The Importance of AI in B2B eCommerce
Whether it’s recommending new shows to watch on Netflix or suggesting other products to buy on Amazon, you’ve probably noticed the increased use of AI in our day-to-day lives. For B2B eCommerce, artificial intelligence is make huge strides and is being used in a myriad of ways to improve and enhance business.
In fact, AI is increasingly becoming the answer for B2B eCommerce enterprises looking to make processes like search results, supply chain management and integration more efficient. The importance of AI can’t be ignored for any B2B company hoping to stay competitive and profitable in the current market. Below, we’ll look at a few of the ways AI enhances B2B businesses.
Search Results and Personalized Recommendations
Buyers can thank AI-based software for making product searches faster and easier than ever before with tools like chatbots and image recognition. Instead of having to look through an entire catalogue of products, these advanced technologies allow buyers to find the products they’re looking for with speed and ease. The most common way AI is used to make search results more efficient in B2B ecommerce companies is through chatbots—though other AI-based image recognition apps are paving the way for even more advanced product searches.
AI can also help recommend products to buyers based on their previous purchases or searches. Amazon is one of the best examples of AI-based product recommendation engines: up to 35% of their customers purchase items recommended to them by AI. For B2B companies, this feature is also extremely useful, point out products and services to buyers that they may not have been aware of, and encouraging buyers to purchase multiple items from a particular business. The general increase of personalization in the customer experience is a huge advantage of AI for B2B ecommerce companies as it enhances their overall reputation from the buyer’s perspective, and can increase sales and revenue.
Supply Chain Management
Through accurate predictions and forecasts of sales and demand, AI-powered software can analyze massive amounts of historical data, allowing companies to manage their product supply more efficiently in the process. AI can determine which products will be in demand at certain times of the year or in specific regions, allowing companies to better predict how much of a given product they should be buying beforehand. Automation of supply chain management using AI can also help find potential flaws and gaps within the current system, helping to reduce overhead and making the process of acquiring products from manufacturers more streamlined. This benefits both companies selling the goods and manufacturers supplying the goods—AI can essentially take over the more menial and tedious tasks revolving around supply chain management so more time can be spent negotiating with suppliers.
Real-Time Market Data
In regards to important tasks like price analysis and competitive analysis, the more current the data, the better. Thanks to AI-driven pricing software, B2B companies can collect and analyze market data in real-time, giving them a better perspective of their market and their position within that market. The “freshness” of data collected with AI, along with the sheer amount of data AI can collect, can help businesses identify new patterns in demands and sales that would have previously been impossible. This allows ecommerce businesses to provide the right prices at the right time, even in the most fast-paced and dynamic markets.
Additionally, since AI takes over the collection and analysis of data, the likelihood of human error that typically exists within this process can be avoided, meaning companies are getting important market insights from AI both faster and more accurately than ever before. For B2B enterprises, this is a huge advantage, speeding up the decision making processes and allowing managers to focus on more important, strategic tasks for the company.
Better Internal Integration
It comes as no surprise that AI-based software and other AI tools used in B2B ecommerce prove to be “all-in-one” solutions for a myriad of complex problems. Not only does this upskill workers by allowing them to automate routine tasks and focus on more important needs, but it also means that the information provided by AI to different departments within a company is more consistent. The ability of AI to give real-time information across all channels of a company can help B2B enterprises integrate their business systems better, as the information given by AI software can be used by several departments.
Real-time information on buyer behavior, for example, can help answer questions in departments spanning from customer service teams to category management teams and more. This consistency helps maintain a more personalized shopping experience for customers while also keeping your entire company in-the-know regarding prices, sales, demand, assortment and more.
AI plays an integral role in B2B ecommerce. AI-based algorithms and tools can help businesses in several ways, from personalizing their shopping experience to perfecting their supply chain management. AI’s ability to collect and analyze data at the snap of a finger gives companies better perspective of their markets, and helps them maintain better agreements with suppliers. The up-to-date information provided by AI can enhance several sectors of a B2B ecommerce business, allowing for better consistency and communication across all channels.
There’s no doubt that AI and machine learning-based tools are already playing an important role in how B2B enterprises conduct their business. What will be interesting to see in the future are the ways that companies utilize AI to further enhance their businesses.
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