How Retailers Like Tencent Are Optimizing Shopper Analytics With Behavioral Heat Mapping

“Innovative retailers have used in-store heatmapping, CCTV, floor sensors and more in order to determine shopper patterns, inform resource planning and ultimately improve the store experience:

Tencent YouTu Lab x Intel

YouBox is an intelligent analytics framework that retailers can apply to legacy cameras. DeepGaze provides retailers with information about how shoppers move around the store and hotspots they visit.

JD.ID X-Mart

Chinese ecommerce company JD opened a cashierless store in Jakarta, Indonesia, that uses sophisticated technology to study shopper movements.

The Drug Store

Iris Nova, the parent company of direct-to-consumer beverage brand Dirty Lemon, has opened two cashier-less stores in New York City, which use heat map trackers to monitor shopper foot traffic as well as RFID-enabled refrigerators that track inventory sold and QR codes that prompt shoppers to pay via text message.”

Chinese eCommerce Firm JD.Com And Google Debut Online Store

  • “, one of the biggest eCommerce retailers in China, has teamed up with Google to launch a store on Google Express, according to a report by Reuters.  
  • The site is called Joybuy and currently offers everything from shoes to electronics to hair extensions. A majority of the products are under $100 and from brands with less exposure.”

Infographic: 10 companies hiring the most AI talent

  • “Demand for workers in artificial intelligence (AI) has increased by up to 119% in the past three years
  • Contrary to popular belief, AI isn’t replacing humans in tech; rather, at this point, it is creating more jobs.
  • Microsoft has the most open AI jobs available currently, totaling 1,964 positions, which is 36% of all open jobs at the company, the report found.
  • NVIDIA came in second place, with 369 available AI jobs, assuming 33% of the company’s total open jobs.”

AI-related investments will grow by about 300 percent

“According to Martechtoday, Ocado reportedly planned to spend £175 million ($232 million) for its robotics and automation system this year, Amazon committed $5 billion in its tech investments in India alone, and Alibaba is looking into pouring $15 billion into research and development spending over the next three years. Forrester Research (PDF) predicts that AI-related investments will grow by about 300 percent in 2017, with businesses becoming more competitive by 2020 and gaining $1.2 trillion per year.”

“According to Techemergence, after implementing this new initiative, a number of online orders reached 1.26 billion in 2015 (double the amount of orders in 2014) and approximately 85 percent of those orders were delivered within two days.”


“It’s customer service chatbot processeses 95 percent of customer inquiries, both written and spoken ones, and it is very powerful now.”


“Right now, with their Rakuten Institute of Technology, they are able to analyze their 200 million products to forecast sales with a high degree of accuracy.”

ai eCommerce News – Aug 16

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  • “Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca said, “People are using voice to interact with the world around them more than ever, and they’re using mobile phones, home devices and even landlines to call businesses at staggering rates.”
  • ‘Customer conversations have been an underused, yet valuable, data source for marketers as they seek to meet and even predict the subtlest of consumer needs and intents. Brands will differentiate themselves from the competition by leveraging rich insights from conversations to optimize digital marketing investments and improve the customer experience.’”

  • “For ecommerce managers looking to implement AI into their own product information management, it will be important to minimise disruption to their existing processes. They need to identify solutions that do not impact on their existing architectural landscape…
  • AI solutions can go a long way to helping online retailers make better use of the vast amounts of additional unstructured data that is being collected and stored but not utilised to its full potential. Those same algorithms that are being taught to recognise and categorise products, can also be applied to many other back office functions within retail operations, that are simply too cumbersome to be managed by humans.”

  • “AnswerDash takes this one step further and they use the customer’s context, i.e. which page you are on or where you are in a mobile app etc, to predict your most likely question and the answer you need given your context.
  • On AnswerDash’s website it says that taking their approach can “reduce your support tickets by 30% to 50% and increase sales by 10% to 30%”.
  • TireBuyer is an online car tyre company in the United States. They wanted to improve their customers buying experience so only installed AnswerDash on their checkout page. The team at TireBuyer ran an A/B test and found that AnswerDash’s technology allowed them to increase revenue per visitor by 13% within only a few months.
  • Around 60% of all calls into your contact centre or emails into your support desk come about as a result of a customer not being able to find what they are looking for on your website.”

    • “In an effort to raise the bar on the consumer experience, many in the retail industry have slowly begun integrating more aspects of AI, including machine learning and natural language processing. What AI essentially does for retailers is help them to improve customer service. AI enables retailers to learn more about consumer preferences by having technology perform tasks that would typically require some level of human intelligence.
    • Artifical intelligence startup Fluid AI’s CEO Abhinav Agarwal commented on how these new types of sites will help move the ball for consumers and retailers. ‘Fully-cognitive websites will drastically change buying behavior and selection,’ said Agarwal. ‘We see the average spend of a buyer, per session, significantly increasing with these websites. Cognitive sites take consumers through a much smarter funnel, allowing them to buy before user fatigue starts to kick in or the user gets distracted.'”

    • “WeChat, the WhatsApp of China emerged in 2011 as a social platform offering free chat, voice messaging, photo sharing and gaming.
    • By 2016 WeChat secured its position as the largest messaging app by MAU (monthly active users) of 889M(in China). There are many reasons for this. However, to a large extent it is because it is the go-to app for almost everything in China.
    • A person could use WeChat for hailing a cab, booking a doctor’s appointment, paying the water bill or simply buying the latest dress that is trending. That’s because WeChat has an API that lets businesses integrate with it and market themselves in myriad ways. Most transactions happen within WeChat without ever having to go out of it.
    • As a result, more than 10 Million business accounts currently exist in it, some exclusively without any website presence. They directly converse and transact with their customers, all of it happening within the same environment.”

    • “The update lets iOS users snap a photo of a garment or fashion accessory with their device camera or pull in an existing outfit shot or Instagram screengrab (say) from their camera roll and have the app show clothes items that are at least in the general fashion ballpark of whatever it is they’re trying to find.
    • Asos says the visual search will be rolled out to their Android app “soon”.
    • The company says 80 per cent of UK traffic for ASOS comes from a mobile device, as do almost 70 per cent of UK orders — with consumers spending 80 minutes per month on average in the app.” teams with Baidu in AI and big data play

    • The partnership comes at a significant time for both companies. Baidu is investing heavily in AI technology and applications as it looks to strengthen its position as an AI-first company, while is looking to increase its market share in the ecommerce market as it gains ground on rival Alibaba.”