Artificial intelligence is all the rage in business today. But what you may not know is that AI apps and programs can help boost your conversion optimization -- that is, increase the number of people who purchase things on your website, and sell more of your products with less effort.

AI can improve conversion rates by helping you do a number of things:

  • Access key data about customer preferences and behavior, so that you can find creative ways to develop your brand and appeal to buyers. 
  • Process data at a speed (and volume) no individual, or even team, can.
  • Communicate with customers and potential customers quicker and more effectively, allowing you to fulfill their wants and needs and make them loyal return customers.

There are literally thousands of AI tools, apps, and software -- hundreds of which focus on helping business owners sell more. I filtered the options based on a few criteria:

  1. A focus on small business
  2. Tools that can significantly increase conversion, sales or profits. 
  3. Solutions you can deploy today, with little effort, cost, and time.

Here are some of the top AI tools I found:

Flow XO 

This free AI tool provides a customer service chatbot. Chatbots allow users to interact with services as if they're sending a message to another person. As you grow your customer base it becomes impossible to communicate with your customers, personally, 24/7; chatbots address that challenge faster and more efficiently than any call center could. 

Big brands like Burberry, Telus, and Tommy Hilfiger actively use chatbots to drive customer engagement up while bringing customer service costs down. With Flow XO, you can bring the same benefits to your small business.

Shoelace

This is an AI tool for re-targeting ads. Re-targeting is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of customers after they leave your website. (For example, after you leave an online store, that store can follow you online and show you ads to increase the likelihood that you will return and complete a purchase, or make another one). 

For some users it can seem a bit creepy (how did Facebook know to show me an ad for a product I considered buying last week?) but many store owners swear by this technique. I checked the reviews for the app posted on Shopify (4.7 stars based on 323 reviews) and found store owners raving about it, with  one user saying Shoelace generated a "a x27 return on my ad spend." This may sound extraordinary, but according to experts it isn't.

Kevin Tash, CEO of Tack Media, a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles, states what many of have come to believe is a benchmark, that "only 2 percent of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store." According to CMO.com, re-targeting can boost ad response up to 400 percent.

(Full disclosure: Ryerson Futures, the seed VC fund I work with, has an investment in Shoelace).

Convertize and Nudgify

Convertize uses machine learning to personalize website content based on the visitor. Each visitor has an experience tailored to them, and the tool generates urgency through nudge marketing notifications ("Buy now! Only 2 left in stock"). Nudgify does something similar for those running a Shopify store. It uses the concept of social selling ("3 of your friends just bought X") to drive higher conversion.

Keatext

This free AI tool focuses on customer feedback. It shares negative and positive responses from your customers in real time. Armed with this information, you have the potential to create a feedback loop, constantly iterating your offerings to increase conversion.

Conversica 

Another free tool, Conversica analyzes your online ad performance on various parameters including reach, users, bounce rate, and more. It also provides you just-in-time vital marketing metrics, like email sent, clicks and open rates, the best time to post, etc. This data can help you increase your customer database and provide the best solutions with optimal timing. 

Zoho CRM

Just as all businesses have an online presence, almost all use some form of CRM (customer relationship management) software to track, engage, and service their clients. However, many entrepreneurs are unaware that many leading CRM tools, including Zoho and Salesforce, now have AI built in.

With these AI tools, you can let software do all the work of analyzing your customer data. This will help your sales team better understand each customer, and predict whether that customer is good lead for future sales.

Published on: Sep 22, 2018