EXCLUSIVE: Ghiradelli optimizes visual e-commerce content with AI

Ghiradelli AI visual review
Ghiradelli is using AI for its visual product content.

A leading chocolate brand is analyzing and developing visual product content for its Amazon channel with help from artificial intelligence (AI).

Chain Store Age recently spoke with Pam Perino, digital content operations and development manager at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, about how the chocolatier is leveraging the AI-based Visit Conversion Optimizer App into the Salsify PXM Advance product experience management platform in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of visual imagery on its Amazon store.

[Read more: Ghirardelli to open its first-ever NYC store]

What business issues was Ghiradelli facing in its Amazon channel?

One of the biggest challenges we had was being able to apply in-depth analysis and optimization to visual content. Consumers will click away, or they won't click through to the full product detail page or click to cart unless the visual content is enticing and engaging.

Detailed product content is probably the number one reason people are actually looking to buy online.

Why did Ghiradelli determine that the AI-based Vizit/Salsify solution would be an effective solution to manage your visual content?

AI offers advantages in the quality of insights it provides, speed to insight, and scalability of analysis and optimization. For example, to learn about which images will best attract and convert our target audiences, instead of doing an A/B test, commissioning a survey or relying on focus groups, we now can quickly upload our images to the Visit/Salsify digital merchandising platform, which uses AI to help simulate the visual preferences of various large populations and learnings from that with millions of organic interactions. 

Ghiradelli has very specific audiences that we've curated for our specific kinds of products. Through this solution, we've been able to get quick, deep quantitative and qualitative insights into our image performance across our entire catalog. Traditional methods take a lot longer and the cost is much higher, as well. 

AI gives us the capability to gain a deep understanding of what kind of visual content appeals to different shopper audiences and delivers the insights to help improve our content. Also, it lets us look at what visual trends exist across different product categories and competitors, and even which products to focus on when it comes to manipulating or overhauling visual content. We can prioritize much more quickly this way.

Can you discuss the results in more detail?

We can truly understand which listings require content changes or alterations and can test visual content in real time, which has helped to expedite our ability to analyze and improve the quality of our content across our digital experiences. 

We have also seen a nice conversion uplift across our key products in the beta test that we ran on a small key set of items.

Are there any future plans for AI you can discuss?

We are also working now with another AI solution provider that is a partner with Salsify to help us quickly create marketing copy, including specific retailer content. This will be helpful because each retailer has certain parameters about how they want marketing content structured, how many characters they may allow, how many words they allow, so we can get all that done quickly and easily. 

We will also focus on "seasonalization." We want to make sure that we think about the key seasons during the year. Mother's Day and Easter are coming up, and we're looking at how we can take our core content and "seasonalize: it to help gain in search engine optimization and hopefully get the customer onto our product detail pages and shopping.

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