability to quickly resolve common issues with detailed answers.
These chatbots are excellent for online retailers and can even be used along with your personalisation strategy to offer customised upsells and cross-sells. For example, Sephora’s AI Facebook salesbot uses each customer’s data to see which products they have viewed in the past and what product they’re searching for to provide item recommendations and style tips. Through just this chatbot alone, Sephora averages a $50 spending order and reported 11% boost in consultation appointments.
The process of creating a chatbot for your website is (thankfully) not as complicated as you may expect. Tools like Morph.ai will help you build a chatbot specifically for your business while constantly tracking results to identify any kinks and make the appropriate adjustments.
Capturing the attention of your customers is all about catching them at the right place and time. Since the average conversion rate for ecommerce sites sits at around 2%, your brand will need to go after the majority of previously engaged consumers multiple times before they buy. However, re-targeting your audience has always been a little bit of a shot in the dark when posting ads or sending emails and hoping that your customer comes back.
AI-assisted re-targeting uses programmatic algorithms to determine the best possible strategies for reaching your customers most likely to convert. This is often based on their behavior. For example, if they searched for a specific product but didn’t check out, a special offer for that item may urge them to purchase it. Amazon uses this all the time. For example, the retargeting AI tool Magnetic uses machine learning to monitor your audience, identify the ones most likely to convert, and automatically re-targets them with highly relevant ads.
An effective re-target ad can increase the likelihood of a conversion by 70%, so using a deep learning AI tool to automatically reach your customers through relevant advertising is a profitable idea for small businesses. Again, personalisation plays a huge role here. 71% of shoppers are more likely to respond if an ad is “personalised” (i.e. highly targeted) to them. By using AI technology, your brand can ensure that each re-targeted message is highly converting because it provides the consumer with the exact thing they are looking for to spur them towards action.
With 70% of business organisations expecting to adopt AI within the year, it would be foolish for even the smallest of online brands to think that AI is only meant for large corporations with massive budgets. AI technology is available for companies of all shapes and sizes, and its ability to automate many important processes ensures a consistent, positive experience every time.
Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?
Find out more about the Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) international event series, arriving in Amsterdam from September 19-20 and New York from November 7-8.