AI is certainly changing the business of commerce. Most recognizable to the average consumer, of course, are all the voice-activated assistants that are coming into our lives care of Apple, Google, Microsoft and other technology giants. AI is impacting every business sector at every level. For small businesses, an effective AI strategy can make all the difference between success and failure.
Walk through the Diamond District of New York and you’ll find more than 2,600 small businesses, nearly all of them dedicated to selling diamond jewellery. Glittering gems fight for the attention of every passing glance. For a shopper looking for the perfect engagement ring, just a few feet of window shopping can be a daunting — not to mention blinding — experience.
Taking the search online isn’t any easier. RockHer, a luxury jeweller in Los Angeles that we’ve worked with before, recently launched an artificial intelligence-enhanced e-commerce site to give consumers a better option. The brand created a virtual gemologist, Rosi, that uses AI to scour the global diamond marketplace. After a user details their budget and preferences, Rosi crunches more than a million data points to deliver her selections in seconds. No matter how connected and tech-savvy the best diamond seller may be, they would be hard-pressed to provide the same breadth of research and at that speed of service.
The technology gives the consumer access to inventory they would never have the opportunity to consider in a retail store or even another online jewellery site, as it pulls its data from a wholesale database of currently available GIA-certified diamonds. And while a human gemologist couldn’t match Rosi, it is the human intelligence in the company founders’ decades of experience in the diamond industry that programmed her to consider more than 30 different variables for a diamond, far beyond the typical 4Cs that consumers have come to expect.
It is a competitive advantage that only AI can bring a small business.
It is predicted that by 2020, up to 85% of customer interactions will be managed by machines. So the brands that manage to do so by making the customer experience effortless and delightful stand to win. Challenger brands especially have the opportunity to better compete by leveraging AI to out-innovate their rivals.
Once the sole domain of the Silicon Valley elite, AI technology is fast and furiously being deployed to the masses. Technology giants such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and IBM are open-sourcing their technology, making it freely available to developers or at a lower cost than previously available to advance the technology forward.