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Artificial intelligence – a turning point in ecommerce

Artificial intelligence – a turning point in ecommerce

In the expansive and dynamic landscapes of ecommerce, artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked a revolution that will bring profound changes for both businesses and consumers. Few technologies have made themselves known so massively and almost dramatically as AI is doing right now. Here, AI is not just a way to increase efficiency, but a strategic tool with the potential to completely redefine the entire customer experience. That’s why at teamblau, we have chosen this topic as a central strategic area and aim to accompany our customers into the AI world as quickly and effectively as possible, with each individual online store.

Table of contents:

The reality of AI in today’s ecommerce

The use of AI in ecommerce today extends from personalizing the shopping experience and optimizing logistics to redesigning customer interaction through intelligent chatbots or similar tools. These technologies have fundamentally changed the way companies market and sell their products. Customers now enjoy (and will continue to do so even more in the future) a shopping experience that is not only personalized but also exhibits an efficiency that would have been unthinkable in the pre-AI era.

Among the most remarkable applications is AI's ability to analyze massive amounts of data and make precise predictions. This leads to more accurate customer needs assessment. Chatbots, available around the clock, offer immediate support and make shopping simpler and more enjoyable. They are capable of handling complex customer queries, which leads to higher customer satisfaction.

At the same time, efficiency and cost-saving potential in the back office of online retailers are increasing. Faster and easier generation and management of content through semi-automated AI support, improved inventory management and logistics, shorter and overall reduced delivery paths – all contribute significantly to optimized business management while simultaneously being environmentally sustainable.

Future trends and ongoing evolution

Looking to the future reveals even more exciting prospects. The development of natural language processing will enable customers to interact with systems that possess nearly human conversational abilities. Similarly, dynamic pricing, based on a variety of factors such as market conditions, customer behavior, and even weather conditions, will continue to gain importance.

AI will also elevate personalized advertising to a new level of targeting precision. What is already a reality today will be refined further in the future: promotional offers based not only on previous purchases but also on browsing behavior, social media, consumed news articles, and much more. AI will increasingly ensure that the perceived pressure of advertising decreases while the perceived value increases – I receive the right offer at the right time and perceive this as good and attentive service.

AI will be available like a personal assistant at all times, thereby simplifying our lives and making it more pleasant. Moving from a salesperson to a caretaker.

Win-win: benefits for sellers and buyers

For merchants, AI offers enormous benefits, including efficiency gains achieved through the automation of routine tasks. This leads to cost reductions and, most importantly, a lower error rate. The ability to perform precise market analyses allows sellers to quickly respond to market changes and adjust their strategies accordingly. This includes optimizing product assortment and expanding the product portfolio early.

The significant improvement and nearly 24/7 availability of customer service increase customer satisfaction and thus customer loyalty. A prerequisite here is, of course, that the AI acts authentically and realistically – the customer must feel that they are being looked after quickly, directly, and above all, personally.

Customers benefit just as much from the advancements in AI. The personalized customer approach mentioned above, based on individual preferences and purchase history, ensures a tailored shopping experience. Visual search that allows products to be found based on images, intelligent recommendation systems that enhance the shopping experience, anticipatory needs-based product suggestions, and ongoing updates of product features are just a few examples.

Through the use of artificial intelligence, customers will have a perceived 24-hour availability in terms of time and resources in the future. Operating hours will thus become a thing of the past. The entire process, from assisting with the right product selection to delivery on the desired date, will be AI-supported and implemented in real-time.

How can businesses concretely implement AI in online retail?

The implementation of AI in ecommerce begins with defining clear goals. This is followed by building a solid data foundation, selecting the appropriate AI technology, and carefully planning its integration into existing systems. Continuous monitoring and adjustment of AI systems are crucial to ensure that they function effectively and achieve the set goals. This will be a significant challenge for online providers in the future, as the AI world is in rapid development and almost daily new tools and thus new possibilities become available.

Shopware AI Copilot features

Shopware 6, for example, offers various AI features to make ecommerce more efficient and user-friendly. A central feature is the AI Copilot, which assists users with various aspects in the administration of the shop software. This enables content generation and editing, thus saving time in content creation. An image keyword assistant analyzes uploaded images and assigns relevant keywords to them, which both facilitates searching and improves SEO. Product descriptions can be quickly and easily created by users of Shopware by entering relevant keywords and having AI generate appropriate texts. Customers can be classified based on their ordering behavior and labeled for marketing purposes. Retailers can also have a summary of product reviews generated, which is then displayed on the product page to give potential buyers a quick overview. A special AI feature allows for the generation of personalized thank-you messages after a purchase, thereby increasing customer loyalty. An improved search function enables products to be found based on the context of a query or by uploading images. With the latest 'Text to Image' feature, users can quickly craft emotional backgrounds for product presentations, streamlining the creation of captivating product images and environments.

These are just a few of the AI Copilot capabilities of Shopware, designed to simplify online shopping today by automating routine tasks and enhancing the shopping experience through personalized interactions and efficient data management. And more functions are being integrated regularly into the software at Shopware.

A practical example from online retail: automatic image recognition in the fashion sector

teamblau has developed a high-quality and individually tailored Shopware 6 shop for the renowned fashion house Oberrauch Zitt in Bolzano (South Tyrol). A particular custom-made feature enables the automated reading of color values from uploaded fashion items and assigns these properties to the respective products. Thus, thousands of product images are color-analyzed with the help of AI at every collection change, and the extracted colors are automatically set as color filters in the product search. A process that regularly saves several days of laborious manual work.

A simple yet effective example of how complex and labor-intensive routine tasks can be automated. AI has already become a daily technology at teamblau: Customer projects are scrutinized for AI-optimizable areas and functions. This saves companies money in the long run, increasingly educates online retailers about this technology, and simultaneously offers an ever-growing potential for every online shop, whether it’s B2C or B2B.

Conclusion: AI as a transformative force in ecommerce

In conclusion, AI is not just another technological trend but a transformative force that will change the nature of ecommerce. For companies active in both B2C and B2B sectors, it offers an unprecedented opportunity to boost their efficiency, enhance the customer experience, and strengthen their market position. The intelligent use of AI will be a crucial factor for success in ecommerce in the coming years.

The AI revolution is in full swing. For entrepreneurs who want to not only ride this wave but also shape it, now is the time to invest in this exciting technology and set the course for a successful future. And it is advisable not to wait too long to engage with AI – the development is happening at a breathtaking pace. Because one thing is certain: AI is here to stay!

Arnold Malfertheiner, CEO at teamblau GmbH

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