eBay CEO Devin Wenig hopes to be able to anticipate what shoppers want to buy by utilizing artificial intelligence. In a post on the eBay corporate blog, Wenig discussed how technology is influencing ecommerce, and also discussed his own company’s interest in this area.
The CEO expects the pace of development of AI to accelerate over the next two to three years “beyond anything previously imagined,” and he believes commerce will be the focus of some of the most immediate and exciting applications of AI. Technology will even render the search box redundant, he said.
“As consumers, you will find it is almost like having a personal shopper on hand – except it will get smarter, more attuned to your needs, every time you use it. Imagine you want to buy a scarf. Using AI, commerce platforms and tools will be able to predict whether you want a $7 scarf or a $700 scarf. They will know what colour you want and whether you prefer natural fibres to manmade. And they will be able to anticipate the next thing you’ll want to buy.”
eBay recently acquired Expertmaker which, among a number of functions, allows a company to develop its own micro-search engine that gives human-like advice and recommendations. Discussing how the marketplace will use its AI technology, Wenig said: “We currently expect to apply their technology across our platform, to help improve shipping and delivery times, trust, pricing, and more.”
Expertmaker still has a page on its website where it describes its solutions for retailers. Capabilities include “Advanced customer profiling for deep insights,” and it lists the following benefits for merchants:
- Up-selling and cross-selling
- Improved metrics (conversion and other key business drivers)
- Improved customer experiences
- Multiple AI technologies to generate optimal solutions
- Backed by one of the most experienced teams in the world
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