How Artificial Intelligence Impacts Sellers
Last week, while social media buzzed on about the recent Amazon Whole Foods merger, we discussed Amazon’s new tech patent that will alter the WiFi networks inside retail stores. This patent ultimately prevents buyers from making their purchase on other platforms besides Amazon –and it’s a clear sign that artificial intelligence is coming into the e-commerce realm.
The introduction of artificial intelligence into e-commerce has been happening gradually for years now. Pioneered by Bezos, AI is at the forefront of Amazon’s current ventures. With algorithms so highly customized, Amazon has been able to continually eliminate human efforts from each and every business process.
Benefits and Risks of Marketplace Algorithms
In a recent AI article, VentureBeat cites three ways AI is already being deployed in ecommerce:
When dealing with a marketplace where the prices that change by the minute, the most successful Amazon sellers have been utilizing automated repricers for some time now. These software solutions utilize AI so high-volume sellers can adjust their products in real time to match the most competitive numbers.
Amazon overall has been using an algorithm to track FBA inventory, sales and returns for years now. Currently, sellers have access to programs both on and off Amazon that help utilize AI to manage, forecast and reconcile their FBA inventory.
This term encompasses the overall handling of products available for sale on any particular seller account: which ASINs to stock up on, which to avoid making another purchase, and rising trends in top selling items. This duty is impossible to complete successfully without using an algorithm or other AI method. The marketplace simply moves too quickly for any human being to keep up with.
There are many more ways AI has started to enter the seller sphere — and sometimes, it fails. One of the major tasks Amazon sellers must master in such a competitive world is choosing when to use automation tools, and when to avoid them. Sometimes it’s still absolutely necessary to dig in and do the work.
For example, algorithmic FBA refund tools have had quite a harmful impact on many Amazon sellers. Amazon recently banned the use of any automated system that issues refunds owed to a seller. All FBA refund methods must be 100% automation-free. Seller Strategies has designed a state-of-the-art system of reconciling FBA inventory that is handled only by humans.
Another area that still needs the human approach is customer service. As we know, Amazon’s most important leadership principle is Customer Obsession. It’s impossible to start with the customer if automation and AI are leading the way. We recommend interacting with your customers not only to stay within Amazon’s 24-hour response time metric, but also to get a better idea of what to sell, how to sell it, and who will make the purchase.