Retail organisation Shopin has released its patent-protected artificial intelligence (AI) engine to democratise customer data. The organisation leveraged more than 3.5 billion purchase data transactions, 30 million SKU connections and 67,000 brands. Shopin aims to decentralise the forecasting and recommendation power of retail giants to the rest of the retail economy.
Shopin takes the first steps in commercialising their visual artificial intelligence and decentralisation technologies with the release of R.I.D.E. – The Retail Intelligence Data Engine.
Leveraging customer data
According to Shopin, retail giants like Amazon boast incredible conversions to sales as they have a data fabric. As a result, Amazon can leverage all the purchase data from so many retailers, brands and consumers in their platform. They have cultivated the technical prowess to identify all the product interrelationships contextually for ultimate recommendations, forecasting insights and personalisation. This data fabric is so powerful that Amazon’s purchase-data driven product recommendation bar accounts for 35% of their revenue (about 15% of the total U.S. e-commerce revenue – via Rejoiner).
In contrast, the world of retail never shares their data with one another and builds disparate technology stacks. This results in less than 3% of consumers on average convert into a sale on a retailer website (Statista).
A Eureka moment
According to Eran Eyal, Founder and CEO at Shopin, “As we started to build towards the release of ShopChain and our decentralised universal shopper profile in 2019. We started looking for more purchase data to train our visual artificial intelligence engine. That’s when Georgi Gospodinov, our CTO had a ‘Eureka’ moment, leading us to create R.I.D.E.”
Eyal elaborates, “He envisaged a method to gather and analyse purchase data without retailers actually taking the risk of giving it to us initially. It’s pretty amazing as it offers such huge value with no risk on the part of the client.”
How R.I.D.E. works?
R.I.D.E. looks for the links between brands and products no matter where they are sold, revealing critical insights such as:
- Which brands and products are under-represented in a retailer’s catalogue?
- Which products are sold everywhere and what else customers are buying with their products. This allows retailers to forecast, reveal trends, spot ideal partnerships or acquisitions opportunities, and how to recommend and place products.
- The potential adverse effects of removing a brand or product from one’s catalogue – how the sales of other associated products could be harmed
- Which brands or products to import into new territories based on what is already being sold. Which items pair the best to increase basket sizes.
Georgi Gospodinov, CTO of Shopin and inventor of R.I.D.E, adds: “R.I.D.E. generates a global data fabric by interpreting and integrating the premium purchase data by all major and mid-size retailers. Our proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms further mine the data fabric for relevant insights and generate recommendations. Beyond that, R.I.D.E. sets the stage for ShopChain and the larger Shopin application, by setting standards for handling customer profile data and leveraging a blockchain to accomplish that.”
Shopin is a universal shopper profile, built on the blockchain and powered by the organisation’s proprietary artificial intelligence tools. This delivers shoppers the most personal experience in every site, app, and in-store. The company works with retailers to give shoppers control of their purchased data.
Enterprise Times: What this means for retailers?
So the big question is: how does one get the purchase data to make sense of the decentralised world of retail and build a data fabric for all retailers and brands to access scalably?
The likes of Amazon and Alibaba have access to unimaginable amounts of customer data to filter and fine tune the user experience of its customers and prospects. These organisations have access to customer data, across their entire infrastructure and eco-system. However, most SME’s (small medium sized enterprises) can only access data from their immediate digital real estate.
Shopin is trying to change things. The organisation aims to create a federation of retailers in a purposeful, safe data cooperative. They want to provide an ecosystem which nurtures and encourages growth for the retail industry.
Shopin’s universal shopper profile, utilises blockchain technology, enabling retailers to feel secure leveraging data for expanded insights on merchandise and purchasing history of their shoppers. It’s visual AI and technology tools aims to drive conversions sales and bring greater efficiencies resulting in lower losses.
The organisation is attempting to provide SMEs, with ‘democratic’ access to the types of sophisticated intelligence tools used by Amazon. This can only be welcomed in a marketplace already dominated by the few major players.