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Augmenting product discovery and ecommerce journeys with GenAI

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While the impact and influence of generative AI (GenAI) is certainly widespread, examining its nuanced applications can shed greater light on its capabilities. One such nuance—GenAI’s application to customer search experiences and shopping journeys—has the capacity to enrich and evolve product data and ecommerce experiences, elevating customer satisfaction and revenue gain.

Experts joined KMWorld’s webinar, The Generative AI Advantage: Optimizing AI-Driven Product Discovery, to explore how GenAI is rapidly changing the world of search and product experiences, from technological requirements to customer expectations.

Noah Freeman, senior product manager at Google Cloud AI, explained that several trends for searching in commerce have led to an investment in AI technologies, including problems with ranking matching projects, matching on rich product data, and overall understanding.

Ranking and relevance, Freeman emphasized, are common, key challenges associated with search. “You have to be great at both of them to be great at search,” they noted.

The evolution of product search, from its humble beginnings in lexical search to more sophisticated AI search, reveals another change—that of customer expectations. As exposure to GenAI and its capabilities have soared for the average U.S. consumer, they now expect a fusion of AI-based, personalized, natural language experiences throughout their customer experience.

To meet these rising demands, Freeman explained that Google Cloud AI has been at the forefront of the convergence of search and GenAI, offering conversational experiences seamlessly integrated with AI for search query refinement, results summarization, and inspirational ideas.

“What we’re [Google Cloud AI] focusing on isn’t conversation for conversation’s sake, but conversation to drive ecommerce outcomes,” said Freeman.

Part of conversational search’s functionality is to help narrow down queries, such as, for example, helping a shopper looking for a new dress narrow down tens of thousands of results to one hundred. This ultimately makes a purchase much more likely for the shopper, helping the company drive revenue through streamlined, natural search.

Eugene Steinberg, VP of technology at Grid Dynamics, added that consumers now are looking less for item lists and more for comprehensive solutions to their problems. AI technology that predicts what the customer is looking for, not just providing a static list of products, helps to elevate the search and ecommerce experience.

Steinberg further explained that great shopping experiences start with a great catalog which covers a broad expanse of data, detailing everything from the product to the customer profile. GenAI can aid in cultivating greater catalogs to support positive search and customer experiences, offering the following capabilities:

  • Visual attribution that extracts precise product attributes from images
  • Data harmonization that standardizes product units, specs, and measurements
  • Categorization which organizes products into relevant categories
  • Personalization via tailored titles and descriptions for each customer segment
  • Crafting creative titles and descriptions using product data
  • User-generated content by extracting insights from reviews and social media

For the full, in-depth webinar discussing GenAI for search and ecommerce, you can view an archived version of the webinar here.

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