Artificial Intelligence and e-commerce

In recent years, the use of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) appears to be making its way into almost every industry and e-commerce is no exception. While there are many applications of A.I. currently being used to assist in the running of many online marketplaces, one in particular seems to be increasingly influencing the world of e-commerce and online retail: image recognition.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, both e-commerce and visual commerce have accelerated in the last few years which has contributed massively to e-commerce sales in 2016 being a massive $394.9 billion. And now with image recognition being used by e-commerce sites in various ways, the influence of visual commerce is expected to expand even further in the near future. Here are some ways in which image recognition can improve e-commerce now and in the future...

1. Image classification:

Image classification for product search could potentially be most effective on a customer’s smartphone. Mobile commerce and Social commerce are becoming more and more popular thanks to the rise of smartphones so it’s no surprise that product search will be made more efficient on these devices. An example of image classification would involve a customer taking a photo using their smartphone or taking a screenshot of an image from social media. From there, they could find the outfit within the image or a similar outfit across several online marketplaces.

Sentiment analysis could take this even further. For instance, facial recognition could be implemented to detect the emotion of the person wearing the outfit once a photo of them is submitted in order to determine whether or not they like the outfit that has been chosen. This could also result in a more efficient process for reviewing products.

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2. Finding inappropriate content:

Inappropriate content on e-commerce sites could be detected and removed using image recognition technology. One way of doing this is through logo recognition in which the legitimate brand can find fake logos of counterfeit products and remove any inappropriate or explicit content falsely associated with that brand.

We’ll go into a bit more detail on logo recognition later.

3. A.R. for advertising:

Augmented Reality (A.R.) along with Virtual Reality (V.R.) have become extremely popular in recent years, largely due to the success of the A.R. app, Pokemon Go. So why shouldn’t retailers and brands take advantage of this technology as well? Publishers, both online and offline, such as newspapers and magazines, could turn their advertisers’ images into shoppable ads.

So, for example, a reader could snap a photo using their smartphone of an image within a magazine which would then prompt an ad that would take the reader to a brand’s website. If this was an online retailer, the reader could take a photo of an outfit they like in the magazine which would prompt an ad and take the reader to an e-commerce site. There, the reader could purchase the outfit. This could be a great way for offline print to encourage their readers to purchase physical copies of their magazines, while still having a virtual and online experience.

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4. Identifying fakes:

As already mentioned, logo recognition is becoming more and more prevalent in the e-commerce industry for various reasons. One application in particular has proven to be very successful: detecting counterfeits. When it comes to finding and eliminating fake items on e-commerce sites, brands and online marketplaces have struggled in the past to find an effective solution. Bring in logo recognition...

Essentially, logo recognition technology allows e-commerce sites to detect fake logos that are attempting to sell as legitimate brands. As soon as a fake is detected, the item is flagged. Obviously, this is an automated process which takes away the need for manual input. To find out more about logo recognition for counterfeit detection, click here.