Consumer brands have paved the way in setting digital expectations in the B2B sector. By developing straightforward buyer journeys and streamlined paths to purchase, B2C companies pioneered strategies that put customers in the driver\u2019s seat.\nWe now feel like we are in the second generation of B2C expectations that are once again paving the way for transformation in B2B commerce. This time it involves the use of intelligence. From AI-powered voice assistants like Amazon Alexa to intelligent chatbots and mobile apps like those provided by Sephora and Starbucks, consumer brands are capturing insights from machine data and customer interactions, using them to create better customer experiences.\nThe increased use of intelligence is a natural fit for B2B commerce, an environment rich with opportunities for data-based insights captured from many types of data driven customer interactions. But the real transformation will occur in the way B2B brands use that intelligence to share knowledge and deliver more personalized and efficient buying experiences to customers.\nIntelligence turns interactions into better commerce experiences\nHistorically, B2B businesses have relied on in-person meetings or phone contact to manage the requirements of complex products and longer buying cycles \u2013 issues that direct to consumer brands don\u2019t have to worry about. But these interactions create massive amounts of data that can be used to generate insights about the buying process as well as the needs and preferences of individual customers.\nThe use of intelligence also makes it possible for B2B brands to more effectively share knowledge and insights about the buying process. Although personal interactions still matter, AI can uncover insights that previously required decades of customer-facing experience to accumulate. By mining information gained through phone calls, meetings or other interactions, AI enables the company to distribute key insights across the organization. In essence, AI multiplies the impact of organizations\u2019 highest performing sales reps and streamlines the process of bringing new sales reps up to speed.\nCombined with advancements in AI technology, data captured from customer interactions and external variables (e.g., weather, time of year, etc.) enables B2B companies to create commerce experiences grounded in real-world insights. For example, the use of algorithms can be used to develop triggers that present customers with a different order mix during a heat wave than the one they receive during a heavy wind or snow event.\nAlthough use cases vary, the common thread is that intelligence becomes a catalyst for new smarter interactions that generate value for customers and new revenue opportunities for companies.\nThe future is already here\nBusinesses on the leading edge of commerce are already using intelligence in exciting ways. A large engine manufacturer recently used intelligence to develop an Amazon-like buying experience for a data-rich technology product. By connecting to a global database that updates service histories from similar equipment, customers and service technicians can diagnose problems more quickly and accurately, improving the efficiency routine and emergency service.\nFor example, the manufacturer\u2019s customers no longer have to rely exclusively on their fleet managers\u2019 personal experience and expertise to optimize service windows and parts ordering. Instead, the manufacturer leverages big data and AI to inform interactions and improve operational efficiency.\nUltimately, packaging and selling \u2018service guidance\u2019 as a service allows the engine manufacturer to extend the brand value. Doing it through a self-service, leading commerce experience adds to the promise of the new offering: deeper and more valuable brand interaction, while meeting business expectation to better engage and add new revenue opportunities.\nPractical advice for CIOs\nEngine manufacturers aren\u2019t the only B2B companies that can transform their commerce experiences through intelligence. Across a range of industries, forward-thinking brands are making significant progress in the use of AI in commerce and we are rapidly approaching the day when the sophisticated use of intelligence becomes standard operating practice.\nGoing forward, CIOs will be tasked with improving the use of intelligence in their organizations. To ensure the success of these new technologies, there are several things CIOs should keep in mind as they attempt to convert AI into measurable business outcomes:\n\nStay agile. Agility is a determining factor in the success of intelligence solutions. More than ever before, CIOs are under pressure to demonstrate results in weeks, not months. Flexible systems featuring easy integrations shorten implementation cycles and streamline the CIO\u2019s ability to use the technology in ways that benefit the business.\nLeverage partnerships. In many ways, intelligence is still a nascent technology. To avoid costly mistakes, CIOs need to collaborate with vendors and other partners on the implementation and optimization of AI-based solutions. In addition to providing advice about best practices for these technologies, trusted partners can help CIOs apply learnings captured from other firms and industries.\nIterate based on customer feedback. The true gauge of success for intelligence technologies will be whether or not they satisfy the urgent and evolving expectations of today\u2019s customers. Consequently, it\u2019s critical for CIOs to constantly gather customer feedback and use data-driven insights to adapt the way the organization uses intelligence.\n\nChange is once again coming to commerce and it\u2019s being powered by intelligence. Through the strategic use of advanced intelligence technologies, B2B businesses can now supercharge commerce experiences, making them more powerful and meaningful than ever.