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Yahoo Small Business 2020 Predictions: Small businesses will integrate AI into their overall business strategy

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Phil Grier, Commerce Engineer, Yahoo Small Business

Small businesses will integrate AI into their overall business strategy, in turn transforming business practices and modernizing marketing tactics

In 2020, artificial intelligence (AI) will help to close gaps in merchant capabilities that many small businesses with limited resources face. With AI, small businesses can manage their stores seamlessly and efficiently, both by automating work processes (such as employee management, IT service administration, or compliance regulation management) and enabling better inventory and delivery management. AI-based chatbots and virtual assistants further streamline business transactions and increase operational efficiencies, while also providing an optimal customer experience.

We also expect 2020 to bring an uptick in new services that make AI app development more accessible and affordable for small businesses. These services will be similar to those offered by large public cloud providers, but easier to implement and manage, more affordable, and scaled to meet a small business's needs. Due to their smaller and often nimbler nature, small businesses are poised to more easily and quickly adopt and implement corresponding emerging technologies. While AI efforts in larger enterprises sometimes become isolated and neglected by the overall executive team, in small businesses we expect to see a significant return on investment for AI initiatives as they focus on business-wide alignment, investment, and integration.

In addition to transforming business practices, AI will also transform marketing strategies and tactics. For small businesses that may not have a specialized department or resources available to dedicate solely to marketing, the use of AI assistants can help track metrics, detect anomalies, analyze ads, create and publish content, optimize campaigns, generate reports, and more. Implementation of AI assistants will also be used as a marketing tactic, streamlining the customer experience and improving transactions. In addition to integrating AI assistants into marketing strategies, video; images; and AI assistants will become increasingly important and relevant to SEO. With this, solutions to help SMBs in these areas will grow in popularity. 

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About the Author

Phil Grier

For more than a decade Phil Grier has worked directly with hundreds of online small business owners, solving issues and growing revenue by learning about each of their goals and challenges, and helping them succeed. During the same time, he and his wife, Chantel, started and grew their own online small business -- giving them "in the trenches" hands-on experience with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

Published Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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