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AI Assistants are the Next Business Partner for Small eCommerce Stores

4 Mins read

We’re living in a world where AI technology is increasingly ingrained in everyday culture. It’s shaping the way we work, communicate, and more. And thanks to Generative AI, we’re interacting with AI technology more regularly. We use it to create new content, such as text, images, music, audio, and videos. Now, imagine interacting daily with AI in the form of AI assistants. For example, they listen to you, understand what you’re saying, and respond to queries in human-like interactions — and then imagine a world where assistants interact with each other on our behalf. So these AI assistants understand what we’re asking of them and automatically reach out to other AI assistants to get the job done. These experiences and interactions may soon become part of our everyday reality and become particularly important for small business owners

What are AI assistants? 

An AI assistant is any digital tool or application that uses gen-AI conversational skills to perform specific tasks, answer questions, or carry out commands. Through a conversational AI chat experience, owners can describe their intent and goals, and AI will execute the action or series of actions to satisfy the user. Think of it as a helper for owners. They know everything about the business and you can interact with it almost like a human (verbal and written conversations).

AI assistants have the knowledge that the website business owner has on the website including the location of stores, goods being offered, etc. They are very familiar with the platform it’s installed on and can act like a business manager – they know how to run things and can do tasks directly. Eventually, the AI assistant will get to know the business better than the business knows itself, in the sense that it remembers what it learns from the owner. For example, it will be able to identify discrepancies in location or time on a website. If an online store says “Opening hours on Saturday are 10 AM – 6 PM” but the FAQ on the page says different times, the AI assistant will flag this discrepancy. It will also be able to memorize responses to customer questions and learn those responses so if the same question and response is asked and answered more than once, the AI assistant will learn how to reply automatically.

Why have AI Assistants? 

It’s hard for humans to do everything and AI Assistants can help fill in gaps. They can create an experience around the idea that “everyone deserves a secretary.” We can probably all agree that managing your own life is hard and with a lot of logistics; it would be nice to have daily helpers. Consumers and business owners want someone to focus on the business itself; someone who is constantly by their side and knows exactly how the business is run and, moreover, understands the value of the business. We’re now getting close to a place where this someone who the owner relies on isn’t human but an AI assistant.

AI assistants can help increase productivity by making tasks more efficient, with 79% of company executives saying AI is likely to simplify jobs and increase work efficiency. They can take requests and initiate action. For example, it can send an email if it hears the request to “send this email to my 10 best customers.” The AI assistant will send the email content using the contact information of the 10 best customers. This is about saving time because the user usually knows how to do this.

Furthermore, AI assistants can create content, eliminating a very time-consuming task. They can create drafts for almost any type of content – written, images, video, etc. – frequently in response to prompts. 54% of company executives have said that implementing AI in their business has increased productivity significantly and that AI scheduling assistants can help do 25% more tasks. By helping business owners be more productive, these AI assistants are helping to reduce costs. 54% of businesses have reported increased cost savings and efficiencies because of AI implementation. What is even more exciting is that we’re just at the beginning of what AI assistants can do.

How do AI assistants work in eComm? 

eCommerce is a great place for AI assistants to thrive. There are many actions an AI assistant can take to help support a business. By talking to the AI assistants, either written or verbally,  they can help eCommerce businesses in the following ways:

  • Content creation: Generate content to describe products such as titles and descriptions.
  • Fine-tuning images: Make images sharper and fit for the website. Just remember, it’s important to not get too carried away. Be honest even when using AI so you don’t misrepresent images.
  • Generate marketing campaigns: Support the marketing campaign process including, setting reminders such as, “Now would be a good time to send an email because of this holiday coming up.” As mentioned, AI can help with drafting language and can help target the right audience with those campaigns.
  • Insights into market research: Makes decision-making about pricing easy. For example, AI can help owners understand the common discounts around the Christmas holiday for their industry.
  • Improve customer relations:  Conversational skills to support customers and be online 24/7  and in different languages.
  • Upsell: Helping customers find products or recommendations. The reactiveness of the AI assistant knows what the user wants or needs without prompting.
  • Expand to different markets: Taking the hard work of translations, currency, colloquialisms, and more off of the owner’s plate. With a click, users can be opened to any culture by asking AI to help.
  • Data analytics: While this isn’t a conversational AI function, it’s incredibly important. AI can help users understand buying habits and stock products to grow their business more successfully.

Final thoughts & recommendations for business owners

Understandably, there is some skepticism about AI. It’s new but it’s becoming more commonplace and it’s only going to keep going in that direction. AI assistants are the future business partners.

To get more comfortable with AI, start playing with ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, or any other AI tool to learn how it works and what it can or cannot do for you and your business. Try all AI assistants available and see what works for your specific needs, and what you like or don’t like. Currently, there isn’t an AI assistant that is all-knowing and it’s most likely you’ll have multiple assistants depending on their platform (ex: one for email, one for customer chat). In the future, there will be a more personal assistant so every business will have an assistant to be their right-hand helper and successfully guide businesses to unforeseen heights.

Guy Sopher, Head of AI Assistant at Wix.

AI assistant stock image by MeshCube/Shutterstock

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