Why AI plays a role in about 30% of TechStyle’s Facebook ads

“The ability to quickly create ads is crucial for a merchant like TechStyle given that its product catalog is regularly changing. Now, roughly 30% of the retailer’s ads are created via the Smartly.io platform. That’s helped boost the retailer’s click-through rate on Facebook ads to nearly 1.0%, roughly double its previous 0.5% rate.”


Explore the future of retail at Digital Retail Forum 2019

“JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – Media OutReach – 18 January 2019 – There is so much more in store for the African retail industry. According to research conducted by PWC, many sub-Saharan African countries have emerged among the world’s fastest-growing economies. This kind of development is due, in part, to a great deal of economic and social change, but also because of the rapid advancement in technology and changing consumer trends.

Key topics to be discussed:

• Leveraging data to understand customer segments, manage risks and enhance decision making.

• Mapping your journey from brick-and-mortar to eCommerce.

• Leveraging mobile technology to enhance your in-store experience.

• Making Mobile Payment for Everything a reality.

• Leveraging AI to impact your bottom line and CX.

• Real-World retail digital transformation stories.

• Order Fulfillment: Improving efficiency and speed of delivery.

• Understanding the key drivers within the South African retail sector.

• Understanding the digital customer’s journey.

• Utilizing technology to identify customer pain-points.

• Optimizing inventory management and supply chains with technology.

• Closing the gap between technology and personalization.

• Customer engagement with interactive digital signage and point-of-sale (POS) solutions.

• Delivering a technology platform that empowers the business and delights customers.

• Assessing emerging retail models and technologies that will define 2019 and beyond.

• Adapting to Generation Z — “the digital shopper”.

• The store of the future.”


Artificial Intelligence Is Expected To Be The Most Impactful Technology On Commerce

“In the same survey, Euromonitor International also asked industry professionals what aspects of commerce would be most impacted by key technologies like artificial intelligence. In the near term, respondents expected artificial intelligence to improve customer engagement, such as tailored marketing and personalized recommendations, as well as enhanced website search.

Despite the promise of these technologies, there are still companies that are not investing. No clear use case for businesses was the overwhelming reason that respondents gave for not investing in artificial intelligence. In fact, over 40% of respondents pointed to this as the top reason for not investing in IoT, augmented reality/virtual reality and AI.”


Video: Chris McBride (TWEC) on 18% conversion improvement with Sentient Ascend

I discovered this case study and customer testimonial that was developed by Sentient Ascend and wanted to share.


  • Chris McBride
  • GM eCommerce
  • Trans World Entertainment
  • Online sales of music and videos
  • Company has used Optimizely in the past but was interest in running many tests with a limited staff and tried Ascend
  • Results
    • Test with 77,760 possible candidates
    • Produced 18% conversion improvement

    How Merchants Are Driving Conversions With Five Features – PYMNTS.com

    • “Just over eight in ten merchants — or 81.5 percent — had implemented site help live in the second quarter.
    • Just over seven in 10 merchants — or 72.5 percent — had implemented free shipping in the second quarter.
    • Approximately one-fourth of merchants — or 27.8 percent — had implemented rewards in the second quarter.
    • About half — or 48.2 percent — of merchants had implemented a guarantee or refund in the second quarter
    • About two-thirds — or 67.5 percent — of merchants had implemented product ratings, reviews or recommendations in the second quarter.”


    AI as Stylist, Assistant, Life Coach: ai eCommerce

    • “Who do you turn to when you can’t decide what to wear? Your best friend, maybe. Instagram, probably. Fashion magazines, maybe. But soon, perhaps, it will be none of the above. Instead, you will try on an outfit, turn to a wall-mounted, five megapixel camera with front lighting and dual-antennae WiFi connectivity, and ask: “Alexa, how do I look?” and within a few seconds the 1.6 watt speaker will deliver the data-driven, empirically-founded assessment.
    • The metric of a style algorithm that is based on likes, whether fed to you as feedback on your selfies or as a subscription box of suggested seasonal choice of clothes, will steer you towards a polished, palatable, mainstream look. “If the algorithm is based on mass approval, it is not going to propose you wear a weird top with one sleeve,” says Alistair O’Neill, professor of fashion at Central St Martins.
    • Stitch Fix: This is a online personal styling service, primarily available to clients in the United States, which sends its 2.7 million active American clients ‘suggestion boxes’ of clothes chosen by cross-referencing a client’s stated preferences with the recent purchases of others of similar age and demographic.
    • They could be programmed to surprise. Brad Klingenberg, vice-president of Stitch Fix, states that the aim is to “delight” clients, rather than just please them, suggesting an element of the unexpected.
    • But maybe the truth also is, we are more like the robots than we’d like to think. “The majority of people have already developed an algorithm for style, even if they don’t think of it like that,” says Simon Lock, founder and CEO of Ordre, which offers fashion buyers a digital, streamlined alternative to physical showrooms. “For instance, I wear black and white, a slim fit silhouette, always Thom Browne brogues. Essentially, the eye captures a look and the brain informs the wearer whether you like it or not based on history and personal taste. Artificial intelligence is perfectly suited to perform this role for us.”
    • “Online shopping, as we know it, is a lousy experience, because you are essentially looking at an inventory. One day in the future you will be sitting on your sofa next to a virtual Diana Vreeland, or Alexa Chung, who will be talking you through the selection of virtual clothes,” she says.
    • Retailers are already experimenting with incorporating data from your calendar — about a future trip, and what the weather forecast is for that location, for instance — into what gets served up as cookies. Artificial intelligence could sprinkle fairy dust on the online shopping experience, so that instead of scrolling through a hundred skirts, you are matched with one you fall in love with. “The entire industry is focused right now on what the consumer-facing aspect of AI in retail will be. It has to be something meaningful.”
    • “I think it’s inevitable that pretty soon we will each be represented in the digital sphere by an avatar,” Hackford says. ‘It will compare available prices on everything you want to buy. It will sit in the hold queue on the phone to buy a train ticket. It will do all the things that technology does better than you can and allow you more time for being human.”


    How AI can unlock customer loyalty – RetailSector

    “Despite overall consumer interest being higher than 2017 (with average page views soaring by more than a quarter year over year), shoppers are clearly holding out for a better bargain. Getting consumers to commit to a purchase, and securing their loyalty, is clearly harder than ever.

    That is, unless brands and retailers are able to learn from this information, and use it to fuel future personalisation strategies.

    Everything you need is right here

    A lot of the tools brands need to better understand the habits of their customers, is  right under their noses. Attracting thousands, if not millions of visitors to their sites every month, they sit on a bank of data, beaming with insights.

    If they know that a customer is viewing a product multiple times a day, and on their mobile, it opens an opportunity to make recommendations that could translate into new activity, and to ensure they’re providing the best experience for their chosen platform. ”


    3%-18% conversion rate improvement in Reflektion case studies

    This afternoon I was checking out vendors leveraging AdWords to reach eCommerce professionals. I combed through the Reflektion site, and was impressed by their case studies with some well known brands.

    Conversion Rate Improvement:

    Toms – 3.3%

    Marmot – 13%

    Cafe Britt – 18%

    Check out the full details:


    Also, an interesting visual to help explain the difference between AI, ML and Deep Learning.

    US consumers love online shopping. Hate poorly design carts – Roy Edwards

    I love this type of post…it’s a data goldmine.

    • Ecommerce in the US has grown rapidly. In 2017 Americans spent a total of $435 billion shopping online, according to the Ecommerce Foundation. With an annual growth rate of over 15%.
    • Even though Amazon is clearly the leading online retailer in the US with a market share of over 50%, followed by Walmart (14%) and Apple (6%)
      US consumers like to be informed about deals. 96% of shoppers report seeing recommendations while shopping, but only 17% of them find these suggestions relevant.
    • A recent Deloitte Insights survey found that more than 60 percent of shoppers prefer online channels.
    • According to a new Gartner forecast, “Global retail sector technology spending will grow 3.6 percent to reach almost $203.6 billion in 2019, with similar growth rates for the next two years.
  • What US consumers buy online?
    • Fashion (clothes, accessories, shoes) 74%
    • Travel (flight, hotels, tours) 56%
    • Digital goods 48%
    • Entertainment experiences (tickets for concerts) 47%
    • Groceries and consumer packaged goods 47%
    • Furniture 29%
    • Financial products (insurance, loans) 22%
  • https://www.enterprisetimes.co.uk/2018/11/20/us-consumers-love-online-shopping-hate-poorly-design-carts/