A woman leans over an open laptop on a wooden table. The woman has long dark hair and wears a black shirt and red pants. She has one hand on the laptop's trackpad. Cardboard boxes sit on either side of the laptop on the table and fill the shelving unit behind the woman. Also on the table are a calculator, a roll of packing tape in an orange holder, a notebook and pen, and a pair of black boots ready to be packed into the open box next to it.
AI tools can help small business owners design digital storefronts, market to customers, and protect online information. — Getty Images/Thana Prasongsin

Artificial intelligence has quietly been influencing the way we shop for years. Brands are using AI to predict consumer spending habits, answer customer service requests, and streamline order fulfillment. E-commerce, in particular, is a market segment in which AI can help simplify sales. According to Statista, e-commerce companies are using AI for everything from personalization to forecasting to marketing to fraud prevention.

The tools on this list can help e-commerce companies optimize the overall sales process by bringing traffic to the site, reducing cart abandonment rates, and streamlining order fulfillment and delivery.

Personalize the shopping experience: Clerk.io, Syte, and Phrasee

AI can help match customers to the products they’re looking for, as well as encourage them to browse items they didn’t know they wanted.

Clerk uses artificial intelligence to analyze customer behavior to personalize the sales process in a way that grows sales by 15–30%. The Clerk algorithm personalizes the shopping experience, using data from visitor behavior, trends, and transactions to present e-shoppers with the most relevant search results, product recommendations, and much more. It works with popular e-commerce platforms including Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.

[Read more: How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Changing How Marketers Sell Everything From Food to Fashion]

Syte is another platform that uses AI to optimize the shopping experience. Tailored to the needs of e-commerce jewelry, home decor, and fashion retailers, Syte’s visual AI helps customers find the products that they’re looking for faster. It can provide product recommendations based on what the user has been browsing.

Similarly, Phrasee uses AI to generate marketing messages across the customer journey. When a customer is browsing a certain product line, Phrasee can recommend a complementary product or send through a free shipping offer. It’s an especially powerful tool for lowering cart abandonment rates.

Improve customer retention: Netomi, Manychat, and LivePerson

E-commerce storefronts have the unique challenge of being “always open” — unlike brick-and-mortar stores, shoppers can browse your website at midnight, during a holiday, or while you’re on vacation. AI-powered chatbots help keep things running by fielding customer queries and troubleshooting basic service needs so you never miss a sale.

Great for startups, Reetail will help write product descriptions, offer marketing ideas, and even generate social media ads.

Netomi provides a range of artificial intelligence solutions that help address customer needs. Netomi can do everything from explaining a returns policy to finding the right size product to managing order modifications and shipping updates. Netomi can also foster customer loyalty with well-timed discounts and proactive care.

Manychat is a similar tool that automates customer conversations through Instagram Direct Messages, on Facebook Messenger, and via SMS. Manychat’s AI can field frequently asked questions on these channels to increase engagement and lead generation. The brand claims that these automated conversations lead to click-through rates 130% higher than the industry average.

Reduce the risk of fraud: Riskified and Signifyd

E-commerce businesses process customer and payment data, making them an enticing target for hackers and malware. And, unfortunately, small businesses in particular fall victim to online fraud attempts.

Riskified is designed to protect e-commerce businesses from fraud. It works behind the scenes to ensure all transactions are above board and reduce chargebacks, identifying the individual behind each transaction. Riskified promises revenue growth for businesses that implement its solution to protect their customer data.

Likewise, Signifyd is designed to instantly recognize good shoppers and approve 5–9% more orders, on average. Its proprietary AI uses a huge dataset of previous global transactions to spot patterns and catch fraud attempts before they hit your bottom line.

[Read more: Top Supply Chain Tips from Inventory Management Experts]

Optimize your operations: Reetail and Spatial.ai

Reetail's AI helps you get a website set up and launched quickly. Great for startups, Reetail will help write product descriptions, offer marketing ideas, and even generate social media ads. It’s integrated with Stripe, so your website can start accepting orders sooner rather than later.

Looking for deeper customer insights? You might want to try Spatial, an AI tool that unites data from online and offline sales in one clear picture. “Omnichannel brands can personalize offers to previous customers and anonymous website visitors to supercharge digital and social campaigns,” the website promises. Use Spatial to improve targeting, develop new products, and understand shopper behavior on a deeper level.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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