With just a few weeks left of the year, and the festive season now in full swing, online sellers and retailers are becoming more intrigued with artificial tools as a way to help them leverage the digital advantage as consumer demand soars.
Amid ongoing economic uncertainty, including higher-than-anticipated inflation, supply chain constraints, and changing consumer sentiment – online retailers have been seeking innovative technologies to help them cope with macroeconomic challenges
And this comes in good part on their side as well, as retail sales have been increasing for more than two decades, growing 7% in 2020 and 14% in 2021 according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In the same breath, it’s estimated that sales will grow between 6% and 8% this year, accounting for more than $4.9 trillion.
Despite consumer shopping behavior steadily returning to normal after the recent pandemic, a majority of consumers are steadily moving to online shopping as it seeks to be more convenient, and in some instances more affordable.
Recent figures provided by Statista showed that about 57% of U.S. consumers intended to shop online during the holiday period between 2021 and 2022. This is still marginally higher than the 43% that plan to visit stores or on-site shopping centers for their holiday shopping.
Following tumultuous economic activity and a changing consumer market, businesses are now increasing their interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hoping it would help them cope under the pressure of soaring shopper demand over the festive period.
Improving Delivery And Shipment
Over the holiday season, online orders for goods and other services tend to increase significantly, leaving online retailers the hard job of maintaining increased logistical administration.
Though a relatively new innovation in the field of logistics, artificial intelligence is now enabling companies to have an open line of communication with both despatchers and clients at the same time during the shipment process. Additionally, it’s become more feasible for them to engage directly with those involved in the supply chain to monitor inventory tracking and manage an estimated time of delivery for specific goods.
Finally, with AI online retailers can become more transparent through interactive maps and on-demand updates about customer orders and shipments.
Enhancing Customer Experience
Customer experience and interaction are crucial for online retailers, as they have limited interaction with the customer, as they would’ve had with on-site or brick-and-mortar stores.
With AI it’s possible for online retailers to continuously monitor and track customer movement across websites, and analyze which products or services are more favorable than others.
At this point, AI has also become a way to help see whether certain elements or actions on a website are working at a full capacity majority of the time. When a system is not properly functioning, or customers are experiencing an error with a certain action, AI will be able to flag it down immediately and notify the website owner, or the domain operator.
Building More Personalized Content
Digital content has become one of the best ways businesses and online retailers have been effectively communicating with their marketplace. Through targeted ads via social media and email marketing, it’s possible for companies to directly target the customers they want to attract to their online store.
At the same time, with personalized content, businesses are sure that they are targeting the right crowd of clients and using these metrics to further develop a more profound digital marketing strategy.
Personalized content has become a more measurable way for businesses to monitor their retention rate, and how well their content is performing within the marketplace of consumers they want to attract.
Creating More Promotional Initiatives
Consumers are constantly on the prowl for the best prices and promotions, and during the festive season, it’s even more important for online retailers to offer their customers a promotional incentive that helps to increase brand awareness, but also boost company profitability.
Using AI, businesses can establish initiatives that will be directly targeted to the right group of consumers in the marketplace, while at the same time presenting them with promotional initiatives such as special deals, sneak peeks, or early shopper discounts.
Whatever it may be, or the length to which it may stretch, through AI it’s possible to measure the success and return rate of promotional initiatives. Through email marketing, businesses can create a virtual wheel, whereby customers are shopping online, receiving discounts after their first purchase, but would then be permanently included in the email list and promotional content.
The Bottom Line
Artificial intelligence has changed the way we consume and spend our money and during the festive period, when more consumers are shopping online than ever before, small businesses should look into the several unique and profound ways AI has helped other organizations to cope with increased online consumer traffic.