Everyone is talking about generative AI – but what is it, what can it do and what does it mean for the ecommerce sector?
Ecommerce has changed the world in many ways. Now, the product you need can get to you wherever you are in the world, so long as you have an internet connection. But ecommerce will continue to evolve as opportunities for generative AI services in this field present themselves.
Generative AI is a subsection of artificial intelligence that uses large pools of data to generate new content for those in the ecommerce space including videos, images, advertisements and the music to go along with them.
But that’s not all generative AI can do. It also learns how data connects when it is being trained on a specific data set, which makes it ideal for automating repetitive, manual tasks in other fields. For example, knowing how much medication to give a patient or keeping track of what group a patient is in during a clinical trial. These are just a few examples of AI in healthcare, but that’s not all. AI use cases in healthcare have been well documented – especially over the last two years.
Generative AI can deliver similar benefits to any ecommerce company. This blog will explore some recent generative AI use cases in the ecommerce sector, outline what it can deliver to businesses and explain how businesses can leverage this relatively new technology ethically and responsibly.
Use cases of generative AI in ecommerce
Anyone using Amazon is familiar with what generative AI can do, even if they are unaware of it. Amazon leverages generative AI to create and build out those personalized recommendations users have gotten used to over the last few years.
But on top of this, Amazon has released two AI language models on its Bedrock platform for Amazon Wed Services (AWS), which makes it easier for ecommerce companies to develop their own generative AI offerings. Amazon’s platform enables companies to train AI systems on data held on private, secure systems which helps ecommerce companies build their own generative AI offerings in confidence, knowing the data they use to train them will always remain secure.
However, Amazon is not the only company to discover a good use for generative AI. Carrefour’s ChatGPT-based intelligent assistant Hopla offers customers product suggestions in real-time, based on their own personal budget limitations and dietary preferences. In addition, it builds a personalized menu for them that does not exceed their shopping budget. All of this is possible due to the customer data Hopla has access to, which helps create a truly personalized shopping experience, and significantly improved customer satisfaction scores for Carrefour as a result.
There are, of course, many more use cases that can be outlined here, but for the sake of time we will move on to the benefits generative AI can provide to any ecommerce company.
Benefits of AI in ecommerce
As we just saw in the use cases outlined above, two well-known benefits of leveraging generative AI for ecommerce include increased personalization and better product recommendations – both of which leverage customer data to deliver what customers want. But generative AI can take things a step further. It can even personalize a website to better suit the tastes of the customer viewing it.
Additionally, we have already seen how leveraging generative AI effectively in the ecommerce space enables companies to greatly improve customer engagement through voice assistants and chatbots, which enable these companies’ employees to focus on more critical tasks. But it also has one other critical use that has been the driving force behind its recent popularity – creating content.
Tools such as Midjourney and DALLE-2 can turn text into images in just a few clicks, while others such as ChatGPT, Bard and Bing AI can help build on whatever text prompts users give them. However, this does not mean generative AI is at a point where humans are no longer required, which means that right now, generative AI is much more likely to be used as a brainstorming tool. A tool, leveraged by marketing departments, to create any ecommerce company’s next big ad campaign – including the music and images that go with it.
However, generative AI will only get smarter as it continues to expand the roles it plays for many ecommerce companies, meaning it will pose more responsibility and ethical questions as it continues to evolve. The question is, how can ecommerce companies address these issues today?
How to use generative AI In ecommerce
To get the best out of generative AI while keeping ethics and responsibility in mind, there are five steps every company needs to consider before applying it to their day-to-day operations.
1. First and foremost, companies need to figure out where it will work best for them. To do this, they need to ask themselves what they want to improve. Customer experience? Engagement? Or do they simply want to automate manual tasks so that their people can focus on what really matters?
2. Next, they need to decide whether to build their own generative AI team in-house or contract this to an outside team.
3. Once they know how they want to leverage generative AI and have their team in place, they need to build robust infrastructure that will support their efforts going forward. Doing this correctly means ensuring it is large enough to train the new system to the highest standard possible, while ensuring the processes around how this data is managed are completely transparent to ensure the data being used here remains accurate and reliable at all times.
4. Once the new generative AI system is deployed, it’s time to consider those difficult ethics and responsibility questions. For example, AI systems can sometimes be trained on biased information which can lead to customers losing trust in companies. To avoid this, clear governance frameworks need to be put in place to help address any privacy concerns at speed, but they also need to be flexible enough to keep up with the generative AI system as it continues to learn and evolve.
5. Once all these pieces are in place, ecommerce companies need to be able to track how their new generative AI is doing. This involves measuring the impact it is having on customers and identifying any areas for improvement. This can be done by setting up a set of measurable metrics and KPIs that can easily be tracked by the appropriate teams.
These five steps are the secret to generative AI success. Keeping them in mind should lead to a successful deployment of any generative AI system both in the ecommerce sector – and beyond.
The impact of generative AI on ecommerce and beyond – conclusion
In conclusion, generative AI is here to stay, not just for ecommerce companies, but for a variety of other sectors as well. As the years go by, generative AI will automate more tasks and create more content, no doubt leading to a lot more questions around artist and employee rights and the ethics around the use of such technology.
But regardless of how companies, employees, or customers feel about this, the change brought about by generative AI is already happening, and here at Software Mind, we know change can be challenging –especially in a marketplace so enamored with the potential of generative AI.
AI experts at Software Mind understand the benefits of generative AI, what it can do for you and how to implement it in your company at speed, which is why our proven generative AI services team is happy to talk about what you can do with your data whenever you are.
About the authorSoftware Mind
Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world.