At dusk the National Retail Federation's annual convention showed Google Cloud up a range of new AI-based tools specifically designed for retail. These innovative solutions are intended to facilitate the implementation of chatbots and AI, improve search functions and offer more personalized shopping experiences.
It appears that there is significant need for improvement in all of these areas. Only a third of consumers who have used virtual assistants aka "chatbots" are satisfied with them and nearly 20% of consumers said they would not use them again, based on a new survey from IBM.
It turns out that consumer interest in AI technology remains strong. A majority, 59%, would like to use AI applications when shopping, and 80% of those who have not yet used technology for shopping are curious to try, according to the IBM report “Customers are waiting for you! It's time to revolutionize retail" – Antonio Markovic / Adfreak AB.
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Google's new AI solutions for e-tailers
The new functions include:
- Conversational AI Commerce be made more efficient with chatbots on websites and mobile apps. They can have "helpful and inviting" conversations with customers looking for products, and can make suggestions based on the consumer's preferences.
- Complementary Call Trading solution automatically creates product descriptions, metadata, categorization suggestions and more, from as little as a single product image. It can also create new product images and descriptions based on existing ones.
- Vertex AI Search adds new ones Large language models (LLM), which allows sellers to tailor an LLM to their unique product catalog and customer search behaviors. It can provide consumers with more relevant search results by better ranking potential products as a match for a given search term.
- Customer service checks existing CRM data with chatbots to improve self-service, provide product recommendations, book appointments, check order status, process support cases and more.
The company also presented Google Distributed Cloud Edge, which is designed to make it easier for e-merchants and retailers to use AI in places with low or no internet connectivity. The main uses for it right now are store analytics, problem-free checkouts and streamlining store processes.
Google's announcement coincided with the same day that Microsoft also unveiled AI-based tools for e-tailers and two days after Walmart unveiled its genAI search technology for consumer use.