October 24, 2017
Mike Cassidy
Mike is lead storyteller at Signifyd. A former journalist, he covers e-commerce and the way automation is changing digital commerce. He's a retail geek. And, as a White Sox fan, he's also resilient.

How Artificial Intelligence’s Role is Expanding in E-commerce

For years Adobe has been among those racing to deploy machine learning to personalize the web and drive faster and better e-commerce conversions across all digital devices.

The idea is to build a memorable customer experience that will not only lead to a sale today, but that will also bring that buyer back time and again, making him or her a valuable customer for life. As the head of industry strategy for retail, travel and CPG at Adobe, Michael Klein has been focused like a laser on machine learning’s power to revolutionize digital retail.

So when I chatted with Klein at Shop.org 2017 I wasn’t surprised to hear that he was bullish on what machine learning and artificial intelligence could do to help retail marketers and merchandisers build a meaningful customer experience leading up to a sale. But Klein’s vision doesn’t end there. (See video below.)

After all, the customer experience doesn’t end when a consumer clicks the buy button. Klein has some thoughts about how e-commerce retailers can use the vast amount of data produced by stocking, shopping and shipping to make sure that the customer experience is a superb one from the time a shopper hits a website, app or mobile site to the time a customer’s order arrives at their door — and beyond.

The end-to-end customer experience was a theme I heard repeatedly at Shop.org, an annual gathering of retailers and vendors who supply the tools that can make those retailers’ lives better and more profitable.

Artificial intelligence was center stage at this year’s version, as e-commerce operations grapple with customer expectations that grow by the day while struggling to scale the techniques that allow them to meet those needs.

Smart machines are widely seen as the answer, but while the answer is clear, it’s not simple. The vast exhibit hall at Shop.org was filled with companies offering AI solutions, meaning it could at times be hard to know where to start.

Klein covered some of the nuances of machine learning and even some of the limitations in terms of building a seamless end-to-end e-commerce platform incorporating everything from customer acquisition to ordering, fraud protection, fulfillment, delivery and post-purchase support.

I’ll get into those observations from Klein in a later installment of our Signifyd Ideas video series.

Mike Cassidy is Signifyd’s lead storyteller. Contact him at mike.cassidy@signifyd.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.