Two minutes into browsing through an e-commerce site for new workout clothes, I closed the window in favor of checking my emails. Three minutes later, I couldn’t even remember the name of the website.
How is it that some e-commerce sites create completely unmemorable experiences, while others make you think, “Where’s my wallet?”
The difference boils down to customer experience — but the CX playbook is quickly changing. Brands that have the technology and know-how to provide a hyperpersonalized, human-centered experience easily attract, engage and convert shoppers, while those offering experiences that miss the mark — even by a hair — struggle to stay relevant.
Human-Centered CX Will Become Your Competitive Edge
The most desirable CX preserves a strong sense of humanness — one that understands each individual’s unique tastes, current context and goals, and tailors the shopping journey accordingly.
Brands that can connect to each shopper on a deeper and more authentic, human level will win against the competition.
How Visual AI Powers Human Experiences
Visual artificial intelligence (AI) technology has many applications, but in e-commerce, it’s the key to creating a human CX. It amplifies a brand’s ability to personalize experiences and recommendations in the way that a close friend or knowledgeable sales associate might do.
It behaves like a human eye, understanding the nearly imperceptible details that draw a shopper to a particular aesthetic. Then, by merging that information with current shopper intent, context and behavior, sophisticated personalization engines can recommend the right products at the right time, exactly like a perceptive personal shopper. Human, but without the propensity for human error.
We're just scratching the surface of what’s possible with visual AI. The experiences that it will unlock down the road will be uniquely powerful.
The Future of Human Customer Experience
Imagine visiting a website that adjusted its colors and layout to align with your mood. Calming light blue and a minimalist design greet you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. The relevant categories for relaxation — loungewear and athletic wear — are highlighted. Product recommendations suggest yoga gear in a cut that flatters you. An avatar that looks like you appears, so you can instantly see how you would look in the new outfit.
When the package arrives, it’s wrapped in recyclable materials and scented with lavender, continuing that sense of calm you felt on-site. Every interaction seems to understand what you need in that moment.
These experiences can play out in a thousand different constellations.
Imagine walking by a bus shelter ad with an interactive smart mirror. When you stand in front of it, the mirror analyzes what you’re wearing and provides relevant recommendations in the same style. If it’s a brand you shop at regularly, maybe you get a push notification from its app with a pre-loaded wish list.
True personalization is multisensory, omnichannel and intuitive. And that's where visual AI shines.
How it Works
Each time a shopper interacts with products, visual AI learns from the granular details within product images to better understand who they are and what they like.
It can understand if, for example, you have a tendency to favor high-waisted jeans with whiskering “just-so” at the hip and a raw — but-not-frayed — edge on the hem.
The possibilities for using these insights are endless. For now, tailored recommendations and navigation experiences are already proving to elevate the customer experience and foster loyalty.
The brands that get in on the ground floor of this innovative capability will have the tools to give them a decisive edge and allow them to redefine the boundaries of what’s possible in e-commerce.
Ofer Fyrman is the CEO and co-founder of Syte, a product discovery platform that includes e-commerce site search, visual search, personalization engines, product tagging, and more.
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