Most digital commerce firms say AI results in double-digit rise in outcomes: Gartner survey

Most digital commerce firms say AI results in double-digit rise in outcomes: Gartner survey
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12 Oct, 2018

As many as 75% of digital commerce organisations are seeing double-digit improvements in business outcomes, according to a survey by information technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.

Gartner surveyed 307 digital commerce organisations from India, China, the US, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The survey found that the respondents noted a 19% growth in customer satisfaction, and 15% each in revenue and cost reduction.

On average, respondents spent $1.3 million on development for an AI project in digital commerce. However, of the more successful organisations, 52% spent less than $1 million on development, 20% between $1 and $2 million, and 9% spent more than $5 million.

Gartner predicts that, by 2020, AI will be used by at least 60% of digital commerce organisations and that 30% of digital commerce revenue growth will be attributable to AI technologies.

“Digital commerce is fertile ground for AI technologies, thanks to an abundance of multidimensional data in both customer-facing and back-office operations,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.

The survey found a wide range of applications for AI in digital commerce. The top three uses are customer segmentation, product categorisation and fraud detection.

Despite early success, digital commerce organisations face significant challenges in implementing AI. Twenty nine per cent of the digital commerce organisations surveyed said that a lack of quality training data and 27% said in-house skills are the top challenges in deploying AI in digital commerce.

According to the survey, AI skills are scarce and many organisations will have to hire from outside or seek help from external partners.

On average, 43% of respondents chose to custom-build the solutions developed in-house or by a service provider. In comparison, 63% of the more successful organisations are leveraging a commercial AI solution.

“Solutions of proven performance can give you higher assurance as those have been tested in multiple deployments, and there is a dedicated team maintaining and improving the model,” said Shen.