Shoptalk recently took place at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas from March 26-29, 2023, gathering industry leaders, innovators, established retailers, new start-ups, and prolific investors. Shoptalk’s 2023 agenda covered the latest technologies, trends, and business models, and delved into the rapid transformation of how consumers discover, shop, and buy across all retail verticals.
Syte was in attendance at the event, and CEO Vered Levy-Ron took part in a panel discussion titled “Making Digital Shopping Faster and More Convenient.” During the talk, she shared how AI technology can enhance online shopping ease and convenience and drive out friction.
Vered explained how shopping friction all begins with customers still having a hard time finding what they want to buy on eCommerce sites. 74% of online shoppers think that traditional text-based search is ineffective when it comes to finding the right product. They receive irrelevant results, get frustrated, and drop off the site without making a purchase, costing US eCommerce businesses $300B per year.
The Power of Images
In the panel, Vered showed how Syte addresses this head-on by working with human nature, rather than against it. Because the human brain processes images 60,000x faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, product searches work better when they’re image-based.
Using Syte’s visual AI, shoppers can use their eyes to find what they’re looking for intuitively, instead of struggling with complex search keywords or paging through dozens of products. On the front end, customers can upload images to find similar items or shop through themed collections, inspiration galleries, or recommendation carousels until they land on the perfect item.
Backend Merchandising Matters
The same advanced visual AI that allows shoppers to find similar items when searching via image, and to get hyper-accurate product recommendations, also powers critical backend capabilities for retailers.
Syte’s algorithm can automatically extract and add dozens of detailed product tags to a catalogue by scanning item images. This not only makes merchandising more efficient, accurate, and organized, but also boosts text search results, improves discoverability, and allows for better demand forecasting based on the visual details your customers are searching for and buying.
Shoptalk 2023 Key Trends and Takeaways
1. Maximizing Technological Efficiency
With uncertain market conditions, a lean and effective tech stack and streamlined operations were top of mind for eventgoers. More and more brands and retailers are looking to maximize digital innovation within their existing technology offerings.
Many retail businesses are realizing a significant ROI from partnering with technology service providers and consolidating their tech stack as compared to developing proprietary digital solutions in-house.
2. AI Continues to Gain Traction
After years of buzzword status, retailers finally understand the endless possibilities AI can provide, with ChatGPT and generative AI as a whole having promising implications in the retail realm.
AI is becoming critical for everything from automated customer support to inventory management, including demand forecasting. By better predicting what consumers want, AI can prevent overstock and out-of-stock scenarios and increase retailers’ bottom lines.
3. Styling Services Are a Hot Topic
Putting together looks that inspire customers is more important than ever for today’s social customers. From social media shopping and influencer marketing to TikTok Made Me Buy It and sites such as LTK
(LIKEtoKNOW.it), consumers have become accustomed to shopping entire looks – whether imagined by micro-influencers or pro stylists.
With that in mind, AI is emerging as a critical technology to inspire customers by automatically putting together complete outfits that are fully shoppable and aligned with shoppers’ tastes and preferences.
The Future of Online Retail
The buzz at this year’s edition of Shoptalk was all about adopting retail technology to elevate the customer journey and business performance while maintaining a tight budget. Times of need always lead to the best innovations, and there’s no doubt that current market and supply chain challenges will breed promising opportunities for brands and retailers.