How to Use AI to Supercharge an E-Commerce Business?

A walkthrough on how to utilize Artificial Intelligence to drive growth in e-commerce.

E-Commerce is a very competitive market. Continuous innovation, multiple attempts to address the ever-changing consumer behavior and making sure your business stays one step ahead of your competition – everything requires vision, willingness to innovate and smart decision-making. There is no room for mistakes. One wrong investment and you may be lacking resources to acquire new customers or to retain the existing ones.

Artificial Intelligence is often discussed as the next mainstream technology that should help e-commerce businesses keep up with the market trends. However, AI is highly technical and can be used in many different ways. Let’s explore one of them: namely, the AI’s role in acquiring new customers for an e-commerce business.

The first thing an e-commerce marketer has to address, is the consolidation of all customer and campaign data. This includes your customers’ demographic data and all their engagements: purchase history, campaign and ad engagement, website browsing history, and anything else that provides you with any valuable insights into their behavior.

All the data that you are going to consolidate is most likely going to be the your first party data, or data that only your business can gather. An issue with the first party data is that it is often rather limited.

In order to get out of your own data bubble, you will need to enrich your data, which means getting even more data about your existing clients. This can be achieved in three ways. You may partner with another business targeting the same audience to get their first party data, which you will regard as your second party data. You may also focus on the third party data, which means purchasing it from a data vendor, which might be costly and, sometimes, unreliable.

Or, if you have access to a Customer Growth Platform, like Genus AI, most likely, you will not have to make any extra investment, as such platform provide data enrichment services by default.

Once you have all your customer data consolidated and enriched, you can start setting goals and modeling it.

In this case, we are looking into growing our e-commerce business. Therefore, our goal will be set to acquire new customers within the scope of a single marketing campaign. You might choose to model your data in many different ways to achieve such a goal. In this example, let’s focus on the top 10% of your customers – the ones who generated the most revenue in the last 6 months.

Once you have the goal and the data model set, AI is going to analyze all the data points of your existing customers and will find some common behavioral traits that would define those 10% you are focusing on.

At the end of the AI-driven data analysis you will know the exact data and behavior that are shared by your target segment: they might represent a higher-than-average level of income. Or their household might consist of more than 3 people and they might be living in suburban areas.

Such insights will come from all the data that you have about those individuals, and will help you understand the Communication Archetypes your target segment is defined by – it might be that, for instance, the majority of your top revenue generators are Reliable Plan Makers, who are analytical and tend to schedule and plan their purchases in advance.

The thirst thing you will be able to leverage all these insights for is content scoring. Your creatives, copy and emails can be analyzed by AI to see how well they fit the Communication Archetype that defines the target segment. The conclusions may reveal that you might have been using some wrong colors, or your copy’s language wass too aggressive. Adjusting your marketing campaign’s material is how you begin deploying all the AI-generated insights.

The second and the major part of the insights’ deployment is setting up your campaign. Now when you know what data defines your target audience and how to communicate to them, you can use this knowledge to build custom lookalike audiences. This way you will make sure that you are targeting only those users who are or behave similarly to your existing (and, therefore, proven to be successful) consumer base.

This way you can be certain that your marketing investments go precisely where you need them to go – targeting prospects who are the most likely to close with content that is proven to convert your audience.

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