Artificial Intelligence Shakes Up Merchandising Scene

Let’s say you had more than 700 multinational clients whose daily movement of more than a million products (10 to 50 times the number of items even the largest retailer has in its product catalogue) you had to oversee, discerning and categorizing every last classification? Could you do it?

Possibly. But it would take a 10-person team four years.

Better still, you could consider the mushrooming powers of artificial intelligence (AI), and all it has to offer the world of retail merchandising.

Online sales aggregator Love The Sales has developed an AI tool that facilitates the locating, display and promotion of a truly vast library of retail products from around the web—and it does so at an unprecedented pace.

Using Support Vector Machine technology, “Minerva” does a deep dive into more than 100 million data points in order to inform its understanding of what every product in a company’s product catalogue is, and what its various attributes are (think colour, style, pattern, fit, length, etc.). It then places each product into the relevant area of a site, and sets about a program of promotion that favours the more popular items according to a user’s activity.

The role of machine learning in enabling the quick, efficient performance of otherwise insurmountable retail tasks is a game-changer for the role of merchandising within e-commerce.

Mark Zuckerberg recently said that he feels AI will “outperform humans within the next decade.”

Oh, and Minerva could pull off that massive merchandising job—the one that would take a 10-person team using conventional merchandising efforts four years—in just under eight hours.

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