Identifying and offering products in tune to their customer’s real purchase intent has always been a guessing game for retailers. Even the wittiest and most experienced retail sales professionals are bound by their “physical and human” limitation when recommending products. In e-commerce, code snippets for product recommendations use generic buyer stats. On the buyer’s side, the epic proliferation of products and options has made it more difficult for consumers, resulting in stagnant engagement and lack of brand loyalty. The need for digitally enhanced and scalable personalized shopping assistance has become more important than ever, especially in retail apparel and home décor. Shoptelligence turns the tables for both consumers and retailers by offering an intelligent shopping/ stylist assistant. In effect, Shoptelligence enables both online as well as physical store shoppers to carry out their own personalized discovery journey to achieve their goals. Laura Khoury, the visionary CEO of Shoptelligence, shared with CIOApplications about the value that the company imparts to shoppers and retailers.
Please give us a broad perspective on Shoptelligence
Shoptelligence is what we call a style discovery experience (SDX) platform; our value proposition is to help shoppers get inspiration and discover their style across the retailers’ entire catalog. For instance, today, a buyer, shopping to furnish a living room typically visits sites such as Pinterest for inspiration, but they have no way to act on that inspiration easily. Shoptelligence provides inspiration and the ability for the shopper to realize their aspiration all within the retailers’ domain, online or in-store. We show completed ensembles, rooms, or outfits, which allows the shopper to engage based on what they are trying to achieve. We provide the same level of experience and expertise as working with a knowledgeable sales associate. The result for the retailer is more engagement, bigger baskets, and more share of wallet from the consumer.
How can retailers and e-commerce entities getup and running with your offering? How does the integration process work?
We can get retailers up and running with our solution in three weeks or less.
We have the ability to mix and match several brands, across retailers to get shoppers to discover other brands or other retailers that they would not have considered otherwise
A retailer provides their existing product catalog, chooses a UI, and our Interactive Ensembles module deploys via 2 lines of code. We need only basic product information already available in most retailers’ product feeds. Our patent-pending technology then transforms that basic product data into interactive rooms and outfits. When a consumer lands on our client’s product detail page we display multiple ensembles that help the shopper see how that item can be used in a variety of ways. For example, a shopper can now see how that chair can be used in their bedroom, study or living room amidst other available complementary furniture and similarly with apparel, how that same shirt can be worn for work casual or a night out.
The experience is delivered in physical stores as well. We have partnered with technology providers of kiosks, and intelligent fitting rooms to deliver our solution. The Shoptelligence Style Discovery Experience (SDX) platform can also be used in a retailer’s consumer-facing mobile app to deliver an AR-assisted shopping experience.
From an implementer’s (retailer) perspective, what are some of the robust features and functionalities that they can leverage?
We have robust retailer controls that influence the items in ensembles to help retailers achieve their business objectives. The retailer can opt to promote in-stock merchandise at specific locations, clearance, and test new products to name just a few.
Another key feature of our platform is Merchant Assist, which allows retailers to have as much or as little control over the styles that are shown. We enable automated style-based ensemble generation, but at the end of the day, the retailer needs to have visibility, transparency, and control over their brand. Through Merchant Assist retailers can do just that, but with the added benefits of efficiency and scale.
Can you share a couple of customer use cases that exemplifies Shoptelligence’s capabilities?
Our SDX platform is live in both furniture and apparel. Across our clients, engagement with our Interactive Ensembles increases average order value by 60+ percent. We also created a virtual mall for a large mall operator with merchandise from select retailers. It allows consumers to curate merchandise for their style and objectives across those retailers and shows cross-retailer outfits to help shoppers discover retailers they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. The results are more engagement and traffic to these retailers’ sites and local stores.
Looking ahead, how do you envision the future roadmap of the company?
Our technology finds its potential application wherever different products can be used together. I believe that AI is most successful when focused on specific verticals or problems. For that reason, we innovate sector by sector to strategically grow. We are doubling down on the concept of virtual assistants to benefit retailers large and small as well as the consumer. Shoptelligence will continue to bridge the gap between a shopper’s intent and what is available in the marketplace, all underpinned by the ethos of style.