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Explore & Thrive with AI Why Business must keep up with AI

Why will businesses be FORCED to adapt to AI?

Why won't things continue like they are today? What will break and why?

Explore & Thrive with AI AI Impact: Ecommerce Industry

How will Ecommerce be affected by AI?

Ecommerce is a $6.3 Trillion, Tech-heavy, Early-adopter industry.

How would it adapt to the age of AI-powered business?

Ecommerce's entire business model is to automate customer checkouts for scalability.

Humans have literally no 'physical' touchpoint in the core process!

Hi guys, this is Gaurav from India talking about yet another AI Business Automation Video. This time we'll be talking about Ecommerce!

Before we get started, I just wanted to let you know that this is an in-depth video aimed towards entrepreneurs. There is lots of superficial information out there in the market on how to implement AI in Ecommerce, but we will be providing some actionable information. So we'll begin with an understanding of where we are, how we reached there, before we are able to go and see where we are headed. Lets dive right in!

Of all the ways products move in an economy, it looks like this: factories produce the goods, wholesalers buy from them, small retailers buy from the wholesalers, and consumers buy from the retail. Now why this is structured like this is a because of a lot of different complications and different competencies required at each layer of the business, but atleast at the retail level, people visit stores to "access" products "near them" and at "good enough" prices, and the price is a really BIG factor.

All these factors combined over time, led to the emergence of the self-service model: just visit the shelf, pick it up, bring it to the counter, pay at the counter, and its yours!

By the time 1990s rolled around, we had a new communication technology called a Website. And there, websites started emulating this same self-service model for their business.

The value addition was very clear - anyone anywhere could visit a website 24x7. This thing was so powerful, businesses started automating everything they could - they automated the shelf, the payments, the support, the integrations. Everything they could, they tried to automate, they did.

But there were some limitations as well. One of the biggest problems was that businesses couldn't really communicate the shopping VISIT experience, the look and feel of the items. See in traditional retail, shopping meant a family activity, but now it meant a few clicks without any eye-catching displays!

The other big change was the personal connection. Even in supermarkets there were salesmen to guide you through difficult decisions. Shopping used to be a discussion - the salesmen were trained in guiding you through your objections, and there was an element of silent validation in the purchase process, which was all lost when shopping became an online way to just add to your cart and checkout.

Ultimately the art of the sale was lost, only because it could not be automated over a website.

But Ecommerce changed the power dynamic at every level of the industry - manufacturing became easier due to the ability to reach consumers directly and to do just-in-time models.

for consumers, things became much more convenient as the value proposition changed from the ability to get things to "convenience"

But things changed a LOT for retail - with major disruption. Earlier excelling in retail meant focusing on supply chain managament, or store layouting. But now factors became digital - how to lay out a website and the ability to do online advertising.

Even till 2020, nothing had changed much since the 1990s. The idea of what we're trying to do in our website: provide convenience by reducing friction everywhere: seamless one-page checkouts, easy search.

Even the latest innovation in the industry: Q-commerce is all about adding convenience: better and faster. But the basic business model is exactly the same.

Now with the understanding of this background, let us talk about what AI will end up doing to the industry.

The #1 information I have for you is to prepare for more competition. If you thought competition now is intense, you'd be amazed. Today anybody can create a online shop by filling a few forms at Shopify, but within 3 years from now, you'd be able to spin up a proper online shop with just one verbal command to the right AI business bot. And it will also generate product descriptions, pictures, do SEO etc. So the competition is going to become tense, especially for digital goods. So you need a REAL advantage to be able to compete.

Second, and most important insight from this, is that access and convenience are now a given, so the customers will be even more spoilt for choice. In this environment, only those who truly excel at making the customer happy will win. Now AI can do that, but you'd need LOADS of data about every customer to empower your AI to win over the competition.

Lets quickly look at all the available options with us to make customers happier. There are traditional factors like price, range and quality, and there are digital factors like digital marketing and digital influence, but then we also come towards the experience-level factors like the look and feel of the items and visit, and the purchase experience.

And what factors are these? Lets take a look: This is an online flower shop - we can choose a product and checkout. Now imagine the same flower shop, but we were welcomed with a smile.

So we're trying to emulate a personal shopping experience and what we're seeing here are 2 things - The first is about AR/VR / the visuals which will definitely become better in the future, but it is a longer-term game. But what we're tying to highlight is that the most impactful change over the next 3-7 years will be the personal connection - which AI can completely change.

The personal connection - to make someone "feel" - it can be manipulated into the art of the sale. A salesman guides consumers to overcome their objections and provides a high-touch personalized experience of the brand. And when you put this in the hands of AI, you get a really powerful business device. now you can scalably do a lot of things you couldn't do with a website. What we couldn't do with the traditional websites was to personalize the entire shopping experience every time for every customer and learn from it and build upon the learnings. But AI can, and we have a lot of wiggle room to learn and experiment - you know why? Because a salesman has a lot of tricks up his sleeve! A lot of it is visible, a lot of it is invisible as well.

What do we need to implement? All we need to do is to train our AI to learn from every customer interaction and to treat it like a learning opportunity! Slowly, by controlling every pixel and learning from the reactions to it, AI starts to treat it like a REAL-TIME video game, and we know how good AI is at video games, right?

By treating a sale as a score in a real-time game, the task of the AI Salesman is to MAKE CONSUMERS BUY WHAT benefits IT MOST!, not necessarily what the customer wanted. But the art is to make the customer feel satisfied at the same time! This is so powerful - it is the gamification of the entire ecommerce Business Model. That is what AI can do to ecommerce!

Now how will this happen, what are the changes we can expect going forward?

Change #1: Websites will become AI-driven. Users won't need to click here and there anymore, they can just say what they want and it'll be served to them. Don't believe me? Here's a demo for you:

This is a website for a financial company which gives out loans. Its a complete website which would have a business bot or assistant here, which is like what we have in a LIVE CHAT. Though the difference beween what this is, and usually a live chat is, is that this is an intelligent business bot, which can control the website - you can speak with it, and you can type here as well.

CONTACT PAGE PLEASE (ping), and we just need to say it, and the contact page opens.

I WANT TO CALCULATE LOAN PAYMENTS (ping), and the page opens.

HOMEPAGE PLEASE (ping) and the page opens.

Ok, the next thing that will happen is that every interaction will become a learning opportunity for the AI, and will need to be tracked. No more third party analytics tools! Every interaction will be stored and learned from.

The third thing is that a lot of the tricks AI chances upon will be things we know are habit-forming. If you thought things are addictive today, wait till AI starts to seduce you with personalized offers based on your habits and your past purchases.

So we're heading towards a new era, one where business bots don't optimize for friction, they optimize for customer lifetime value. Customers will be made to feel like kings and queens, and will be seduced to buy again and again and again.

So lets bring this to a close, as you may have guessed, we're in the business of building business bots. But we've also created a free and open source alternative using which you can automate your entire business.

We're all in this AI disruption together and I want to listen to you and i want to learn from you. So I request you to please join our community. As an added bonus, we regularly answer the questions of our community via detailed videos, just like this one!

Thank you! Did you learn anything new in this video? Please comment below and let us know! According to me, this is a summary of what you learnt!

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