Cognitive commerce is about to take B2B businesses by storm

Cognitive commerce is an emerging technology that uses cognitive computing (computers that learn) to automatically observe customer behaviors and use those observations to deliver personalized solutions – right down to the prices and products customers see, and the customer service they receive.

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For instance, if two customers visit an online store and click on “Shoes,” the two customers would see different shoes (colors, sizes, types, etc.) based on what has been shared by those customers, what has been observed about each customer, and what works for similar types of customers. For businesses, this means using intelligent technology to learn about what your customers want, overall and at an individual level.

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We are already seeing cognitive commerce starting to transform the retail space. For example, using IBM’s Watson AI platform, 1-800-Flowers.com created a virtual assistant, allowing customers to describe the kind of gift they are looking for and giving personalized recommendations based on their criteria. Likewise, Net-a-Porter utilized IBM Watson to create a single customer-view to better understand customer demands, and a control point for distribution to make products available faster.

Following their uptake by retailers, cognitive commerce solutions are set to shake up the B2B market as well. Here are some of the key trends we’re likely to see.

What does cognitive commerce mean for B2B businesses and their buyers?

Imagine a scenario in which each time a buyer enters your eCommerce portal they can see products tailored to their specific interests, with prices adjusted to product configurations. Better still – all of this happens based on computer learning rather than manual input.

Cognitive commerce is more than just personalization; it’s the ability to effectively automate optimized inventory and supply chain processes.

Cognitive commerce for B2B businesses can:

Predict future demand for products – Automate forecasting using past sales data, seasonal trends, economic factors, etc. Demand forecasts can then be used to make inventory buying decisions.

Generate product recommendations – Generate useful insights into opportunities for upselling and cross-selling based on customer data.

Optimize prices automatically – Show customers tailored pricing models according to competitors’ pricing, supply constraints, and customers’ behaviors. This is especially useful for B2B businesses that sell to a wide variety of customers.

Monitor customers’ behavior –  Analyze customers’ spending trends, preferences, and purchasing histories to provide a completely customized buying experience to every customer.

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Be proactive rather than reactive – Predict customers’ needs ahead of time and offer personalized customer service based on those needs.

TradeGecko’s B2B eCommerce platform brings cognitive technology to B2B businesses by tailoring products to customers’ interests and showing custom prices based on products shown

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