One of the hottest technologies that’s been talked about in business circles almost nonstop over the past few years is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is the area of computer science that focuses on teaching a computer to think and act like a human. That’s perhaps a little oversimplified, but it gets the point across: technologists are finding ways for computers to do things that humans would normally do. But don’t worry—the depiction of AI in pop culture is vastly overstated, and we’re a far way off from having a supercomputer take over the world and destroy humankind.
Businesses, however, are rapidly learning how to adopt AI programs in order to accomplish tasks on scales that were, until now, unimaginable. Market researchers predict that spending on AI systems will balloon to more than $52 billion by 2021, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous five-year forecast.
With this massive growth in store for the AI industry, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of how AI can potentially transform B2B e-commerce. We’ve put together three use cases below to get your gears turning.
The Rise of the Chatbot
If you’ve ever used a live chat on a business’s website, then chances are you’ve used a chatbot. In fact, chatbots are quickly becoming one of the most common types of AI systems deployed in businesses of all types, with an estimated 80 percent of businesses saying their either currently or plan to deploy a chatbot.
So, what are chatbots exactly and how do they work?
Basically, chatbots are AI systems that use natural language processing (and other technologies) to engage in dialogue with customers through computer interfaces. They can be deployed on websites, but also through a variety of platforms including Facebook messenger, Twitter, and others. By developing a complex library of common questions and answers, chatbots are most often being used as a frontline customer service platform, providing responses to customer account inquiries, product questions, policy questions, and more. While the most prominent examples of chatbots are in the B2C realm, there’s really no reason why B2B e-commerce businesses can’t start using them, too.
One of the cool things that AIs can do is to analyze huge datasets in order to find hidden insights and predict behaviors. These datasets don’t even have to be directly related. For example, a company might use an AI to analyze all of its customer files to create more accurate profiles of an ideal customer, but it could also look at datasets containing weather information, for example, and correlate that with customer behavior (e.g. every time the temperature is over 65 degrees, our sales shoot up 3 percent). This area of AI is called predictive analytics, and for e-commerce companies, can be used for assessing customer behavior, marketing initiatives, and a host of other data, in order to predict when customers do something—buy a product, report a technical issue, etc. The more data they analyze, the more accurate they tend to be, making them worth their weight in gold (figuratively speaking, of course; AIs are software and as such don’t really weigh anything).
Managing Credit Applications
We’d be remiss to talking about AI and not mention anything about the way Credit Key uses AI. Similar to the predictive analytics, Credit Key’s system uses data to analyze potential B2B borrowers for their credit-worthiness. With relatively few questions, we can determine with a fairly high level of accuracy if the borrower will pay back their short-term loan, as well as how much to possibly lend each borrower. What’s great is that this happens incredibly fast (typically in 30-90 seconds). What takes humans several weeks to do, Credit Key can do in real-time. And in this sense, AI is in fact more powerful than a human!
If you’d like to learn more about how Credit Key can help you improve your business, contact us. We’re happy to show you how our intelligent, cutting-edge technology will transform how you serve customers.