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3 Practical AI Applications for eCommerce Visuals

If you’re exploring innovative ways to integrate AI into your e-commerce business, you’re staying ahead of the curve! Fifty-one percent of e-commerce companies are using AI to provide a seamless experience for their online consumers, and 42% are exploring AI possibilities.

It’s not easy to filter through the noise around AI in the market. So how can e-commerce businesses identify practical ways to leverage AI to improve their day-to-day workflows and sales? And how do they find the right AI-powered solution to support them?

At eCommerce Summit Phoenix, Senior Director of Customer Education and Community at Cloudinary Sam Brace gave a presentation called 100% Hype-free, Practical Applications of AI for eCommerce Visuals. “Ninety percent of buyers consider visuals to be the number one factor in their purchasing decision,” says Brace. “So visuals are an ideal place to leverage the power of AI for incredible ROI.”

Booking a location, hiring any necessary talent, maybe flying in the photographer… It all adds up fast,  so you have to get everything you need from the photo shoot while you’re there. But, what if you don’t? 

With AI, you don’t have to do a full re-shoot. “If you have something that needs to be in a new color, a new photo shoot would have to take place,” Brace explains. “If something was changed on the product, let’s say like a new logo or a lack of a logo, that would have had to be a new photo shoot. AI can take that image that was done in the photo shoot and prevent you from having to go all the way back to step one. You can do it on the fly. This is the power of AI.”

“Many [e-commerce companies] have products that are going to be of different colors, different varieties. Maybe it’s from gold to silver, maybe it’s from blue to green. Whatever it happens to be. We can ask AI for things like this,” notes Brace. “And because of object detection, it’s able to provide that recoloring. The AI knows what’s the shirt, what’s the pants, and can provide the exact hex color RGB values that you need to be able to provide for your purposes. Once again, this is [preventing] you from going away all the way to the photo shoot.”

AI’s ability to precisely transform an image eliminates the need to repeat a photo session and adds a never-before-known versatility to all your digital assets.

Missing or low-quality images increase the likelihood a customer won’t make a purchase by 30%. Meaning, all your images and videos must be of the highest possible quality and optimized to enable the fastest possible loading time. “[Maybe you’re stuck with] a blurry, pixelated image,” Brace continues. “With Cloudinary’s AI, you’re able to bring it up to a crisp, high-fidelity version. Very simply, with generative restore, it’s able to detect what is potentially blurred, pixelated, and be able to sharpen the edges, boost the contrast, get it to be what you need it to be. And now that I’ve been able to use something like generative restore, I can start augmenting this image even further. But that small, blurry, pixelated image that you [said was] unusable suddenly now is [usable], and I haven’t asked [the solution] to go and recreate the wheel. I just want [the visual] to be usable.”

“You probably have certain sizes that you need for your websites,” adds Brace. “Maybe they’re squares, maybe they’re homepage header styles. They’re going to be more of a 16-by-9 aspect ratio. If I have [an image that is not a 16-by-9 aspect], I can’t put this as a homepage header. But [with generative fill], I can ask AI [to] create a background that is representative of the background of his image. So now I can take that same product image, which I didn’t augment at all, and make sure it fits within the spaces that are available inside of my digital marketing presence.”

The right AI-powered solution empowers e-commerce businesses to automatically adapt their visual assets to meet specific formatting requirements and integrate into all digital marketing channels without the need for extensive manual editing.

Consumers are 40% more likely to engage with ads and make a purchase when the content is tailored to their interests. By harnessing AI’s capabilities in precise object removal and image manipulation, e-commerce companies can refine their visual content to resonate with their target audience. 

“Sometimes you need to remove an object from the image. And Cloudinary AI can get really precise here. You’ve probably seen [other companies offer] things like removing the background. That’s common. And that’s actually something that you see quite a bit. [But they aren’t doing it] to this level of sophistication that [Cloudinary can],” explains Brace. “Now with the power of [Cloudinary’s AI], you can also start to overlay the same background and start to treat this in the way that you have with layers, being able to put effects behind it, like sepias, grayscale, to really make that product imagery pop, being able to go ahead and cartoonify it or add saturation at a high level to really make sure this is something that’s of interest. On top of this, I want you to pay very close attention here because this is subtle. Look at her shirt and the logo. It’s gone. That’s the power of AI.”

“Sometimes you want certain precise details of it to be gone. And all [you] have to do [is] type in ‘remove the logo,’ and it was able to recognize what the logo was on that shirt. This is the power of AI. I am not asking for it to recreate the image; I am asking for it to make my life easier,” Brace concludes.

To learn more about how Cloudinary’s image and video API platform can deliver a smarter and more profitable visual experience that scales, contact us for a free demo.

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