Artificial intelligence (AI) was invented to support humans. With time, it has developed into a technology that delivers results. Although expensive initially, AI has now become affordable for small businesses as well.
According to a survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses, 29.5% of CEOs have spoken in favour of AI technology and its various benefits on businesses.
Artificial intelligence has garnered trust with time, and some big names such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk have become its supporters. But apprehension has followed suit.
However, one must also consider that we haven’t reached a point where one can say AI is a threat. AI, currently, is well-regulated, and it is helping us. It has advanced with time, and the good news is that small businesses are getting acquainted with it.
Online retail is no longer limited to only the big players. Small and medium-sized businesses are also selling their products through online portals. Ever since deep learning was introduced in AI, it has become more equipped in delivering better results to the customers considering their respective needs.
The retail sector is benefiting from this. Product categorization is one such example where AI helps in putting different range of products into the respective categories automatically and tag them with the right label.
Retail is a good platform for analytics and machine learning. AI has shown plenty of scope where it can be implemented for better productivity. For example, small businesses are focusing on personalization to provide customers with a much better experience. It has been found that 61% of the shoppers prefer to shop from retailers who are using augmented reality.
Artificial intelligence with augmented reality is making a difference, giving some retailers an edge over others.
Since most of the small businesses are also selling through the online platform, the idea to make use of artificial intelligence to give customers a feel of the product in advance that they are going to use has also gained traction.
Decision-making related to product purchase is happening through online research and by browsing through various applications of online stores. Small businesses are putting their products on the online platforms in the same group as the products from the big companies.
Most of the small businesses are using AI to provide customers with the first-hand experience of the product. Furniture retailers have started using augmented reality with artificial intelligence to give the customers a virtual feel of the specific furniture in the setup of their room.
It is one field all small retailers deal with. With the arrival of AI, it has become more accurate to deliver goods without any human intervention.
The supply chain has always been data-focused, and the algorithm of AI depends on the insights coming from the data. The success of e-commerce depends on flawless logistics as the products and services are delivered to the customers at their doorstep.
For example, warehouse management is one such concern that businesses deal with, but artificial intelligence has given it a new meaning today. It focuses on predicting the points where congestion is likely to happen and strategically avoid that route or channel to keep it smooth.
The role of AI has changed the way customers are dealt with these days, and it has changed the overall customer experience. Chatbots are the new revolution in customer support. They have brought in many such differences that make them the most suitable solution in the customer service environment. AI-powered chatbots can do various things such as:
Handle various manual tasks
Interact with potential customers with essential data
Help a large number of customers 24x7 without needing a human presence
Front-line customer engagement
Help understand actual customer needs to identify complex problems
Proactively start a conversation with customers
Considering all these features, one can say that artificially intelligent chatbots cater to several responsibilities that small businesses can benefit from. In addition to this, the role of AI in the customer service is also unavoidable because it can also analyze the customer data and come up with powerful insights that further help customize the user experience and make the customer satisfaction level better.
AI Is the Future
Artificial intelligence supports humans by helping reduce manual work and enhancing productivity. In that sense, it becomes necessary for small businesses to use artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, a task of product tagging when done by humans takes a lot of time. However, artificially intelligent tools can do it without much effort and in very little time.
Likewise, artificial intelligence is also helpful in marketing. Tools based on artificial intelligence also help in deciding the marketing budget by churning out the whole data and come up with certain insights. For example, artificial intelligence has influenced email marketing, substantially.
Automated emails are triggered by the subscriber’s activity. The algorithm behind these triggers is artificial intelligence that decides what type of email should be sent to give an apt response to the subscribers by analyzing their text.
Another benefit of AI that supports small business by giving them an edge over competitors is it also helps in tracking every activity of the competitors to strategize steps related to marketing.