The Future of E-Commerce: Insights from Udayan Bose on AI-Powered Marketing

In this episode of Talk Commerce, I had the pleasure of speaking with Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir. With over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, Udayan shared his insights on the rapidly evolving landscape of e-commerce and how artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the way businesses approach marketing.

Failing Faster and Learning in Digital Marketing

One of the key themes that emerged from our conversation was the importance of adopting a “fail faster” mindset in digital marketing. As Udayan put it:

Just the willingness to dive in and figure things out and suddenly sort of you really have to obviously hustle hard but things slowly come in place and when it comes in place the impact is quite magical.

He emphasized that in an industry as dynamic as e-commerce, being open to experimentation and learning from failures is crucial for staying ahead of the curve.

Navigating Competitive Pressures and Rising Costs

Udayan also shed light on the challenges faced by e-commerce businesses today, particularly the squeeze on contribution margins due to intense competition and rising advertising costs. He noted:

If you certain categories saw a CPC increase of almost about 32%. So the cost per click, the same Google ad, costs a lot more now. So just think of it. You are unable to increase your prices, and the variable cost keeps on increasing. And this is leading to a massive squeeze in the contribution margins.

As someone who has worked with numerous e-commerce clients, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of these pressures on businesses. It’s more important than ever for merchants to optimize their marketing strategies and find ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

The Power of AI and Machine Learning in Marketing

One of the most fascinating parts of our discussion centered around the role of AI and machine learning in transforming digital marketing. Udayan explained the difference between horizontal AI, which focuses on productivity and doing more with less, and vertical AI, which is tailored to solving specific problems using a company’s own data.

Vertical AI, I think of it, is very specific to solving your problem. And the problem that, for example, our tool, Alexa Insight, solves […] is we just wanted to solve a simple problem that the entire e-commerce world or digital marketing was focused on new customer acquisition. We wanted to change it marginally and say that, can we use machine learning to help you do new high value customer acquisition?

This notion of leveraging AI to identify and acquire high-value customers resonated with me. As e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, the ability to target and retain the right customers can make all the difference in a business’s success.

Advice for E-Commerce Merchants

As we wrapped up our conversation, I asked Udayan what advice he would give to e-commerce store owners looking to stay ahead in today’s market. His response emphasized the importance of experimentation and staying informed about industry trends:

I would actually sort of have two very specifically. The first one is just creating, carving those experiments of those tests. […] The second one effectively is as simple as that. I mean, you have to reserve 10% of your personal time as the business owner or the CMO to just explore what is going on because in many cases the biggest mistake I have seen a lot of lot of business owners really make they’re just so so much working inside out that they just never get the time to look at us to what season am I in, right?

I couldn’t agree more with this advice. In my experience working with e-commerce businesses, the most successful ones are those that prioritize continuous learning and adaptation.

Watch the full episode on YouTube

Final Thoughts

My conversation with Udayan Bose offered a wealth of insights into the future of e-commerce and the role of AI in shaping digital marketing strategies. As we navigate this rapidly evolving landscape, embracing experimentation, staying attuned to industry shifts, and leveraging the power of AI will be key to thriving in the years ahead.

To dive deeper into these topics and hear more of Udayan’s expertise, be sure to listen to the full Talk Commerce podcast episode. Let’s keep the conversation going – reach out and share your own experiences and insights on the future of e-commerce!

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  • Brent W. Peterson

    Who is Brent Peterson? Brent is a serial entrepreneur and marketing professional with a passion for running. He co-founded Wagento and has a new adventure called ContentBasis. Brent is the host of the podcast Talk Commerce. He has run 25 marathons and one Ironman race. Brent has been married for 29 years. He was born in Montana, and attended the University of Minnesota and Birmingham University without ever getting his degree.

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