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#15 How AI Will Destroy Your Ecommerce Business In 2024



Hey Vanquishers,


You are in one of two AI camps right now, you’re either;


a) Scared sh*tless about it and can see that it’s doing as much harm as it is good


b) You think the cavalry has arrived and it’s going to solve all your problems


The verdict? You’re both right, but it’s far more nuanced than you might think. Today’s send aims to give brands and agencies some insight into the pitfalls and why AI will make or break you in the coming months.



 

TODAY, IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS, YOU’LL LEARN:


✔️ VANQUISH FRAMEWORK: YOUR AGENCY ISN’T THE ENEMY!

✔️ HOW AI WILL DESTROY YOUR ECOMMERCE BRAND IN 2024

✔️ LESSONS FROM THOSE LEVERAGING AI IN THE RIGHT WAY

✔️ THE BOTTOM LINE: STAND OUT BY BEING HUMAN

✔️ ONE RANDOM GEM FROM MY YOUNGER SELF

 



SPONSORED BY VANQUISH COMMERCE GROUP


Global expansion made simple.


We partner with emerging and established consumer brands to help them take their eCommerce business to the next level in both their home market and on a global scale.


Our unique Alliance™ model plugs the gap between an agency and a traditional accelerator, ensuring that our partners retain profit and control whilst leveraging our extensive expertise, tech and human resources to scale faster internationally.


Our in-house expansion expertise means that brands can also expand internationally in as little as 90 days, without worrying about tax, product compliance, logistics, translations, marketing and all the other headaches.


We've helped over 200 clients expand and scale their operations overseas in the last 2 years, handling every aspect of their launch end-to-end.


Some of our clients include Intex, Keter, Makita, Bestway & Le Creuset.


A partner in the truest sense, we are changing the way agencies and consultants interact with brands to make real impact.


See how we’re doing it right here.

 

VANQUISH FRAMEWORK: YOUR AGENCY ISN’T THE ENEMY!


I have been very vocal about agencies in the past, but this week I’m in their corner.


They often get a bad rep for two reasons:


1. They’re actually bad. 90% fit here and I have no sympathy. You shouldn’t be dabbling in what you don’t know. Stop it.


2. The brand gives them the wrong scope information, data and/or wherewithal.


In the case of the latter, it happens all the time. The brand tells them they are doing $200K per month, it’s $100K. They tell them they are spending $40K in ads, it’s $4K. Worst of all, they come to the table with poor inventory continuity or inconsistent price strategy.


They have one arm tied behind their back and they are under the microscope. Give these guys a break, they can’t do magic.


Both agency and brand need to be honest with each other upfront, the data needs to be accessible and they need fair provision to make it happen.


The good guys then get swept away with the bad ones, and the churn goes on. Do what you can, help these guys to help you.



 

HOW AI WILL DESTROY YOUR ECOMMERCE BRAND IN 2024


There's no denying that AI has revolutionised the eCommerce landscape. From predictive analytics to chatbots and recommendation engines, AI has enabled brands to enhance customer experiences, optimise operations, and boost sales. The possibilities are exciting, and it's easy to get caught up in the hype.


AI can analyse vast datasets in real-time, making product recommendations, personalising content, and even predicting trends. It never gets tired, never takes a day off, and can be incredibly efficient. So, what's not to love? Well, it's important to remember that AI, no matter how advanced, is a tool, and like any tool, it depends on how it's used.


Many eCommerce brands think the cavalry have arrived, and that they can discard agencies and service providers as they go on to automate their empire.


Agencies are frantic that they are going to become redundant as brands sail off into this utopian sunset.


Neither could be farther from the truth.


There are some pretty incredible tools coming out right now for sellers on platforms such as Amazon. We’re seeing tools automating research, sourcing, listing optimisation, re-pricing, image generation and customer service. Amazon itself is about to Beta release its own lifestyle image generator, and it has been doing Pan-EU translations and tax for years.


Cool right? Well, it depends.


We can count on one important fact. Humans are lazy. We are seeing it already, brands diving headlong into AI and leaving it to do its thing. And it’s a sh*t show.


❌ Listings that sound as wooden and inhuman as possible, you can smell it a mile off.


❌ Images that either look like a superimposition clipart from 1990 or look nothing like the product the customer will receive.


❌ Repricing so erratic your accountant will develop PTSD.


❌ And leaving customer services in the hands of a bot, well, good luck!


You can spot the AI-managed brands from outer space…and guess what: SO CAN THE CONSUMER!


Most of the U.S. brands that Vanquish work with came to us because Amazon made PAN-EU translations for them that read like a 5-year-old language beginner.


They also came to us because they got a sexy tax deal for the first year, only to be slammed with huge bills and ghost-like customer service thereafter.


If Amazon can’t get it right on a large-scale AI tech footing, what hope does an SME brand or agency have?


As we look ahead to 2024, one critical factor we must not overlook is the irreplaceable role of human expertise in eCommerce. AI can do many things, but it can't replace the nuanced decision-making, creativity, and emotional intelligence that humans bring to the table. Your brand's reputation and customer relationships rely on a level of personalisation and empathy that AI alone simply can't deliver.


1. Creativity and Innovation: AI can analyse data and optimise, but it cannot generate groundbreaking ideas. Innovation often comes from humans, whether it's designing unique products, creating compelling marketing campaigns, or finding new ways to engage with your audience.


2. Customer Relationships: Building trust and loyalty with your customers is a human endeavour. When a customer has a problem, they often seek human interaction to resolve it. AI may assist, but it can't replicate the understanding and empathy that a human support agent can provide.


3. Adaptability: AI can automate repetitive tasks, but it struggles when faced with sudden and unexpected changes. Human adaptability and problem-solving skills are invaluable when navigating the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape.


One of the potential dangers of relying too heavily on AI is the risk of losing the core values and identity of your brand. When you let AI take the reins entirely, your brand may become indistinguishable from competitors using the same AI tools, leading to a generic and uninspiring customer experience.


Furthermore, overreliance on AI can lead to significant financial risks. Consider the scenario where an AI-driven marketing campaign goes awry or your product recommendations alienate your customers. Without human oversight, such missteps can be costly and damaging to your brand.


So what should we do instead?

The key to success in eCommerce in 2024 and beyond lies in finding the right balance between AI and human expertise. Here are some strategies to consider:


1. Use AI as an Enabler: Leverage AI to enhance your human team's capabilities, allowing them to focus on high-impact tasks that require creativity and emotional intelligence.


2. Invest in Training: Ensure your team is well-equipped to work alongside AI. Training and upskilling are essential to harness the full potential of AI while retaining the human touch.


3. Regularly Review AI Outputs: Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of AI systems to catch any issues and make necessary adjustments.


4. Maintain Brand Identity: Don't let AI strip your brand of its unique identity. Use AI to support and amplify your brand values, not replace them.


5. Don’t Fire The agency: Work with them. Many will have access to enterprise-level AI tools way beyond your budget and will utilise them properly. Work together, and ask them how they will use them and where. Someone still has to manage the tools and leverage them properly, and crucially plan and strategise like only a human can.


AI is a powerful tool that can undoubtedly benefit your eCommerce brand. However, it should complement, not replace, the talent and creativity of your human team. As we move into 2024, remember that your brand's success will be determined by how well you strike a balance between harnessing the potential of AI and retaining the irreplaceable qualities that humans bring to the table.


 

LESSONS FROM THOSE LEVERAGING AI IN THE RIGHT WAY


💥 Choose the right tools. There are so many on the market right now, and new ones are being released every day. But remember, the best ones don’t come cheap.


💥 Don’t rely on it as an autonomous solution, leverage it as part of a very human brand-building strategy.


💥 Check and check again! The biggest failures are coming from those applying the set & forget method to AI. It doesn’t work. Check every AI contribution with meticulous attention to detail. It will help you, but it will not replace.


💥 Don’t replace your partners with AI, let them stay at the party and see how they work in unison for the greater success of your brand.



 

THE BOTTOM LINE: STAND OUT BY BEING HUMAN


You will soon find yourself faced with a parting of the waters, a real blue ocean divide between lazy sellers out for a quick buck and brand-builders out for long-term success.


As more and more rely on AI as a total solution, the smartest will utilise it as part of a wider long game. These people care about their customers and how they interact with the brand.

This will become more evident over the next 12 months.


Take the opportunity to stand out from this lot, and keep building the brand…with the help of AI.


 

ONE RANDOM GEM FROM MY YOUNGER SELF


For 20 years, I have been filling Peter Pauper Press journals with notable quotes, wisdom and things to remember. I write privately, for me. Now I want to share one with you exactly as I wrote it then:




The power myth of positive thinking


Positive thinking is essential, it’s proven in so many ways, but…


Nobody can be positive ALL the time, it’s impossible biologically. Depressions and anxiety is a human flaw, it will happen to the happiest, most successful people. The real ‘secret’ is in feeling this way and still going to work, still putting a shift in. Narrowing focus, following your routine, fulfilling a crucial task, and getting through the day.


“Action beats anxiety, Motion beats depression” Craig Bannatyne


“When you find yourself in hell, keep going” Winston Churchill





📰 Amazon’s New AI Will Make Its Junk Problem Even Worse


The news sites we link articles to are provided for the benefit of our readers, and do not suggest affiliation.


 

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Spread The Word


I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, therefore everything I talk about is a result of real-life commercial experience from doing the same things you’re doing to grow your brand.


The benefit is always hindsight, and if I’d known the pitfalls and the right levers to pull at the right time…I’d have reduced a 20-year process to 2.


I hope this weekly send, our daily content and overarching message helps you do just that.


If it does, please spread the word with your colleagues, family, friends or anyone who could use the help.


Happy Building, Vanquish The Competition & Follow The Opportunity…Wherever It May Be




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