Barcelona – The second day of the show was dedicated to how artificial intelligence will affect the retail sector and its players.
Dr Thomas Gilbert, a machine ethics scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, highlighted how all major e-commerce platforms would soon include AI-powered chatbots. Although unpredictable, the latter can be developed in only 12 months thanks to advances in generative AI such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The next step for the tool is to specialise in the emotional understanding of consumers to cement a hyper-personalised level of customer service and recommendations.
Addressing the future of e-commerce, Dr Carsten Keller, vice-president of direct-to-consumer at Zalando, dismissed the metaverse buzz that dominated retail conversations in 2022 to stress the importance of investing in Generative AI instead.
Loyalty was another hot topic, with Dr Keller reflecting on Zalando’s acquisition of Highsnobiety. The fashion-forward indie publication brought editorial excellence, hype and a new-found relevance to the Germany-based marketplace.
Elsewhere, Niraj Jain, chief financial officer of Matahari, the largest retail platform in Indonesia, celebrated the success of its WhatsApp shopping programme after sending over 15m marketing messages on the Meta-owned app. According to business communications platform Message Bird, Matahari achieved a conversion rate of 6.5%, nearly 2.5 times higher than the industry average of 2.6%. Jain was even more optimistic, saying WhatsApp is now generating more sales for the company than Matahari.com.