Knowing your competitor in this rapidly changing business environment is a must for every business. Are you aware about your competitors and what they are doing? Have you implemented all that it takes to generate more profits, sales, customers and overall growth? Augmenting competitive intelligence with Artificial Intelligence could help brands in getting the answer to all the above questions.

E-commerce industry is a vast ocean of small to large businesses that are continuously fighting for online digital space. To stay ahead in the competition, they need to keep themselves updated and implement best practices to stay on the top of the list. Gaining competitive intelligence helps companies understand their competitors better and allows them to know competitors past, present and future behavior. Artificial Intelligence is like an icing on the cake when combined with competitive intelligence. It helps businesses to achieve that extra edge and predict future trends in the market.

AI for competitive intelligenceArtificial Intelligence or AI helps in simplifying and analyzing the entire data collected in the process of understanding the competitors. The traditional method of collecting data and analyzing it takes a longer time and can have some human errors. But with AI, errors are minimal or may not be there completely. Data is collected faster and accurately. AI uses algorithms to read competitors behaviors and patterns and gives us not just a quantitative report, but also shows trends, movements in the market, does some automated analysis and gives more valuable data.

Do you know that Amazon, the largest brand in the e-commerce industry, uses AI to maintain its competitive advantage in the market? Amazon makes use of various AI-based tools and apps that combine collaborative filtering, next-in-sequence models and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make predictions on products and individual customers buying patterns. Amazon also uses AI to run its delivery systems and provides accurate & efficient delivery services to its buyers.

AI in brick and mortarAccording to a study done by Boston Consulting Group, retailers that made use of AI and offered more personalized services have seen a growth of 6-10% in the overall sales. Accenture believes that AI can help wholesalers & retailers in boosting their profitability rates by 59% by the year 2035. AI gives new opportunities and solves major customer related issues for the e-commerce industry.

Some benefits of implementing AI combined with competitive intelligence in the e-commerce industry:

By knowing the competitor trends beforehand you can make changes to your products features, functions and enhance your servicesCompetitive intelligence allows retailers to make informed-decisionsHelps in optimizing business processes and internal operations through automated tasksAllows brands to predict profitable markets and explore in to new marketsCompetitive Intelligence when combined with AI also helps in optimizing the processes like marketing & sales activities

What does AI do?

Predict Product Suggestions

Product recommendationsAI tracks the customer journey and understands customers’ behavioral patterns. It runs through the customers purchase history and predicts product suggestion the next time he/she opens the site or app. These product suggestions are based on various factors like customer’s likes, interests, choices he/she made in the past, his/her search history and more. All this data is captured by the AI tools and stored for future use and predictions.

Target Potential Customers

Filter clientsUsing AI tools brands can target potential customers by re-marketing their products through AI-enabled smart ads. These re-marketing ads help in targeting potential customers and reminding customers about their past purchases & choices. Smart advertising channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other can be used to target potential customers via AI-enabled chatbots, Target marketing, and re-marketing. Leads can also be generated by answering customer queries.

Efficient & Interactive Sales Process

AI bot for e-commerceToday customers are more educated and they know what they are buying. You can’t fool them. There are several brands that sell similar products and customers tend to compare and research thoroughly before they buy anything. And in the research process they tend to be asking numerous questions and the brand that responds faster wins the customer. AI-enabled chatbot and virtual assistants can respond to customer faster and are available any time. AI powered natural language interfaces allows brand to stay and interact with its customers 24/7. They understand customer queries well and respond accordingly. AI facilitates personalized selling which ultimately increases the sales margins.

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricingA concept where retailers decide the price of the product on the basis of supply and demand of the product. AI enabled dynamic pricing is the new disruptive concept that is revolutionizing the e-commerce industry. Fluctuating price structure isn’t a new thing. We have been seeing discounts, offers, and gift cards etc. But AI has made this discount process easier and more targeted. AI allows brand to decide what to discount, when and how on the basis of customer data, competitive pricing data and sales transactions – so that it reaches the appropriate customers and yields best returns. Amazon is the leading e-commerce site that makes maximum use of dynamic pricing.

Optimized Searches

Mobile appsSearches play key role in the e-commerce industry. Why? Based on the product searches made by the customers, the AI-based tool remembers individual customer choices, interests and behavior and stores the data. Later, the same data is used to give predictive suggestions to the customers. So the next time when a customer visits the site, AI does some ‘Intelligent searching’ and pops the best suitable products for them along with some complimentary products as well.

Effective Data Collection & Analysis

AI for data refiningAn e-commerce site generates huge amount of data and this data need to be mined and refined to make optimum use of it. AI does this data refining simple and easy. Earlier companies had ways only to store the data and use it at the times of comparison. But, with AI predicting for the future is possible. Now companies can utilize past and present data to predict the future prospects. AI finds the value hidden inside the data that a human can’t find.

Competitive Intelligence helps e-commerce companies to mine and analyze data before they market anything. AI & ML helps in bringing out the maximum potential of the available data and suggest with best process to be followed to bring in more customers. AI is a huge ecosystem where, people, processes and technologies work together to provide an enhanced customer service.

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