The eCommerce Impact of Google’s AI-First Future

At the recent Google I/O event, the company shared details about its “AI first” future. These announcements add further credence to the increased adoption and growing consumer impact of artificial intelligence. With Google and other heavy weights shining a spotlight on the business impact of AI, it’s time for eCommerce retailers to take note.

Today’s consumers expect more relevant and personal experiences online. They’re demanding seamless, hyper-relevant content at each moment of interaction with retailers.

The unfortunate reality? The latest research shows fewer than half of retailers are getting personalization right. Merchandisers and marketers alike are facing increasingly fragmented media and audiences, dramatic device and channel proliferation, and a growing focus on data and measurement. How will retailers drive success in this new high-pressure environment? Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning.

The increased popularity of artificial intelligence and deep learning have given rise to a wealth of new opportunities for retailers – specifically merchandisers. Retailers must be able to understand the preferences and intent of each individual customer, in order to accurately predict what a customer wants. Retailers can leverage AI to learn from online and offline shopping patterns and combine it with the wealth of customer data they’ve already collected (i.e., “first-party data”), to deliver highly relevant and engaging shopping experiences that are tailored to each individual customer.

In the end, artificial intelligence can be good for buyers and sellers in the retail world, and will likely help many retailers scale faster.

That’s why Google is rethinking all of its products for an AI-first world. For example, Google Search now ranks differently using machine learning, Google Maps Street View automatically recognizes signs, and they’re introducing a “visual positioning service” that will allow brands to map indoor locations (like a physical retail location), creating the opportunity to tell a user the exact location of a product in a store before they even walk through the doors.

Google also announced it’s new ‘Lens’ feature for its Assistant. “Lens” will provide information about what’s in front of a user’s phone camera – What type of sneakers you’re looking at, info about the restaurant across the street, etc. This provides a compelling examples of what’s possible when brands start combining the power of leading edge technologies like AI, deep learning and computer vision. It’s also another example of how Google is trying to get ahead of consumers’ preference for photos over text – something we’ve been encouraging retailers to prepare for before it’s too late.

In the end, AI and deep learning are good for buyers and sellers in the retail world – providing a means of individualizing each customer interaction at a scale unattainable by more manual or rules-based solutions. Our platform is disrupting the customer engagement experience for retailers by making these highly sophisticated technologies accessible to all. By leveraging an AI and deep learning-driven platform and technology architecture, brands can process a tremendous amount of customer, behavioral and product data, respond in real time with the most relevant content or products, and understand the business impact of each new experience created.

Kurt Heinemann
Kurt Heinemann

Kurt is Reflektion’s CMO. His resume includes CMO positions at Marketwired and Monetate. He’s also held senior executive positions at Priceline, Time Warner and Walker Digital Companies. Despite living in Yankees territory, Kurt is a die hard Tigers fan.