AI + eCommerce: A Mix of Great Benefits With Some Concerns
Using artificial intelligence (AI) has undeniable benefits for any business, but it also has drawbacks. For instance, AI is still expensive to utilize in large operations despite being easier to access. That means you have plenty of pros and cons to weigh before deciding.
Here is a review of the benefits of AI according to ecommerce SEO agency experts, including:
- Three ways to apply AI in an ecommerce business.
- Five important concerns to consider when applying AI.
There is a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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Three Applications of AI in Ecommerce
AI has many uses in ecommerce that highlight the benefits it can bring to your business. One of these is chatbots, which give smart replies to user input, guiding them through a process or giving them information. AI is more than chatbots, though. Here are three uses for ecommerce now:
1. Personalized Product Suggestions
Among the top uses of AI is to quickly gather and process information, much like a human being would, but more efficiently. That makes it a viable choice for creating and providing customized suggestions. Put another way, use AI to give customers what they want based on their input.
You see this feature a lot today in the form of short surveys given to new users when they open an app for the first time. Using this to your advantage, turn people into loyal customers who feel understood and appreciated. You may even tailor this to the types of products that you offer.
2. Chatbots and Mass Data Gathering
The AI chatbot is one application many people are intently using right now. Some people even think that it will replace them in the workforce, but AI chatbots still have limited capabilities.
AI chatbots, while no replacement for experts, can handle repetitive tasks, including helping customers send feedback, file a request, or find answers. That makes them ideal for gathering valuable data from multiple people at once. This data, in return, helps you make sales.
3. Increased Profitability and Security
Data is central to how and why AI becomes increasingly indispensable for businesses. The ability to process and analyze data and present feasible solutions based on the data is powerful. AI assists in identifying trends that show which products are best for the stockpile.
In a similar manner, AI is great for keeping track of products and their movements, which boosts security to some extent. In terms of apps and websites, it aids in detecting breaches, attacks, and other vulnerabilities that endanger or compromise your ecommerce business or its shoppers.
Top Five Issues With AI in Ecommerce
Although AI has many amazing points and cases for usage, it also falls short. Consider these flaws when deciding whether to start investing in AI because of the associated risks. Here are five top issues to consider when using any type of AI:
1. You Need Considerable Startup Capital
AI is more accessible but compared to a large corporation, it is still incredibly expensive for a small business to employ. Although being an early adapter grants many critical advantages to a business, it might also be unwise to gamble.
There might be cheaper services and alternatives available. Since AI is still so new to this level of application, you run the risk of foregoing quality. This becomes an easy way to overburden your business without trying to do so. Think of your capital beforehand.
2. Customer Privacy Is a Core Issue
AI is great for harvesting data from your website without you doing additional work. However, it is not always in the user's best interest to monitor and analyze their behavior in order to promote spending. In other words, ethical issues may arise from using AI.
If you decide to use AI to gather user data, ensure that you make this known to users and obtain their consent. Otherwise, you risk violating data protection and privacy laws that could end up hurting your business more than your users’ data was worth.
3. Accuracy Is Rarely Guaranteed
Another thing to note about AI is that it is only as good as it was made to be. The quality and quantity of the data used to program AI tools determine how “smart” they are. This, in many ways, mirrors how human workers operate in that the quality of their output depends on how much they know.
This adds to the cost of obtaining and operating a high-quality AI tool that provides the desired results for your business. It does not, however, mean that good AI is out of your reach. The cost of good AI should go down as more and better products are increasingly produced.
4. AI Still Needs Human Intervention
AI is not yet capable of operating entirely on its own. For instance, it needs development in order to do its tasks and adjustments to produce consistent results that humans cannot replicate. However, it functions effectively and efficiently once precisely tuned to your business needs.
Until the time when AI becomes fully independent, it is going to need the assistance and support of human workers to help it properly do its job. The benefits of using AI are still numerous, even with this major flaw. However, AI works more effectively and efficiently in most cases.
5. Highly Dependent on Good Data
Data is inseparable from AI because data is what powers most of its critical functions. It cannot, for example, be valuable as a data-gathering tool if the quality of the data it produces does nothing to help your business. It also cannot function well without being manufactured to recognize high-quality data.
This is a key weakness in the current iteration of AI, along with the massive cost required to own and operate it initially. It does not, however, overshadow the fact that the speed with which it functions brings critical and vital competitive benefits to your ecommerce business.
At the moment, AI is a rising star in all industries, especially in ecommerce where it sees many applications—from chatbots to security. It does have flaws, which can hinder rather than help a business at times. Therefore, investigating the pros and cons of AI should be your top priority.
Need help deciding how to apply AI to your ecommerce business? Contact Digital Authority Partners (DAP) to learn how we can help.
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