ai eCommerce News – June 30

Forty-five percent of retailers are planning to use AI in the next few years, according to the latest research from Boston Retail Partners. This AI integration will be done through the use of chatbots or digital assistants and primarily used for customer enhancement services.
    Optimizing the customer experience — 55 percent
    Increasing customer loyalty — 50 percent
    Improving mobile shopping experience — 45 percent
    Creating a seamless experience across channels — 42 percent
    Enhancing personalized service/sales assistance — 32 percent
    Providing personalized promotions, recommendations and/or offerings — 24 percent”
“While it is still early days for AI technology, Alibaba has made no secret of its ambitions in the space. However, Alibaba faces competition from its rival Chinese internet companies Baiduand Tencent, both of which are investing heavily in AI.
Baidu, which is in the process of becoming an AI-first company, this year announced a major breakthrough in technology development after successfully teaching a virtual agent to learn a language from scratch. The move is viewed as a significant step towards teaching machines to learn like humans.

Last month, Tencent announced it would open a second AI lab, basing its new centre in Seattle, as the firm steps up its research into AI, machine learning and deep learning.”

AI Vendor Research: Unbxd


Vendor: Unbxd
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA & Bangalore, India
Key Product:
Machine Learning Site Search & Merchandising
Product Recommendations
Articles about Unbxd:
Clients:
Express, Ashley Homestore, HSN, Bed/Bath/Beyond, rue21
Founders:
Pavan Sondur, CEO & Co-Founder, LinkedIn Profile
Prashant Kumar, Founder, LinkedIn Profile
Case Studies / Data:
Differentiator:

Unbxd offers a Site Search Speed Test Report and a Free Commerce Search Study to analyze your customer experience.

CEOs: From Mobile-First to AI-First World

“‘An important shift from a mobile first world to an AI first world,’ declared Google CEO Sundar Pichai, summarizing the Google I/O 2017 keynote yesterday. His description of the changes underway at his company apply to nearly every business today.”
“Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stage at his company’s massive Ignite conference to lay out his vision for how deep learning and artificial intelligence will transform the company.
‘AI is at the intersection of our ambitions,’ Nadella said, noting how it will allow us ‘to reason over large amounts of data and convert that into intelligence.’ He likened AI to the arrival of books and the web and joked that we will soon create so much data that ‘we are getting to a point where we don’t even know what to name things.’”
Artificial intelligence has become more of a philosophy than a programming tool at Facebook. Laced across the company’s products, it holds the power to analyze data at the massive scale required by a social network connecting a quarter of the world’s population.
In a speech today at Web Summit, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer laid out a vision for the role artificial intelligence and machine learning will play in the company’s ambitions to improve global connectivity, technology accessibility, and human computer interaction.”

Apple’s (AAPL) annual developer conference keynote was action-packed, with the company showing off several new pieces of hardware, including its first smart speaker. While these are likely to garner much of the attention, it was Apple’s constant drum beating about its artificial intelligence prowess that may wind up being the most important.”

AI eCommerce News – June 14th

This is the year that Salesforce is inserting its Einstein AI functionality into all of its products. Salesforce Commerce Cloud Einstein now has its share of technology innovations that enable retailers to provide shoppers with personalized, AI-powered experiences that span Web, mobile, social, in-store and more.
There’s a hierarchy of needs that applies to retail commerce customers, noted Dwight Moore, senior director for retail and GTM at Salesforce. They can be summed up as, ‘know me, remember me, make it easy for me, surprise and delight me, and make my life better.’”
It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence i.e. AI has been touted as one of the biggest things to change the ecommerce industry. Currently estimated by eMarketer to be almost 7.3% of all global sales, the ecommerce industry is using AI to push the envelope. With increasing competition, all e-commerce platforms need to find smarter ways to engage with customers and anticipate their needs.”
CognitiveScale traces its roots to a number of IBM engineers who had in turn worked on Watson, the supercomputer project that works with A.I. and data analytics.  The company offers CortexOS, which is cloud based technology, to leverage data streams across predictive analytics. Those data streams come from customer sources (known as Engage) and employee sources (known as Amplify).  Unstructured data sources come from social media and other sites and sources including mobile apps and call centers.”

“In industries like CPG, brand sales are declining, or at the very least growth is stalling. Many brands are looking to ecommerce, which represents 20 to 40 percent of overall sales in China, to drive sales back to a healthy level. This means brands are relying on ecommerce giants like JD.com to help them achieve scale.”

Vendor Research: EasyAsk

Vendor: EasyAsk    
Headquarters: Burlington, MA
Key Product:
EasyAsk for B2C, B2B, Mobile
Key Features:
Natural Language Search
Voice-enabled Natural Language Mobile Search
Integrations: Magento, NetSuite, Infor, IBM, Hybris
Articles/Posts about EasyAsk:
Clients: North Face, Timberland, True Value, Aramark


Founders:
Craig Bassin, CEO – LinkedIn Profile
Dr. Larry R. Harris, Founder and Advisor – LinkedIn Profile
Data:
– “Our sales per search session increased by 23% when we added EasyAsk to our WebSphere platform.” Cal Bouchard, Sr. Director Of Ecommerce At The North Face

– Personalization Mall’s conversion rate exceeds industry averages by 2-3x

AI, Visual Data, Semantic Search and the Fashion Industry

“Major technology companies and new startups are at war over having the most valuable artificial intelligence and at the core of this war is having unique high quality visual data.
Fei-Fei Li, Director of the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Lab and Chief Scientist AI/ML at Google Cloud says, ‘As nature discovered early on, vision is one of the most powerful secret weapons of an intelligent animal to navigate, survive, interact and change the complex world it lives in…The only path to build intelligent machines is to enable it with powerful visual intelligence…While many are searching for the ‘killer app’ of vision, I’d say, vision is the ‘killer app’ of AI and computing.’
Computer vision expert and Professor Computer Vision at Cornell Tech, Serge Belongie says ‘A majority of the human brain involves processing of visual data, for purposes such as scene interpretation and spatial navigation. Visual data is central to the way we learn about the world, and it follows that the pursuit of intelligent machines will require substantial advances in our ability to process and interpret visual data.’”
“Two separate research studies, funded by Apptus and carried out by IMRG and Hive, have found that fashion retailers are planning significant investment in artificial intelligence (AI) over the next two years, as they seek to deliver the ‘real time relevant’ customer experiences that are vital to improving sales performance.
– 52% will invest in AI for online merchandising in the next 12 month
– 67% of respondents said AI would help to improve organisational efficiency
– 62% said it would enable them to deliver an enhanced customer experience
– 58% said it would help them to make more effective use of big data
Asked to identify the areas of their businesses that will benefit the most from automation in the coming 3-5 years, scoring each out of 10, they awarded personalisation a score of 7.9 and online merchandising: 7.8. By contrast customer service scored five out of ten.”
“Semantic search uses both Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence to understand long search terms (like chocolate bars under 5 dollars). By using Machine Learning techniques it can also develop an ability to understand the customer’s’ intent (i.e. identify the typos, recognize synonyms, show related products) as opposed to focusing only on specific keywords.
The concept of Semantic search not entirely new. Apple’s Siri, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant use similar technology to understand people’s speech.
Apart from improved ability to present relevant products to the customers, there are many other benefits of Semantic search over the traditional Textual one.”
“Alibaba has also used artificial intelligence to handle the volume of inquiries from consumers through chatbots. As of March, AI technology was handling millions of customer inquiries daily.

During the quarter, Alibaba made its AI technology available to merchants on its marketplaces through a service called ‘store concierge.’ It uses natural language processing to help merchants handle consumer inquiries such as returns and refunds, especially during peak promotional seasons. It also supports personalized recommendations and promotions and discount information.”