How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Small Businesses in 2020
Almost every business be it small or large has begun to look for ways to make their business operations more seamless, efficient and fast and that’s where Artificial Intelligence comes in. The evolution of AI and its application have proliferated around the world and it is still rising.
Did it ever strike your mind, how an assistant on a website replies to your messages so quickly? One moment you search for a product online, the next moment that specific product ads show up on your social media and other pop up notifications? How your mobile automatically completes a word?
The answer is Artificial Intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence is almost helping us wherever possible. From communicating with your friends to online purchases, from Google’s AI-driven predictions to smart email categorization, AI has been helping us in our day to day lives and it has much more potential that one can think of.
Artificial Intelligence is simply a machine, powered by human intelligence to make our job easy and efficient. An AI can analyze data and anticipate the problems and then solve it.
AI can be of three major types and they are
- a) Artificial Narrow Intelligence
- b) Artificial General Intelligence and
- c) Artificial Super Intelligence
And the secondary AI types are categorized as :
- d) Reactive Machines
- e) Theory of Mind and Self-Awareness
- f) Self -Aware AI.
sales processes in 2020. AI is not a trending technology, it has been with us since the late 1950s. Since then it has been used in different forms and has different methods of applications such as machine learning, cognitive computing, deep learning, neural
According to data by Gartner, more than 30 % of businesses will use AI in one of their networks, computer vision, natural language processing, and knowledge reasoning.
It may seem that the application of AI may cost a fortune and only mega-brands like Google, Apple or Facebook can only access the use of AI, but there are giant corporations who have been investing in millions to develop AI and making it available to every kind of business, especially the smaller ones and startups.
What drives the evolution of Artificial Intelligence?
The year 2017 saw a meteoric rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning( ML) and the latter plays a crucial role in transforming business digitally. From giant platform vendors to small startups, the primary area they are working with is both AI and ML. Businesses started investing in R&D to escalate the research and bring these two into real applications. Many businesses started implementing AI and ML in their business process and operations.
There are several factors that drive its growth :
Algorithms: Deep learning and pattern identification are some of the captivating factors that played a major role in the adoption of AI.
Capital: In the last 2 years, the top 100 AI-powered startups have raised more than $ 11.7 billion in the capital.
Data: Machine learning models are provided with large pools of data so that they can learn from the given sets of data when needed and become better while making decisions and reasoning.
Hardware: Starting from Nvidia’s deep learning chip to Qualcomm’s neural processing unit (NPU) and especially the Alphabet’s advanced tensor processing unit (TPU) are getting better at enabling more effective AI.
Apps: Amazon’s Echo, Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri are making our everyday life easier integrating seamlessly with the apps.
Now, let’s take a look at how the incorporation of AI can make your business operations more efficient and productive.
How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Small Businesses in 2020?
Businesses all over the world are adopting the application of AI to eliminate repetitive tasks such as timesheets, paperwork and improve the process of hiring.
According to a study by Gartner, customer relationship management will increase to 85 % without interacting with a human by the end of 2020.
The business of any size especially startups and small businesses are turning to AI to proliferate the productivity and outrank their competitors. The use of AI doesn’t only save your time but also saves the cost of operations and sales.
Here is how :
1. Boosting up Administrative Jobs
AI has the potential to boost any administrative professional who wants to take their administrative skills to the next level. Be it a large business or small, business leaders are shifting to the implementation of AI to lower down repeated jobs such as boring paperwork, maintaining timesheets, and scheduling of activities. Millions of people are seen using virtual assistants to ask about the weather, set a reminder or make voice searches. Application in business would help you to go through thousands of emails for you and help as an auto-reminder of tasks. AI can also improve the process of data monitoring, document editing, calendar coordination and handling customer services.
2. Increase in Sales
As I said earlier, more than 30% of businesses are going to use AI in their sales process. The business that underestimates the strength of AI will stay behind their competitors. And those already working with AI can help the sales agent better to follow up on legitimate leads and then convert it into a sale. It reduces the total time taken to crack a lead and will also satisfy the customer by improving their experience.
Customers that purchase online face difficulties with returns, replacement, and refund. And they expect swift answers to their questions. While human interactions are becoming expensive, a chatbot is increasingly advancing to meet the requirement as it helps angry customers get their answers quickly.
3. Transform Human Resources
AI is overtaking human task and is doing it precisely. It is changing the process of hiring and cutting down on recruits and onboarding costs. Human resource finds it difficult to figure out who is right for a specific job and which candidate will leave the job in a few months, but AI can help you with that.
Businesses are putting up interactive games to analyze the cognitive skills and personality of the applicants. This will determine who is the best and will save time and thousands of dollars from the recruiting process. Moreover, tools are in development that can go through hundreds of applications and choose the suitable ones. AI is will also help in other activities like candidate screening, interview process and can be used as a hub of FAQs(frequently asked questions) about the company.
4. Intelligent Email Marketing
Following the last few years, it can be said that AI is playing a crucial role in marketing. Email marketing is a part of digital marketing that is getting smarter with the help of AI applications. Businesses and marketers all over the world believe email to be one of the most productive marketing channels which has one of the highest returns on investment.
AI can be used to collect customer email address at the time of purchase via a POS(point of sale) system. Online retailers such as the eCommerce sector and modern POS system can be integrated with an email marketing platform so that you can merge your online customer list with the physical ones and create a segmented email list, categorized by purchase intervals, locations and many more. Segmenting your emails will help serve your customers better.
Apart from the segmentation of emails, AI can also be used in the automation and scheduling of emails to specific recipients.
5. Enhanced Customer Experience
With the advancement of technology, the information we want is at our fingertips. Customers’ expectations have globally raised in the last decade especially with the widespread use of the internet and online business. AI is especially seen as a crucial role player when it comes to customer experience in eCommerce with more than 49 % of customers wishing to buy products online.
Businesses are using AI in different formats to enhance customer experiences such as using programmed chatbots to solve customer queries and problems. Smart chatbots come up with a quick reply without any emotional judgment which makes the task easy. A virtual assistant can be another example of AI application that is used worldwide now and above all AI never sleeps. This technology doesn’t take a single day off and will provide support for 24/7/365. AI will help you to improve engagement and enhance the overall customer experience.
6. Smarter Management of Products
While we are rolling fast towards the 4th industrial revolution AI is making its way too fast with other technological breakthroughs. At the beginning of industrialization, the production workshops and factories invented machines that could only do one job at a time. The demand and supply couldn’t meet at times, eventually giving birth to the concept of AI which first was coined in 1956.
AI today can analyze the Internet of Things data from the interconnected accessory so that it could predict the expected load through a specific class of deep learning networks. Turn the data into insight and later turn your insight into an outcome. Mega brands like P&G and Amazon have already integrated AI in their facilities to get a task done faster and easier.
7. AI Helping Us With Security
According to a report by Market Research Engine, the AI in the Security domain is anticipated to rise more than $35 Billion by the year 2024 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 31 % in the given forecast period. Businesses be it small or big have realized the potential of AI in cybersecurity. It can work as a super security tool for detecting potential threats.
Its efficiency in analyzing business data will help in detecting any potential security threats hiding in the system. Apart from analyzing threats, it can help improve security and suggest on how to combat such issues for a specific area of their network. And it will be mostly used to automate repetitive jobs and will help you to have a better insight into what’s going to come and how to tactfully counter it.
8. VirtualAssistantse and Chatbots have made their way in
Virtual assistants are helping home and businesses in everyday life such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. The concept of the virtual assistant was brought forward with the aim to reduce human stress by getting things done with the help of your reliable virtual assistant. From telling you the weather forecast to remind you of your schedules, from managing your emails to your calendars, they cover it all.
Chatbots are a category of virtual assistants that many online businesses have integrated into their websites to assist the customers quickly. It can help the customers when they land on a webpage and can answer to any query made by them. They are like 24/7 working employee that doesn’t rest. 53 % of customers first prefer to use online chats for their problems before calling customer care. So, it is a very good idea to incorporate chatbots in your digital business.
9. AI changing Content Marketing
Artificial Intelligence allows marketers to analyze the ever-changing realm of content marketing by evaluating user data and make sense of user intent. Content marketing rules change very frequently with time and blogs are becoming longer due to high competition in the digital domain. Google has launched new machine learning updates and marketers have to abide by those guidelines to be at the top of search engine result pages. Personalized advertising today has become a pre-requisite for business and especially for blogging sites.
There are many ways AI can contribute to the dynamic of content marketing keeping up with the guidelines. AI can now generate content on their own and you would not even notice it. Companies like Yahoo and Fox has been using machine-generated content for quite some time now. Keeping this apart, AI can help grow your content by social sharing with the help of customized news feed. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram can be customized for better user experience. They will only see what they want to see and nothing else.
It will help to manage your content and schedule an auto-update of contents and moreover it will work as a content curator for your online business. And on the top of all AI’s predictive intelligence is making businesses more efficient by understanding an individual user and how to put personalize content according to their interest and needs.
Now, let’s figure out which industry already have their hand upon Artificial Intelligence and how productive AI is.
Who is using Artificial Intelligence?
In 2020, more or less every industry is trying to leverage AI in the respective fields to boost productivity and sales. Eliminate monotonous tasks and save time, handle customer queries and be of legal assistance.
Few of the industries are mentioned below :
The healthcare industry has already been using the AI-powered tools and software to make things easier for both doctors and consumers(patients). It can help you with personalized medicine and moreover, it will assist you like a life coach to remind you of your diet, medicines, and exercise.
The shopping experience has changed a lot in the last few years with the application of AI. AI can help in both the stock and labor-management lessening jobs of the human. It has started improving the virtual shopping capabilities with personalized recommendations of products to discussing the purchase options with consumers.
The education sector has beneficially adapted the applications of AI to create specific learning models for the students, be it a child or an adult. Having talked earlier AI has been shaping the administrative tasks such as document handling, monitoring sales and pulling up reminders and it goes on.
Tremendous growth has been observed in this industry due to the use of Artificial intelligence efficiently. From helping the customer service to providing more relevant offers to the clients through the right channels, AI is shining everywhere.
Last but not least, the sports industry is also using AI to augment their way of coaching and gameplay. They are using AI to take images of the gameplay and use it while coaching on how to organize the game better such as better field positioning and improved strategy.
The technology of Artificial Intelligence is proliferating rapidly and being adopted by many small scale businesses and start-ups to save both money and time.
While there are many businesses that know the potential of AI and have been quick to adopt this technology and there are others who might be joining the trend very soon. The reality is AI will stay with us. The 2 most beneficial reasons that small business is implementing AI is, it saves both time and resources. Businesses all over the world are its small scale or big is continuously changing and adopting the use of artificial intelligence to stand out of the crowd. From your home to your office, from social media to emails, from chatbots to fraud prevention, from AI autopilot to Google’s AI-powered prediction, from automation of cars to predictive medicines, AI happens to be a ubiquitous technology today.