San Jose, CA, Nov. 23, 2020 — Without a doubt, COVID-19 has been one of the greatest shocks to the way we live, communicate and work, compelling people to move more of their lives online than ever before.
For almost all retailers, the wide spread of the virus meant having to abruptly close their physical stores and embrace digital commerce channels as the sole way to connect with new shoppers, cultivate relationships with existing customers, and drive revenue. In fact, the latest data on online holiday shopping from Adobe Analytics suggests that U.S. consumers will spend $189 billion this season.
This shift to online channels has also challenged retailers to quickly assess which technologies can help them stay resilient and meet evolving customer expectations, while swiftly changing the speed at which they operate. Large companies have long benefited from combining artificial intelligence (AI) with data to optimize routine processes and tasks. For small and mid-sized retailers, the technology has become a key differentiating factor in delivering more personalized, relevant shopping experiences to customers at scale – and in a cost-effective way. A recent Gartner poll shows that despite the global impact of COVID-19, 30% of organizations plan to increase their investment in AI technologies.
The online economy will surely dominate retail well after the pandemic is over. That’s why we’re announcing several new ways Adobe Sensei, our AI and machine-learning technology, is being integrated with Magento Commerce to help our global merchants deliver more data-driven and highly-personalized online shopping experience.
Introducing visual similarity recommendation type in Product Recommendations
Since we launched Sensei-powered Product Recommendations for Magento Commerce, the feature has garnered a lot of enthusiasm from Magento Commerce merchants, as it speaks to our core tenets around allowing brands to use data and insights to drive real-time relevance and personalized experiences. Today, close to a hundred Magento Commerce merchants globally including HP, Catbird, Wolf Automation, HP and others are using Product Recommendations to deliver contextually relevant recommendations that respond to consumer preferences and ever-changing shopping behavior.
We’re continuing to innovate on this feature by adding a new AI capability to a merchant’s toolkit: the upcoming visual similarity recommendation type will allow Magento Commerce merchants to offer its shoppers recommendations of similar looking products to what they’re considering purchasing, taking into account visual attributes such as color, shape, size, material, style and more.
The feature is powered by Adobe Sensei, which uses visual AI to recognize and process product imagery and match patterns. The benefit of this recommendation type is that it allows merchants with a large catalog of products to showcase a wide range of their products to shoppers and empowers customers to consider all the potential alternatives to the product that they’re looking at, encouraging even wider catalog discovery and inspiration.
As the recommendation is visually driven, the feature can be implemented by the merchant quickly compared to other recommendation types, which require initial collection and analysis of consumer behavioral data before they can be used.
The visual similarity recommendation type will be generally available to Magento Commerce merchants on Dec. 8, 2020.
AI-powered Live Search offers modern retail experience
When it comes to online shopping, consumers want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. And for retailers, being able to guide shoppers to the most relevant search results without needless delays or technical complexities can become a competitive advantage. An Econsultancy studyshows that not only is an effective site search capability an important interaction point for shoppers, it can result in a more than 50 percent higher conversion rate if executed properly by the retailer.
To that end, we’re excited to announce that Magento Commerce merchants will soon be able to add Adobe Sensei-powered site search capability to their storefront. The new out-of-the-box “Live Search” feature for Magento Commerce will enable our merchants’ “searchandising” capabilities to provide their customers with lightning-fast search-as-you-type results that become smarter over time based on ongoing AI-driven analysis of shopper behavior.
And because Live Search relies on the same analysis of shopper behavior as our Product Recommendations, it’ll be easily implementable for Magento Commerce merchants that are already using that feature.
The Live Search capability will be available to Magento Commerce merchants in the first half of 2021.