A New Context for Personalized Online Shopping
Since its inception in 2015, Shoptelligence has been on a mission to make personalized online shopping simply mean “more.” What do I mean by that? Well, when we in the retail or marketing industries think about personalization, we often think about using customer data to create unique discounts and promotions for each individual shopper. An honorable – and profitable – endeavor, no doubt. But personalized marketing only has the power to inspire customers to move from the top to the middle of the sales funnel; focusing exclusively on promotions ignores the need to provide personalized assistance during the product discovery phase, a need that becomes all the more noticeable online.
Extending Personalized Online Shopping to Product Discovery
When Laura Khoury and I founded Shoptelligence, we wanted to be the first retail tech provider of an artificially intelligent (AI) style assistant that delivers a fun style-based shopping experience.
OK, I admit, that isn’t entirely accurate. Although that’s what we ended up doing, our early inspiration was finding a way to fill a substantial gap in the modern retail experience.
What we intended to develop was a trusted platform for retailers that bridges the gap between in-store and digital, leveraging our love of technology, shopping, and style to help shoppers find the products they like faster and help them meet their shopping objective. We wanted to make shopping fun again by developing intelligent technology and intelligent style experiences that shoppers and retailers could easily use, appreciate and love, time and time again.
Enter: The Shoptelligence Style Discovery Platform
This vision ultimately led us to develop the Shoptelligence Style Discovery Platform, which uses AI technology to translate retailers’ most basic product data into interactive, shoppable, styled outfits or rooms. In simple terms, the platform helps retailers inspire shoppers by offering products from across categories that are relevant to the shopper, whether it’s dressing for work or play or decorating a living room.
Importantly, the Style Discovery Platform works across all retail channels and requires only product data to start, transforming an underappreciated company asset into an interactive, personalized online shopping experience for all customers. Even better, the platform is additive to a retailer’s existing conversion-oriented tools, making it easy to complement and enhance existing initiatives that deploy at scale.
Early Successes to Hang Our Hats On
While our Midwestern sensibilities tell us to stay humble, it’s important for us to acknowledge that the platform has been very well received as our growth and impact have exceeded even our own expectations. We’ve expanded from just two committed founders to a team of more than 10 all-star talents. We’ve received valuable external funding to validate our mission and help accelerate our growth, and we’ve partnered with world-class organizations like Elo, Tailbase, Affirm, and Wondersign to make our solution even stronger and bring it to more retailers.
But most importantly, since launching our first customer deployment in 2017, our unique approach to personalized online shopping has been a hit with a rapidly growing list of retailers, including Gardner-White Furniture, the IHFRA 2018 Retailer of the Year, Sam’s Appliance & Furniture, Living Spaces, Value City and HOM Furniture. We’ve helped our customers achieve very strong ROI by enhancing shopper engagement, providing valuable shopper insights, and measurably increasing average order value (AOV) for national-scale retailers by a whopping 66%!
The New Wave of Personalization is Assistance, Not Promotion
The personalized online shopping experiences of tomorrow will be driven by a desire to assist customers more effectively. Yes, sometimes this will mean helping them pick which retailer has the best deal or product through personalized marketing initiatives. But we firmly believe that creating an environment of personalized support during the online shopping journey – akin to what customers receive in-store from certified stylists and staff – will be key for successful retailers to separate themselves from the pack. With competitive conditions so stringent, leveraging AI to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to create complete assortments based on their own style, and to do so quickly enough to keep them on your website, will be a defining characteristic of this age of retail. Luckily, we’re here to help.
Get in Touch!
If you’re interested in learning more about how our Style Discovery Platform can help your business create a more personalized online shopping experience, just let us know when you’re available. And if you’ll be at NRF’s Big Show or Las Vegas Market in January, we’d love to meet you there!