COVID-19 impacted retail businesses in a big way, and posed many challenges for e-commerce businesses at the start of the pandemic. The crisis forced many stores to either up-scale or shut down entirely. Due to the pandemic, people started indulging in online shopping more than they ever had before. The market has seen a shift in consumers moving away from physical stores towards online stores. This trend has been increasing steadily over the last five years. It has put tremendous financial pressure on department stores. Non-essential retail shops witnessed a 25% decline in sales – this figure grew to 75% in the second quarter. Omnichannel retailers had a different story to tell. Still, even they faced plenty of challenges in receiving and retaining customers. The rate of reported difficult calls increased from 10% to 20% in just two weeks. Finance-related queries also jumped by 2.5 times in a week. Escalations rose by 68%.
Companies needed to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) tools that could show them how to tackle such trends. Combining technological solutions with human efforts proved to be the best way to face this economic crisis.
Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach: AI and Human Intelligence in E-Commerce Spaces
Retailers invested in machine learning and human talent to serve their customers better via digital platforms. This collaboration helped automate customer care through data mining. This tool gave companies better insights into purchasing behaviors, pattern identification, and buyer preferences. As a result, e-commerce outlets had an opportunity to leverage data to recruit more agents and tackle busy buying seasons. According to Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach, blending and complementing AI with human intelligence is a means by which companies can prevent job losses. AI can accelerate decision-making, but it cannot replace human intelligence.
To be precise, AI helps detect talent and skills in potential recruits, it assists with staff management, and it serves in so many other ways. It also enables companies to understand how many customers they need in any particular season. For example, retailers witness the holiday rush and go through more inventory towards the end of the year. Since e-commerce soared by 71% annually in North America after the COVID-19 outbreak, retailers started relying on AI and intelligence agents to decipher complex customer service requirements for seasonal sales.
Benjamin Gordon Palm Beach believes that one of the finest examples of AI and human intelligence merging to create better business can be witnessed within the chatbot system. Many times, the consumer may not even realize when a human replaces a robot. Bots usually look into routine questions, while humans intervene if there is any specific inquiry to address. Customers also feel at ease when the system transitions from bot to human because most consumers don’t like to engage with scripted material when dealing with complex issues.
It is easy to understand how dependency on AI in e-commerce and retail will only increase with time. Although businesses already began employing AI even before the pandemic hit, its application and functions suddenly leapt into focus to troubleshoot many unprecedented challenges. The human touch to the newly developed technology also made it apparent that the two go hand-in-hand to produce more effective and quick results. When there is synergy between the two, facing situations like COVID-19 becomes relatively less challenging to handle, saving businesses and customers from many unwanted problems.