Etsy Buys Tech Firm to Bring AI to its Search
Etsy announced it has acquired a startup called Blackbird Technologies, which developed algorithms for natural language processing, image recognition and analytics — similar to those used by Amazon.com and Google for product and other searches — and then “democratized” them to be used by any company of any size. At Etsy, the tech will be used to improve its own search features.
Total Retail's Take: The online marketplace is bolstering its technology capability and adding talent to the organization — Blackbird's employees will all be joining Etsy — with this move. Etsy will leverage Blackbird's machine learning and artificial intelligence expertise to help it serve up a better shopping experience for its visitors, particularly around search. This is of particular value to Etsy's shoppers as they look to find unique goods amongst the 40 million listings on the marketplace. Etsy's goal is to make its site search quicker and easier as well as to produce more relevant product recommendations for consumers.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.