The Home Showcase online shopping feature from Newegg. (Credit: Newegg)
Retailers are rapidly finding uses for generative artificial intelligence (AI) that go beyond customer service chatbots.
Generative AI, which is based on machine learning (ML), can create new content and ideas, including conversations, stories, images, videos, and music. It has most prominently been used in retail as a platform for highly interactive and human-like chatbots, but as these three recent implementations show, generative AI holds potential to transform the entire retail enterprise.
Specialty gift retailer 1-800-Flowers.com recently introduced a new online feature called “1-800-Flowers.com MomVerse.” This free AI composer is based on ChatGPT, which interacts with users in a conversational style that mimics human interaction and uses machine learning (ML) to continually refine and improve its responses.
1-800-Flowers.com MomVerse creates original, one-of-a-kind verses including personalized poems and songs. Customers can select the type of verse, (e.g., haiku, song, or limerick), who the poem or song is for (e.g., mom, grandma, wife), and then input attributes about the recipient.
Users can input keywords that best describe the subject and their interests, such as music, singing, or reading, and then share with one click to a social platform or print the verse out.
Newegg Commerce Inc. is expanding its use of AI to enhance how customers interact with its site. The global technology e-commerce retailer is rolling out Home Showcase, an interactive online shopping experience for home products.
Newegg developed the offering by utilizing generative AI to improve the visuals and descriptions of products in the assortment. Designed for homeowners, the Home Showcase features a user interface resembling a two-story house, with eight clickable room icons including office, kitchen, living room, bathroom, gaming room, bedroom, garage and yard.
Clicking on a room icon opens up a curated list of recommended products commonly used in that specific area, accompanied by deals, top brands and room-specific inspiration photos. Newegg used Stable Diffusion AI (a text-to-image generative AI model) to improve product photos to illustrate features for customers, and ChatGPT to create product descriptions and text on abbreviated quick view pages.
Wendy’s is proceeding with plans to leverage AI and hybrid cloud tools at the drive-thru window. The retailer is expanding an existing partnership with Google to pilot a solution, called “Wendy’s FreshAI,” which based on Google Cloud's generative AI and large language models (LLMs) technology.
The company will leverage Google Cloud solutions including the Looker business intelligence and analytics tool, as well as the Anthos modernization platform, to update operations. And with Google Cloud Anthos, an open-source-based platform, Wendy's seeks to enable store applications and real-time AI/ML to run anywhere – including on-premise or in the cloud.
In June 2023, Wendy's plans to launch its first pilot of Google Cloud AI technology in a Columbus, Ohio-area, company-operated restaurant. The pilot will utilize Google Cloud generative AI solutions, such as Vertex AI, to automatically conduct conversations with customers, understand made-to-order requests and generate responses to frequently asked questions.