ai eCommerce News Oct 18

  • “eBay ShopBot, which launched in October 2016, was an attempt to battle the ongoing decline in eBay’s gross merchandise volume and to increase marketplace awareness. RJ Pittman, the Chief Product Officer of eBay, said in an interview with Forbes that Shopbot had created an opportunity for eBay to reach a new group of shoppers through Facebook Messenger, one of the top messaging applications.
  • According to a recent BI Intelligence report, more than 200 million users in China have added payments information into WeChat, a popular messaging application, and WeChat’s parent company now holds 37% market share of the Chinese mobile payment market.”

  • “Mobile marketers face a challenge in converting browsers into paying customers, especially compared with consumers who use desktop computers to make purchases. Conversion rates on desktop are more than double that of mobile, 3.35% on desktop vs. 1.61% on mobile, according to Qubit’s analysis of 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since 2017.
  • Some retailers have looked at integrating visual search as a way to drive mobile conversions. By leveraging AI to make it easy for mobile users to discover new products and make a purchase, Qubit hopes to address the challenge for e-commerce retailers hoping to convert new customers. Early testers are optimistic about the potential, with Wolf & Badger, which has over 30,000 products on its site, reporting it is seeing conversion rate uplifts of 3.6% on mobile after implementing Qubit Aura.”

  • “Ometria, a customer marketing platform which says it’s “AI-powered” has raised $6m in Series A funding. US-based Summit Action led the round, along with an investment syndicate backed by individuals with roles inside some key retailers. Ometria has now raised a total of $11m to accelerate the development of its customer marketing platform, which, it claims, enables retailers to send individually personalised marketing messages across several brand touchpoints.
  • Ometria’s main competitors are spread across companies like email service providers (Emarsys, Sailthru, Selligent, Bronto, Dotmailer), behavioral marketing tools (CloudIQ, SaleCycle, Yieldify) and customer insight companies (More2, AgileOne). Its argument is that none of these companies were developed specifically for retail, or to create and use a unified predictive profile of each customer.”

  • “Despite all the media buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and connected commerce reshaping the retail world, nearly half of retailers with an online presence are not yet using these tools — and moreover, many of them have no plans to start. That’s according to an eCommerce “Performance Indicators and Confidence Report” by SLI Systems, which, on a quarterly basis, surveys more than 200 mid-size retailers with a range of business models to gauge where eCommerce may be moving in the near future.
  • And, when only approximately 20 percent of the consumer base owns or has used a voice-activated assistant for shopping, perhaps retailers’ reluctance to invest in these technologies is prudent. Why dump tons of money into making things a little easier for one-fifth of the population, when those budget dollars could be serving the 58 percent of consumers who have not tried — and don’t plan to try — voice shopping?
  • The numbers seem to indicate that all the hype about AI in retail may be just that: hype. But, SLI believes there’s another word for these middling adoption rates: opportunity.”


Retailers & AI – CSA

“In a move to step up their customer experiences, more retailers are embracing artificial intelligence (AI). This was according to the third quarterly ‘2017 E-commerce Performance Index,’ a report from SLI Systems.
  • 54% of companies reported they are using or plan to add AI in the future
  • 20% expect to add AI within the next 12 months

The most popular applications for AI — among both existing retail users and those that plan to use AI within the next 12 months – are:
  • 56% – personalized product recommendations
  • 41% – customer service requests
  • 35% – chatbots

Of those planning to implement AI:
  • 13% plan to build their own technology
  • 60% will buy existing technology
  • 27% expect to blend build and buy”

Infographic: Chatbots & Customer Experience (Blake Morgan)

  • “Some predict that bots are the new apps…Consumers are overwhelmed with apps, and they prefer to converse on the messenger apps they’re already on. If you think about it this is a natural progression, considering that messaging is the root of all mobile communication. 50% of U.S. mobile users haven’t downloaded an app in the last year, but billions of people are already using messaging apps.”
  • “One of the reasons the chatbot has so much potential for businesses is its ability to scale. In 2016, 1.6 billion people used mobile messaging apps. That number is expected to reach 2 billion people, or 80% of all smartphone users, in 2018.” 

Click for full infographic and post.



ai eCommerce News Aug 6, 2017

“Marketer interest in voice search is downright palpable in some circles. Fresh off a tour of client visits in Miami, Dallas, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, 360i’s Belsky reports that ‘every CMO, every vp of marketing and, especially, every ecommerce client is asking about this subject first and foremost. And they have three questions. ‘What should I do to prepare for when voice is the driver of ecommerce?’ The second one is, ‘What content do I have to think about to increase my chances to be the preferred answer with these devices?’ And, ‘Will all my search budget one day migrate onto these devices?’ There’s not obvious answers to any of these questions. Being early to all of this means you get the spoils.’”
“It’s time to talk cash. The research shows consumers are ready to spend real money while interacting with a chatbot. On average, millennials (26 to 36 years old) would be willing to spend $618 via a chatbot… According to the study, One in five (21%) UK consumers would consider purchasing goods and services from a chatbot.’ This is a goldmine for ecommerce businesses looking for new ways to attract, entertain, and monetize an audience. It’s no wonder giants like Walmart are using AI to enhance a shopping experience, and it’s just the beginning.”
“The answer lies in the reliability of retailer data. McClure explains that this was one of the first problems the company encountered. “One retailer might give us amazing data and another could give us the same set of products but with awful data,” he said, continuing, “We use a text based classification tool, training various models with both positive and negative examples…However, he does note, when discussing the calculation of customer lifetime value, that “having your data in the right format” is key. As retailers seek to improve their data infrastructure and use reliable data, the machine learning part is much more achievable.”

Payment processor PayPal (PYPL) has participated in a $5.27 million financing round for e-commerce technology firm Cloud IQ. Cloud IQ has developed an online platform to help websites more efficiently convert visitors to paying customers. PayPal is beginning to increase its investment pace in new technologies and startup companies, something with which I strongly agree, as the financial services industry continues to evolve at an increasing pace.

ai eCommerce News – July 23

“Identifying relationships between consumer behavioral attributes and product attributes to that minute level allows us to give our customers a huge and immediate impact. One of our customers saw a $125 million increase in annual revenues. Another saw a 30% increase in revenues in the first month after implementing our product.”
“ ‘As AI accelerates up the Hype Cycle, many software providers are looking to stake their claim in the biggest gold rush in recent years,’ said Jim Hare, research VP at Gartner. ‘AI offers exciting possibilities, but unfortunately, most vendors are focused on the goal of simply building and marketing an AI-based product rather than first identifying needs, potential uses and the business value to customers,’ said Hare.
To successfully exploit the AI opportunity, technology providers need to understand how to respond to three key issues.”

“There are many other chatbots that stand out from the rest. FedEx’s new Alexa app lets users track packages without having to type anything. Mitsuku, on the other hand, is the current winner of the Loebner Prize. It is hailed as the most humanlike AI bot since it passed the Turing test with flying colors. We should also mention RightClick, an innovative chatbot that creates websites based on general questions such as ‘What industry you belong to.’”