2017’s Biggest Changes to Ecommerce came from Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI and E-commerceArtificial intelligence has made its way into all of our lives, whether we recognize it or not. It powers our search engines with Google, oversees the controls on self-driving cars with Tesla, acts as voice assistant with Apple, and makes shopping recommendations with Amazon. 

Beyond these more obvious examples, AI has also been used in increasing amounts in ecommerce through giants such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and eBay. Now, small business ecommerce can take advantage of the same AI technologies that bigger players do. More than ever before, AI is helping to heighten sales and grow numerous components of ecommerce. In 2017, the argument can be made that the biggest trends in ecommerce all point back to artificial intelligence (AI) which is truly changing the game.

Re-Pricing Merchandise according to the Market

Pricing in ecommerce is as competitive as ever. For smaller ecommerce sites, re-pricing is time consuming especially as SKUs grow. Through corporate ecommerce giants like Amazon, artificial intelligence is being used to re-price as needed, according to complex algorithms that focus in on market dynamics.

Identifying Inventory Needs

Inventory availability is another challenge that smaller ecommerce businesses face. Being out of stock when you have a customer online ready to buy is not fun and it can sometimes take days to weeks to replenish certain products. Due to the nature of demand and competition, forecasting inventory needs weeks and months in advance is challenging and also, time-consuming.

Today’s ecommerce landscape is seeing AI deliver the most accurate demand forecasting and predictive analysis than any other tool. AIs can determine velocity of orders and the factors that impact inventory changeover. In addition, AIs are built as learning systems meaning that their accuracy improves over time, helping to provide an ecommerce manager with key inventory data they can’t find anywhere else.

Managing a Wide Variety of Products

Planning what products to add, which products that should be re-ordered, and which products to remove is a key challenge to ecommerce retailers. As a merchant, you need to extensively monitor market trends and demand among other things to attempt to accurately gauge assortment management.

For giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart, they use a combination of artificial intelligence and algorithm technology to accomplish assortment management. As your ecommerce business grows, adopting AI in this context will save immeasurable time in gauging performance and helping to forecast to the products you may need down the line.

AI in Ecommerce set to Continue to Grow in 2018

As AI is increasingly adopted by smaller ecommerce sites, these trends are bound to continue changing the industry. The impressive forecasting abilities of artificial intelligence make it highly recommended for anyone in the ecommerce space.

Logistics expertise used to be the top deciding factor of a retail business’ competency. Today, it’s more about the algorithms which analyze the data, market trends, and that are able to make key changes in real-time to help grow ecommerce sales. Before, this was not possible. Now it is. Further advancements in AI are predicted for 2018 and at the end of next year, it will be interesting to see how artificial intelligence has continued to impact this space.

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