AI & eCommerce: Can it create new opportunities?

Jun 15, 2023 9:24:44 AM

"Could AI replace my job?"

It's a common question as AI technology advancements continue to dominate the press. The answer is not a simple yes or no. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it can open new doors for people working within certain industries and roles.

This is definitely true for retailers, especially in the eCommerce world. After reading about some industry developments this week, we thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss!

IKEA customer service adopts AI...what will happen to the team?

A retail giant...there is no doubt about that. Therefore, a company of this size can expect hundreds (if not thousands) of customer enquiries each day. Of course, some enquiries are more complex than others. So, what to do with those easily solved customer questions? IKEA decided to leave it in the hands of Billie.

As you might have guessed, Billie is an AI assistant and has been handed the more 'run of the mill' customer enquiries. So, what would happen to the existing team who had dealt with these previously?

Having expanded its interior design services across the globe, IKEA now offers 45-60 minute interior design advice video calls and suggested product lists or three workspace design consultations, a floor-plan and 3D visuals. The increased revenue from these services is undeniable - which means a talented advisory team needs to be in place.

IKEA has trained 8,500 call centre workers as interior design advisers since 2021, allowing these people to learn new skills and grow within the company. The company stated that they do not see any reduction in headcount because of Billie's introduction at this time.

The future of AI and retail jobs  

We cannot explicitly say that AI has not had an effect on certain roles. Furthermore, we can't predict what AI advancements will come next. Instead, it's more productive to look at the improvements AI can make in a professional capacity.

Productivity can definitely improve, especially in eCommerce. Real-time insights and data are becoming more accessible, allowing teams to make better decisions sooner. Another example would be content - while we don't believe content should be 100% entrusted to an AI writer, it can be utilised to instead create new ideas and encourage more brainstorming by creative teams.

Ultimately, training and education will be fundamental as more businesses adopt AI tools. These tools might free up time, so companies are encouraged to use this time to build the skills of the existing team. It could open up new avenues and departments within the business, therefore creating new opportunities.

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We are sure this won't be the last time we look at AI within the retail world. For more insights on the industry, our exclusive eCommerce salary survey report has it it by clicking below!

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