In the last decade, artificial intelligence has made huge advancements and has integrated into almost every field, especially businesses and marketing. One of the major uses of AI and machine learning is sales forecasting. With the ability to process so much information at an incredibly rapid pace, it has become extremely beneficial for companies to turn towards the AI rather than traditional sales forecasting simulations.

MACHINE LEARNING AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Most people get confused between artificial intelligence and machine learning, as they may carry out similar tasks, however, there’s a clear difference between these two technologies, and we’ll help break it down for you.
First, it’s safe to say that the terms “Artificial Intelligence” and “Machine Learning” are often used interchangeably because both describe the use of software and hardware that enable a machine to be “intelligent.” However, the difference is that “Artificial Intelligence” is a broader term for providing machines with the ability to perform rational tasks, while “Machine Learning” is a subset of AI that encompasses the use of data for the machine to learn.

REACH YOUR SALES AND INVENTORY GOALS WITH CURVE

In general, AI is a concept where it is possible for a machine to “think” or react like humans. AI, Neural Networks, can learn by examples to execute arbitrary tasks. For instance, an AI ‘CRM’ solution can learn to respond to emails like humans. In essence, they can generate by teaching examples and very complex rules that humans follow.
Some people believe that just by stacking deeper and deeper artificial neural network, we will get a self-aware AI, and they call that hypothetical event ‘The Singularity’. However, that is highly doubted by industry professionals.

Machine learning is a bit more specific, as its main purpose is to read and learn the statistics and algorithms and learn from the historical data. In a nutshell, Machine Learning is taught to recognize patterns and make decisions based on statistical information. 

MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MACHINE LEARNING AND AI

While machine learning is taught to gather data and learn it AI is mainly focused on applying the data. AI’s main purpose is to increase the successes it has in any objective rather than machine learning, which aims to increases the accuracy. In essence, AI aims to stimulate natural intelligence in the computers however the goal for machine learning is to maximize the performance of the machine by learning new things from the data. 
Sales forecasting that uses machine learning techniques, however, draws data from all historical sales forecasts and creates a model that shows a typical path for a successful sale, from start to close, and then compares it to current performance. Anomalies and an off-track forecast can be quickly detected in the data, which gives sales leaders the opportunity to step in and redirect ecommerce sales.
Utilizing Machine Learning technology such as Curve helps your team make more accurate sales and inventory decisions. All of these enhanced activities improve overall sales effectiveness and drive growth in an organization. At Curve, our mission is to help sales teams improve your sales outlook and drive growth across the organization.

There is nothing worse for an online business than running out of stock or alternatively being stuck with unsold inventory. Both of these scenarios will potentially impact your bottom line.
Regardless of how great your marketing plan is, or how well your eCommerce website may be converting, if you fail to plan ahead, your customer will find an alternative, no question about it.
Sales and inventory forecasting delivers the insights to easily identify obsolete stock in order to promptly liquidate it – thus lowering directly lowering the costs associated with keeping it on your shelves.
For these reasons and so many others, sales and inventory forecasting are extremely important, and the fact is that it really isn’t as complicated as some may assume. Using a combination of sales history and future trends in sales, Curve’s machine-leading based sale prediction solution can supply today’s top retailers with future sales forecasts, based on a variety of point for every product.
An important benefit to leveraging Machine Learning for sales forecasting accuracy is the ability of Machine Learning to ingest data and present that information at a granular level. Today’s leading retailers and marketers are using machine learning to understand, anticipate and act on their sales faster and with more clarity than their competitors.

WHO SHOULD USE SALES PREDICTIONS

Sales forecasting is for everyone anyone who has a stake in a retail or eCommerce business and takes interest in predicting its future sales. At Curve, we assist eCommerce and brick-and-mortar merchants make informed business decisions, using our machine learning sales forecasting technology.

SALES FORECASTING AND INVENTORY MANAGEMENT BY CURVE

SALES PREDICTION BENEFITS

  • Optimal Stock – Avoid being out of stock or having too much stock.
  • Advanced Analytics  – Get weekly, monthly and quarterly sales forecasts.
  • Sales Predictions – Totals per category or per individual SKU.
  • Location-based Data –  Forecast your sales by stores or sales channel.
  • Cut time and Cost – Automate time-consuming sales prediction tasks.

To Recap, best practice demand forecasting helps a business succeed in having the right product in the right place, at the right time. Curve helps you forecast sales by time frames and variables such as geographic locations, individual SKUs and much more. Sales forecasting is an essential business technique that delivers a visual representation of where your business is heading. It’s not just a fancy top-level solution, but can be used by everyone who has a stake in the business. If you haven’t done so yet, schedule a free demo with Curve today. 

As an online retail business owner, there’s certainly no lack of amazing e-commerce platforms available to choose from. So the question remains; How do you choose the right platform for your business? Some may have a bit of experience on the technical side and would prefer to have full control over every feature, while others may not have the necessary skill and would like everything laid out in front of them, plain and simple. We’ve put together a quick overview of today’s top e-commerce platform, to give you a bird’s eye view and help you make sense of the best fit for your business.

BigCommerce

When trying to choose the right platform for your business, of course, you want the best. However, the best for someone else might not be the best for you. BigCommerce may be slightly more on the pricer side coming in at $29.95 dollars a month. The main question although is why would you pick Big Commerce for your business? The answer is its staff accounts. It may not seem like a big deal but if your business had five employees that need access to the account Shopify’s two won’t cut it. It also has clear directions on how to set up your business with 24/7 live chat support and if you’re starting that can be a blessing.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is generally a tier up from the novice at a business it is a bit more advanced. While it is not the most beginners friendly, it offers a lot more features. It is a Word Press website, and you will have to buy a domain name. It does get a bit technical but allows you to completely customize everything about your website and make it your own. It even comes off the top with its SEO. The best part, however, is that it is completely free with no extra transactions. It does not, however, compare with big commerce over features but what you get for the price is worth it.

Magento

Magento was one of the first e-Commerce websites on the market and has dominated it since then till 2014 when Shopify’s surpassed it in terms of popularity. Magneto is mostly free, but they do have a paid version for a large e-commerce business which does get expensive but offers a large number of advantages. It has a lot of users on it who will help you out for a small fee or even give you some free advice for free to help your site up. It has been used by many large brands like Nike, and gamble.

Shopify

Shopify has built a huge fan base for itself beating out magneto in the popularity, coming out on top and maintaining that crown as of 2019. It has a quick and easy setup process with a dashboard for adding products easily. When you sign up to Shopify, it even allows you to import your products from any other platform you were previously using. Everything on their website is easily accessible, and their goal is to allow anyone to launch their business without needing development or design skills. It has 24/7 live chat support as well as unlimited storage, product orders, etc. It offers great flexibility, and you will be to launch any business.
While it can be a difficult and grueling process to choose the right platform, it’s always best to pick one that you are most comfortable with, and that can handle your needs. You don’t need to pay for features you don’t use so it’s better to start small and upgrade as your business grows.