Throughout 2022 and early 2023, there was an explosion of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that captivated business leaders, investors, and society as a whole with its impressive ability to create new and seemingly human-made text and images.
The remarkable upsurge of interest was unlike any other, as proven by the incredible feat achieved by OpenAI's generative AI language model, ChatGPT. In a mere five days, the platform successfully amassed a million users, a milestone that took Apple over two months to achieve with their iPhone, and ten months for Facebook, and more than three years for Netflix to establish a comparable user base.
This surge in excitement is not merely the result of organizations testing the waters. Generative AI technology is already being utilized in a variety of industries. Stitch Fix, a personalized styling service, uses generative AI to analyze customer data and create personalized clothing recommendations. Alibaba has taken generative AI to work in its fraud detection system, which helps to prevent fraudulent transactions. Farfetch also uses the technology to power its visual search engine, which allows customers to find products by uploading images.
Watch our video below as AutoBot shows how an organization can leverage generative AI technology from prototype to reality and keep reading to learn about specific use cases to start making a difference.
The rapid evolution of generative AI technology has left business leaders struggling to keep up with the dynamic ecosystem. As new use cases continue to emerge at breakneck speed, it has become increasingly important to understand the composition of the generative AI value chain.
“Since the advent of the World Wide Web, I have not been as certain about technology's potential to revolutionize the world as I am now. The explosion of practical applications for AI represents an unparalleled inflection point. It signals a new era of innovation where AI-powered assistance has the potential to unlock countless possibilities. As a result, companies of all sizes will need to develop this game-changing core competency to meet the demands of this emerging paradigm.”
- Mike Pierce, President at Echidna
While in-depth analyses of CEO strategies and the potential economic value of generative AI are still being gathered, this article will take a closer look at the different components that make up the generative AI value chain for companies involved in eCommerce. At the core of this value chain are the generative AI models themselves, which are designed to create original content in response to user prompts.
Surrounding these models are a variety of supporting technologies, such as natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision, that help to enable the creation of accurate and realistic content. These technologies are essential for creating realistic images, videos, and text that can be used in a range of applications, from chatbots to personalized product recommendations.
In addition to these technologies, the generative AI value chain also includes a variety of service providers, such as cloud computing and data analytics companies, that provide the infrastructure and support needed to deploy and scale generative AI applications.
The generative AI value chain is a complex ecosystem that requires a diverse range of technologies, services, and expertise. As the use cases for generative AI continue to expand, it will be essential for business leaders to have a solid understanding of this ecosystem in order to effectively navigate this rapidly-evolving landscape within eCommerce and remain competitive.
Generative AI is rapidly expanding into human realms, as products like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, along with the underlying AI models that power these systems, continue to push the boundaries of what was once thought possible. For eCommerce, this means exciting new opportunities to leverage generative AI to drive innovation and creativity.
With generative AI, computers can now exhibit a level of creativity that was once thought to be uniquely human. By drawing on the vast amounts of data they have ingested and their interactions with users, these systems can produce entirely original content in response to user queries. They can create everything from blog posts to product packaging designs, write computer code, and even help diagnose production errors.
As technology continues to evolve, it has the potential to unleash even more creativity into the world by providing humans with new ideas and starter concepts to build upon. While there may be ongoing debates about whether or not this technology truly equates to creativity, it's clear that generative AI tools are poised to have a significant impact on commerce as a whole.
By reducing application development time and bringing powerful capabilities to non-technical users, generative AI is opening up a world of possibilities for digital commerce in particular. From personalized product recommendations to more efficient supply chain management, the potential applications of this technology are virtually limitless.
As we continue to explore the potential of generative AI, it's clear that this technology will continue to transform commerce in exciting and unprecedented ways. By providing companies with new tools and capabilities, generative AI is poised to unlock new levels of creativity, innovation, and success in the years to come.
As a company, the possibilities of generative AI are vast and exciting. You can create a strong impact across your business quickly and early on. Here are some potential use cases:
With the help of generative AI, you can craft personalized marketing, social media, and technical sales content, including text, images, and video. AI can create assistants aligned to your specific business, such as retail. It can also write emails, technical sales content, and more. Additionally, AI can analyze customer data to gain insights into customer preferences and behaviors, allowing businesses to better target and personalize their marketing efforts.
Generative AI can help eCommerce companies develop new products and improve existing ones by generating ideas, identifying gaps in the market, and predicting trends. AI can analyze customer feedback and reviews to gain insights into product performance and identify areas for improvement.
Teams can leverage the technology to generate task lists for efficient execution of a given activity and streamline customer service by automating processes and increasing agent productivity. AI can identify production errors, anomalies, and defects from images to product retinol for issues and identify clauses of interest such as penalties or value owed through leveraging comparative document analysis. Even more, AI can be used to optimize inventory management and supply chain operations.
Writing, documenting, and reviewing code can be made easier with the help of generative AI. The technology can generate synthetic data to improve training accuracy of machine learning models with limited unstructured input, automatically generate or auto-complete data tables while providing contextual information, and write code and documentation to accelerate and scale developments.
Perhaps one of the most commonly used ways online storefronts are utilizing the technology is with Generative AI-powered chatbots that can provide 24/7 customer service support and help customers find what they're looking for on eCommerce websites. Beyond that, AI can analyze customer inquiries and feedback to improve chatbot accuracy and effectiveness.
AI can automate accounting by sorting and extracting key documents using automated email openers, high-speed scanners, machine learning, and intelligent document recognition. AI can also help eCommerce companies optimize pricing and forecasting by analyzing sales data and market trends.
As a whole the technology can optimize communication of employees, automate email responses and text translation, change tone or wording of text, create business presentations based on text prompts, including visualizations from text, synthesize a summary from a text, slide decks, or online video meetings, enable search and question answering on companies' private knowledge data, and automate accounting by sorting and extracting key documents using automated email openers, high-speed scanners, machine learning, and intelligent document recognition.
As commerce executives, it's important to start leaning into the potential of generative AI to stay competitive in today's digital landscape. It's also important to approach it strategically to ensure success.
One key step is to assemble a cross-functional team to answer basic questions such as how the technology could impact the industry and value chain, the company's policies and posture, and the criteria for selecting use cases to target.
It's also important to pursue building an effective ecosystem of partners, communities, and platforms, while adhering to legal and community standards to maintain trust with stakeholders.
Encouraging thoughtful innovation across the organization and providing sandboxed environments for experimentation is also crucial. These are readily available via the cloud and will enable experimentation without risking the overall stability of the company.
At Echidna, we help leadership and their teams navigate the complexities of generative AI implementation, from identifying potential use cases to assembling cross-functional teams and building effective ecosystems of partners and platforms. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help your business leverage the power of generative AI.