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Retailers Hope AR and GenAI Energize Consumers and Get Them to Buy

3D Furniture

The commerce landscape is experiencing unprecedented growth, driven by the rapid expansion of digital marketplaces and eCommerce platforms. 

This surge comes as little surprise, as consumers are increasingly embracing the convenience of browsing and purchasing goods and services via their smartphones and connected devices, bypassing traditional in-store shopping experiences. 

Beyond catering to changing consumer preferences for convenience, personalization and social engagement, the surge of digital marketplaces is fueled by evolving business models and the integration of cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance shopping experiences. 

Just this week, Wayfair, one of the largest homeware retailers in Europe, introduced its generative AI pilot app, Decorify, currently available on Apple Vision Pro. With Decorify, users can seamlessly revamp their living spaces, exploring both familiar and new design styles, and immerse themselves in the redesigned environments. 

Decorify also enables users to visualize Wayfair products in 3D directly within their living spaces, offering a realistic portrayal of how items will appear and fit. Moreover, with 3D items displayed at full scale, shoppers can explore a diverse range of life-sized products within any room or area of their home. 

“We’re excited to continue our journey exploring and defining new techniques, interfaces, and paradigms in the spatial computing era,” Shrenik Sadalgi, director of research and development at Wayfair, said in a Feb. 6 press release. “With Wayfair Decorify for visionOS, you can capture a photo of your space, reimagine it as multiple spatial-designs, and then make it a reality — all within seconds.”

Kroger, on the other hand, is leveraging a new generative AI tool to optimize third-party listings in the grocery marketplace, according to a Thursday (Feb. 8) report by Retail TouchPoints. 

Offering real-time data capture, the solution generates comprehensive product listings and ratings, providing customers with enhanced information while generating valuable insights for sellers. 

According to the report, providing clear and informative product listings will not only enhance the customer experience but also empower Kroger platform sellers with actionable data-driven strategies to grow their businesses. 

“The Kroger marketplace involves a complex matrix of elements that need to be effectively managed to deliver a seamless customer experience online,” said Michael Murphy, group vice president of analytics and execution at Kroger, according to the report, adding that providing customers with the information “they need, when they need it, is important.” 

Amazon Bets Big on Generative AI 

Amazon, one of the world’s most popular eCommerce marketplaces, is also exploring the capabilities of generative AI. The company is currently testing an AI tool designed to address shoppers’ inquiries about products, a company spokesperson recently told CNBC. 

Integrated into Amazon’s mobile app, the new feature will answer users’ questions regarding a specific item within seconds of being asked by summarizing insights gleaned from various product reviews and the listing itself. 

This streamlined approach aims to spare shoppers the effort of combing through listings to find relevant product details and scrolling endlessly through reviews in search of pertinent information.

“We’re constantly inventing to help make customers’ lives better and easier, and are currently testing a new feature powered by generative AI to improve shopping on Amazon by helping customers get answers to commonly asked product questions,” Maria Boschetti, an Amazon spokesperson, said, per a Jan. 16 CNBC report.

The eCommerce giant has also unveiled a plethora of AI initiatives, including new AI-generated advertising solutions, a generative AI shopping assistant Rufus, and a new Automated Vehicle Inspection technology. 

On a Feb. 1 call with analysts and investors to discuss the firm’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 earnings, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy appeared to suggest a strategic focus on leveraging generative AI products to enhance customer experiences, while projecting a potential for billions in sales in the coming years.

“GenAI is and will continue to be an area [of] pervasive focus and investment across Amazon primarily because there are few initiatives that give us the chance to reinvent so many of our customer experiences and processes,” Jassy said. “And we believe it’ll ultimately drive tens of billions of dollars of revenue for Amazon over the next several years.”