2023 has emerged as the year of generative AI (GenAI), capturing the imagination of the media, businesses and individuals. While the hype is certainly here, it raises the question: Is this excitement justified by tangible results? Can generative AI accomplish more than helping school kids write Goethe-like poems inspired by Helene Fischer?
The answer is a resounding YES. Undoubtedly, GenAI tools such as GPT-4 are taking the business world by storm with numerous applications, from the lightning-fast creation of product descriptions to virtual assistants for customer service. This is how you can start harnessing the potential of GenAI in digital commerce.
What’s Generative AI and how it improves customer experience
There are two major areas of AI: Predictive and generative. As the name suggests, predictive AI is all about analyzing data and predicting future trends based on machine learning and statistical algorithms. Generative AI, on the other hand, is about creating new content based on training data initially provided using advanced algorithms and deep learning methods. Examples include creating product data in your PIM (product information management) system or crafting marketing emails.
Because GenAI works in patterns and mimics the way humans interact with each other, and commerce experiences are for the most part predefined interactions, there are many opportunities for (properly trained) Generative AI to dynamically create high-quality content across the user experience.
The first use case that many companies are exploring is how GenAI can improve product detail pages: For instance, by giving a set of inputs and training the data, GenAI can create compelling copy according to a specific tone of voice or customer type. A/B testing using GenAI can boost even more results in product detail pages as you can try out what content works best.
Generative AI can also help companies fine-tune useful content coming from user reviews, FAQs and other sources, and bring it all together in one place. Aside from this low-hanging fruit application, GenAI is already playing a bigger role in product discovery as a whole with AI-powered search and merchandising applications.
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Another use case is customer service. GenAI can be used to train chatbots about your brand, products, tone of voice and so on. Chatbots have been around for a while and already work to a certain extent, but could be further optimized to handle more complex interactions, pulling information from customer records and order history a lot faster than a human could. However, leaving an unsupervised chatbot to interact with customers may be too risky, so make sure to apply human oversight to your AI-powered customer service.
Generative AI is also poised to empower retailers and brands with unparalleled capabilities in hyper-personalization. Through advanced algorithms and machine learning, Generative AI can analyze vast datasets, discern intricate patterns and generate personalized content tailored to individual customer preferences. This technology enables retailers to create highly targeted marketing campaigns, recommend products with exceptional precision, and customize the entire shopping experience.
By understanding customer behavior and preferences at a granular level, GenAI also facilitates the delivery of content, promotions and product recommendations that resonate with each consumer on a deeply personalized level.
Generative AI also holds significant promise in data hygiene practices as its advanced capabilities can streamline the process of maintaining clean and accurate data sets. By leveraging Generative AI algorithms, companies can automate the detection and correction of errors, inconsistencies and duplications within their datasets. This technology excels in pattern recognition, allowing it to identify anomalies and outliers that may compromise data quality.
Last but not least, we at commercetools are actively exploring the potential of this technology for all things commerce. A recent experiment helped us discover how generative AI using GPT-4 can support customers to implement commercetools Composable Commerce for a typical retailer’s site using prompt engineering to kickstart a commerce implementation.
How to get started with Generative AI
The first step to starting with GenAI is to experiment with it yourself. Think about the real value and opportunities in your organization. What areas of your customer experience are lacking? Or, what could potentially be improved with the help of GenAI? Think about your brand, what experiences you want to create, and the efficiencies of leveraging GenAI from low-hanging fruit applications like product descriptions to more futuristic use cases such as hyper-personalization. And remember, it’s vital to also consider security, privacy and legal concerns throughout this process.
When it comes to integrating GenAI into your commerce experiences, a composable ecosystem helps you leverage these new applications in a plug-and-play manner via APIs and open access to extensive data. In a composable environment like commercetools, you can utilize GenAI meaningfully and practically not only by accessing data without constraints to create improved and personalized customer experiences but also by simplifying integrations and more.
Learn why composable commerce enables your business to capture the benefits of new technologies such as GenAI by downloading our white paper Why composable commerce will change the way you run your business.