Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming one of the most important digital trends for small businesses. In 2023, we can expect to see more small businesses leveraging the power of AI to improve their operations and streamline their repetitive processes to gain a competitive edge in their respective markets.
The meteoric rise of ChatGPT (chat.openai.com) from OpenAI (https://openai.com/ ) has been phenomenal over the last couple of months. ChatGPT reported to have reached 100 Million monthly active users in Jan 2023. ( https://www.reuters.com/technology/chatgpt-sets-record-fastest-growing-user-base-analyst-note-2023-02-01/ ) It took Instagram over 2 years to reach similar level of users. With this level of user engagement of ChatGPT it is an ideal opportunity for small businesses to look at implementing AI services into their business models.
Benefits of AI
One of the main benefits of AI for small businesses is it’s ability to automate repetitive tasks and processes. This can free up valuable time and resources for small business owners, allowing them to focus on servicing their customers and growing their business.
Small businesses can use AI-powered chatbots to handle generic customer service enquiries, freeing up their employees to deal with more complex tasks. Small businesses can use AI to analyse customer data and behaviour, which can help them to understand their target market and develop more effective marketing strategies.
AI is becoming increasingly accessible for small businesses. With the development of cloud-based AI services, small businesses no longer need to invest in expensive hardware or software in order to take advantage of AI. This means that small businesses can now access the same powerful AI technologies as larger companies, without needing to make any significant investment in IT infrastructure. In 2023 we can expect to see the use of AI in e-commerce increase. Small businesses will be able to use AI to personalise their online shopping experience for customers, by recommending products based on their browsing history, their purchase history and other data analysis techniques.
AI in Marketing for Small Businesses
Small businesses can use AI in a variety of ways to enhance their marketing efforts. AI in marketing can be used to interact with customers on a variety of platforms, including websites, social media, and messaging apps. By using AI, chatbots can understand and respond to customer enquiries in a natural and human-like manner, providing them with information and assistance 24/7. This can help small businesses to improve their customer service and increase customer engagement.
AI Marketing automation tools can be used to automate repetitive tasks, such as sending emails, creating a sales email path and on-boarding new customers. AI can be used to automate the customer journey processes by guiding the customer through a complicated ordering process with ease. These AI automations can speed up customer on-boarding timeframes and allow customers to complete the process at a time suitable for them.
Many online users have already experienced some form of AI marketing programmes before now, especially if they have registered or bought a product online from a large enterprise. Now with the advancements in AI cloud based technologies these tools are available to SME’s.
For example, a small business that sells clothing can use AI to recommend outfits and accessories to customers based on their past purchases and browsing history. This can help small businesses to build stronger relationships with their customers, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.
AI in Social Media
For SME’s targeting the right customer through their social media channels can greatly improve their ROI. AI tools can also analyse customer data and behaviour and provide insights that can be used to optimise marketing campaigns and target specific audiences. This can help small businesses to reach the right customers with the right message, at the right time, resulting in more effective marketing efforts.
When running an online advertising campaign AI can also be used to improve the targeting and personalisation of online ads. Small businesses can use AI to target their adverts to specific audiences. For example, a small business that sells handmade crafts can use AI to target it’s adverts to people who have shown an interest in handmade crafts. This can help small businesses to reach the right customers and increase their CTR for online adverts.
Some AI Tools Available
- Chatbots: Chatbots are AI-powered programs that can interact with customers in a natural and human-like manner. They can be used to handle customer service inquiries, provide product information, and even take orders. Popular chatbot platforms for small businesses include ChatGPT (https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt/), ManyChat (https://manychat.com/ ) or chatbot.com (https://www.chatbot.com/ )
- Marketing Automation: Marketing automation tools can be used to automate repetitive tasks such as sending emails and creating social media posts. Popular marketing automation platforms for small businesses include MailChimp (https://mailchimp.com/ ), Hootsuite (https://www.hootsuite.com/ ) and Adobe Market Engage.
- Personalisation: AI-powered personalisation tools can be used to create personalised product recommendations and marketing messages. Popular personalisation platforms for small businesses are Klevu (https://www.klevu.com/ ), Madgicx (https://madgicx.com/ ) or for larger organisations RichRelevance (https://richrelevance.com/ )
- Targeting: AI-powered targeting tools can be used to target online ads to specific audiences. Popular targeting platforms for small businesses include AdRoll (https://www.adroll.com/ ), Criteo (https://www.criteo.com/ ) and Marin Software ( https://www.marinsoftware.com/ ).
- Sentiment Analysis: AI-powered sentiment analysis tools can be used to analyse customer feedback and understand customer opinions on products and services. Popular sentiment analysis platforms for small businesses include Lexalytics (https://www.lexalytics.com/) and OpenAI (https://openai.com/ )
- Virtual Assistance: Virtual assistance tools use AI to automate and manage a wide range of business tasks such as scheduling.
- Image Generation: The AI image generator is a tool that can be used to generate realistic images from inputed text. Popular Image AI Tools for small businesses include: DALL-E 2 (https://openai.com/dall-e-2/) or Dream Studio (https://dreamstudio.com/create/ )
AI is rapidly becoming one of the most important digital trends for small businesses in 2023. AI has the ability to automate repetitive tasks, provide valuable insights and become one of the most valuable digital business tools. Small businesses can leverage the power of AI to improve their operations, streamline their processes and gain a competitive edge. From automatic personalised email responses to personalising e-commerce experience every small business can have the opportunity to use AI to their advantage.
As AI technology continues to evolve and become more accessible, we are at the early stages of mainstream AI and these technologies will only improve. A key factor for small business owners is to stay informed about the latest advancements in AI technology, and to be open to experimenting with different ways to incorporate AI into their business operations. To see the power of AI in action why not try out ChatGPT for yourself.
Here at Eagle Dreams we asked ChatGPT a few questions.
The advancement in AI and it’s accessibility is providing a new and exciting digital tool for SME’s
Till next time.