In order for a shopper to become a paying customer of your e-Commerce business, they need to find a product they want to buy. This may sound obvious, but in a world where sites have thousands or tens of thousands of products, helping shoppers discover the products they want to purchase on your e-Commerce site is extremely difficult.
While there have been advances in how retailers merchandise products, shoppers still are not getting exposed to all the products they might be interested in purchasing. What is getting in the way of your shoppers connecting with the items they want in your product catalog?
Connecting Products to Shoppers In-Store is Relatively Easy
In the bricks-and-mortar world, sales associates act as the interpreter between the customers and the product, making sure that every shopper that comes in is shown what they are interested in, not just what is on display on the floor.
Take Al Lenoir, a Nordstrom sales associate aptly nicknamed “The Shoe Whisperer.” When asked his secret to helping customers find exactly what they want, he said, “Listen. Observe. Bring out her selection (in a shoe). But also bring out a selection she did not ask for. You have to listen because she is telling you her lifestyle.”
But Connecting Products to Shoppers Online Has Been Hard
Emulating that in-store conversation to bring shoppers to the products that are right for them has been difficult for most e-Commerce retailers. The recommendation engines and personalization solutions that many sites use aren’t interactive; they have no way to understand the tastes or intent of any given shopper each time they visit an online store. Such tools only know generally what someone might like or might be interested in. Even worse, personalization and recommendation tools may not be revealing products your shoppers want to see, but instead what the system has calculated to be generally popular, leaving a large portion of your catalog undiscovered. What a shopper cannot see, they cannot buy.
What online shoppers need is an interpreter like the Shoe Whisperer that can listen, understand, and help communicate their needs while they browse for products. A solution like this—one that could listen—would be able to more accurately display relevant products to shoppers, ensuring they see only the products they are interested in buying…right at that moment.
Bridging the Gap
Sentient Aware™, Sentient’s visual search and product discovery solution, does listen. Using the power of artificial intelligence, it is able to have a visual conversation with shoppers, translate their intent, and display the most relevant products that they want to buy. All the shopper needs to do is click on two or three product images they find appealing and Sentient Aware immediately begins to understand what products the customer is interested in. It’s visual search and personalization on steroids!
How does this magic happen? We use the power of Sentient’s distributed artificial intelligence to analyze product images at an incredibly nuanced level. Once the shopper has indicated a few products they like, the technology is able to infer what the shopper finds interesting—and show other products that are appealing. Maybe they like a shiny buckle or strap, or the height of the heel. Maybe it’s something subtler like the stitching or pattern of the item that catches their eye.
The shopper no longer needs to worry about how to describe the features and nuances of the products they are looking for; they just need to tap or click to see more of the products they want to see—anywhere, on any device.
How shoppers discover and find products on your site does not have to be limited to traditional search and navigation structures. Visual search powered by artificial intelligence can get your shoppers to explore more of your catalog and buy the products they are looking for.