Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the semiconductor equivalent of software — pervasive, intangible, and capable of transforming the fiber of society and business. It is integrated into a growing number of applications and systems today in a manner that is both seamless and transformational.
From Amazon’s Alexa to self-driving vehicles, the development of AI has been revolutionary to the point that it seems to mimic human features, intelligence, and behavior. Although experts and scientists have warned against the dangers and hazards associated with highly mature AI machines, the market is expected to expand rapidly. According to Forbes, AI is a strategic priority of 83% of businesses today and is expected to drive global sales from nearly $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion by 2020.
AI’s applications are extremely wide-ranging and involve identifying data patterns to alleviate business risks, improving customer service with the help of virtual assistants, and even evaluating millions of data points across documents through a company’s servers to identify compliance breaches. However, it is only recently that businesses have been able to predict and envisage the potential opportunities that AI will bring to the business world.
Far too often, AI and its use in business go unnoticed — especially by customers. For example, precious few are aware that Airbnb uses a machine learning (ML) too called Aerosolve to provide its dynamic pricing feature. The favorite translation tool of people, the Google Translate API, also makes use of ML to provide precise translations by analyzing how terms relate and compare to each other.
The Role Of AI In Marketing & Sales
AI has a burgeoning presence in marketing that shows no sign of stopping. Not only does AI help establish marketing campaigns, but it is also instrumental in implementing them. AI also filters customers by preference or demographic, promotes advertising based on search history, drives predictive analytics, and is a vital tool to give consumers whatever they want and exactly when they want it.
Yet another way AI is used in businesses is through chatbots. Especially during the pandemic, these have lent immense value to businesses in service quality by delivering scale and speed. In the current scenario, businesses have increasingly relied on chatbots to help employees, customers, clients, partners, vendors, and other stakeholders likewise.
These bots help solve many problems, recommend goods or services, and promote sales. AI also helps marketers by evaluating the behavioral data of the customer in a manner that is more precise and faster than humans. These experiences help businesses change their marketing plans to make them more successful or better prepare for the future.
Although there certainly is a side to marketing that is distinctly human, AI can arm sales reps with data that can positively influence their sales function. AI can also enhance sales forecasting, anticipate consumer requirements, and promote information exchange. What’s more, smart machines also help salespeople monitor their time and determine who they should follow up with and when, as well as which consumers can be won over.
A host of online retailers are keen to pursue new AI-led solutions that can help eliminate prices and overhead costs. As such, ecommerce companies are utilizing technology to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of their customers, generate more leads, and enhance the customer experience. For example, AI uses cookie data and provides highly personalized recommendations to customers. Through the help of natural language processing (NLP) features, video, image, and voice recognition, such AI systems are able to recognize what consumers actually want, thus furthering its use cases in ecommerce.
Numerous businesses are focusing on harvesting valuable knowledge from online customer activity so as to forecast which product will better serve them and help them make the most amount of profit. Interestingly enough, more personalized messages invoke customer loyalty as consumers see it as an acknowledgment of their unique needs.
Automation & AI
Software solution providers around the globe are increasingly utilizing Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Business Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics to provide better solutions to their clients. In fact, a PwC study reports that the global economy will see a possible contribution of the order of $15.7 trillion from AI by 2030.
Advancements in technology such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are pushing businesses to reconsider how they operate. Often referred to as intelligent automation, RPA is the application of AI technology that enables employees in an organization to configure software such as a ‘robot’ to reason, gather and derive information, understand patterns, and observe and conform to new situations. For example, repetitive business processes, especially those that do not rely on human judgment, can be replaced by more efficient applications.
In addition, AI-powered automation systems can collect and analyze large quantities of raw data to generate hypotheses that enhance decision-making, leading to better business results. From a business standpoint, AI-powered automation acts as a gateway to advanced cognitive skills and AI, thus making businesses ready for the future.
Personalizing Customer Service
In addition to user engagement, AI can also enhance the personalization of services. So much so that 71% of B2B marketers are interested in using AI for customization. With extraordinary advancements in machine learning and algorithms, AI-powered solutions like chatbots or conversational agents can learn how to understand, respond, indulge, or process a number of tasks simultaneously.
The greatest thing regarding AI is that you can recognize the variables you want to target, such as internet purchases, age, gender, and web searches. You can then capitalize on this benefit without compromising the privacy of the user. It’s really about using facts to make informed decisions and develop processes on the basis of outcomes.
AI-powered recommendation engines offer customers suggestions that are tailored to their tastes. This is a great advantage as 45% of people shopping on the internet are more willing to buy from a website that provides personalized recommendations. The retail giant, Amazon, is the perfect example of personalization efforts done right and is the high benchmark of it in the industry. Through purchase history and the background of the products viewed, Amazon suggests complementary items that its users may like and targets them through highly segmented emails. Amazon estimates that their recommendation engine contributes to 35% of all their sales.
Examples Of AI In Business
As the second-largest retailer in the world, Walmart is already on the brink of finding cutting edge ways to improve its retail experience and deliver better service to its customers. They use machine learning, cloud computing, IoT, and AI to achieve a smooth integration of the online and in-store customer experience with its 11,000 brick-and-mortar shops, something that their competitor, Amazon, is unable to do. Developments used include the application’s Scan-and-Go feature, Pickup Towers, and exploring the facial recognition technology to determine if clients are pleased or not.
2. American Express
American Express handles $1 trillion in transactions and has over 110 million AmEx cards in use. They depend heavily on data processing and artificial intelligence algorithms to identify possible frauds in near real-time, saving millions of losses. In addition, AmEx leverages its data streams to create applications that also can connect the cardholder to services or products and special offers. They also provide online merchants with an overview of market patterns and industry peer benchmarking.
The world is clearly moving towards automated processes. AI will be the main driver behind the abolishment of the factor of human error from business processes, and customization technologies will be effective enough to forecast consumer needs with remarkable precision.
As AI systems assume a more vital role in the business world, every contemporary organization will need an AI strategy. When configured with the customer in mind, AI technologies will go from strength to strength and deliver solutions that enhance customer experience, engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction.