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The Future of E-commerce: 3 Ways AI is Like Having ‘1,000 Interns’

There are several sources out there comparing AI platforms, specifically generative AI tools, to “interns.”  

Typically, the comparison is meant to be flattering to both parties, though it does seem inaccurate. While AI and interns are both eager to fulfill a request, interns get paid. At least they better be. 

AI platforms are a productivity multiplier, which is ideal for e-commerce retailers and brands in a number of ways. Here are the top three.

At this year’s National Retailers Federation conference in NYC, AI dominated. According to Modern Retail, chatbots were the most talked about generative AI use case. 

E-commerce sites have been assisting customers through enhanced AI-powered chatbots for years now. With improvements in generative AI and large language models (LLM) steeped in a retailer or brand’s lingo and product knowledge, chatbots are now more specific around product returns, store information, and product inventory needs.

Beyond the usual chat functions, generative AI is also being applied to generate high-quality images that help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions and can generate videos that answer questions shoppers have on products. 

Cloudinary’s AI-powered functions ensure a reliable customer experience by:

  • Playing videos through adaptive bitrate streaming that prevents buffering and ensures viewers get the information they need. 
  • Resizing and cropping images so the most important part of a product is front and center to help shoppers review an item for purchase.

Generative AI is changing how products are viewed online by delivering the best-quality product display pages throughout the mobile and desktop digital experience.

Working with visual assets, generative AI elevates a brand’s video and product images to entice purchases through automation functions such as:

  • Taking long-form videos and editing them down to teaser length.
  • Swapping out products in a photo or items on a model to create multiple versions of an image or to give old art new life.  

And, through tools like ChatGPT, marketing teams are automating the creation of copy for product descriptions and marketing. The function is turning marketers into editors and getting e-commerce content written in record time.  

Online, AI handles more mundane tasks like auto-tagging and auto-editing visual assets to meet proper formatting requirements. Tasks like these can take humans hours or days to perform, but automation does the heavy lifting, allowing creative teams to focus more on being creative.

On the IT side of the house, developers and CTOs are seeing AI have a huge impact on workflow. Cloudinary’s Global Web Developer Survey finds:

  • Nearly 70% cite improved efficiency and productivity as the foremost benefit of incorporating AI into their workflow. 
  • 64% of developers are actively using generative AI tools to streamline the development process such as using AI for workflow automation. 

Bonus: In-store, retailers and brands are using AI as an assistant to store associates. For example, computer vision technology integrated into in-store devices, in conjunction with AI, is managing planograms and how products are displayed, even spotting misplaced products or pricing errors. 

Every day, e-tailers are discovering ways to incorporate AI into their businesses. Cloudinary’s AI-powered platform can improve e-commerce workflows and help teams manage visual assets, enhance videos and product images, and reduce time spent on menial tasks. 

Contact us to learn AI can improve site performance, elevate the user’s experience, and increase sales.

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