How Online Retailers in Saudi Arabia can use AI for Business Growth?

Following the fourth industrial revolution, authorities and businesses based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have realized the potential of Artificial Intelligence and advanced technologies. As their global counterparts embark upon the venture of technological transformation, they have but no choice to be a part of the technological revolution and reap the benefits themselves.

E-commerce is poised for growth in Saudi Arabia. With its fast-growing economy, increasing internet penetration, and high spending power of its citizen as compared to other countries in the region, the Kingdom is no doubt the next battleground for e-commerce giants. For retailers preparing for combat, here are 5 ways you can use AI to keep your competitive edge –

Chatbot Customer Service

One of the major differences between an offline store and an online store is that you can shut down your brick-and-mortar establishment at the end of the day and not expect any customers to come back until you open next day. However, online stores are open 24×7(until and unless you’re down for maintenance!).

Deploying an AI chatbot on your online store can effectively help you in handling customer queries even after normal business hours. As one of the most accessible AI use cases for e-commerce companies, retailers in the Kingdom can easily bring customers to their digital store at any hour of the day.

Not only does this technology interact with customer whenever needed, it learns about the customers over time to provide the most likely answer, and offer them with a more personalized experience.

Smart Search

If your customers are unable to find a specific product in your store, your sales executives are quick to point them in the right direction. The search function on your online store performs the same job. And when combined with AI, it acts as a skillfully trained sales associate for your online store.

The search engines use AI to recognize search terms to understand the customer’s intent. Not only does it understand what the customer is looking for but it also places recommendations of similar products to fit individual customer’s needs.

Leading retailer — Landmark Group has taken AI enabled smart search a step further. The group offers a visual search feature on their iPhone and Android app. The feature enables customers to easily find products similar to something they have seen, by simply pointing the app’s camera towards the object.

Social Listening

Connecting with customers via a single channel is not a viable option anymore. And when you’re dealing with a population that has the highest YouTube and Twitter usage on earth, it is mandatory for you as a business owner to be where your customers are and listen to what they’re saying.

There are billions of conversations made on social media every day and it is impossible to keep tabs on what’s being said where. Enter AI technology — with natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. Now, brands can instantly gain insights into social media data.

The results? With actionable insights gained from social media intelligence process, you can improve business and marketing strategies, while a deep understanding of both social media user behavior and consumer preferences will help you make informed decisions for your e-commerce business.

Product Recommendations

As a brick-and-mortar store owner, your best approach is to offer your customers with the best-selling items irrespective of their personal taste. However, AI makes you intelligent as a retailer, offering you insights about your customers’ likes and dislikes, and recommending them products they’re more than willing to buy.

Using AI, you can efficiently analyze a huge amount of data to predict customer behavior and enhance your e-commerce site’s core operation with algorithms for recommendations, product search ranking, merchandising placements, and so much more. Implementing AI will help you understand customer demands better while creating a positive customer experience for them.

Inventory Management

The biggest challenge that retailers face is the management of inventory. The process can become really complicated if not handled properly — there can be mismanagements, thefts, or general human error that could result in so much loss.

AI machine learning can forecast these typical issues and consequently provide a rather exact estimate for future demands that are likely to come into the market. Moreover, by predicting optimal inventory, it can help you save warehouse space, optimizes resources, and curtail lost opportunities when a shopper leaves because of the item not being in stock.

Winding Up

Saudi Arabia retail market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 7.5%, in value terms, during 2017–2022. There are currently 12.94 million e-commerce users in Saudi Arabia, with an additional 6.34 million users expected to be shopping online by 2022.

With such a huge population of young and tech-savvy consumers about to enter the e-commerce space, retailers should think of innovative ways and use technology to connect with them. As customers demand experiences more than products, AI offers the best solution for online retailers to deal with this demand.

Originally published at