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How Urban Outfitter, Tommy Hilfiger and Disney are adopting artificial intelligence to develop a new kind of customer experience

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Leading retailers such as Urban Outfitters , Tommy Hilfiger and Disney are harnessing the value of AI to create a new type of customer experience.

Urban Outfitters is using Google’s Cloud AutoML Vision to improve the customer journey and to automate the product attribution process, while Disney is using it to annote products with Disney characters while improving search engine capabilities.

The Google service makes it easier for retailers to create customer machine-learning models for image recognition. Staff can more easily upload images, train and manage those models and then deploy them on Google Cloud.

Urban Outfitters is constantly looking for new ways to enhance our customers’ shopping experience,” said Alan Rosenwinkel, a data scientist at the brand’s parent company URBN.

He said: “Creating and maintaining a comprehensive set of product attributes is critical to providing our customers relevant product recommendations, accurate search results, and helpful product filters; however, manually creating product attributes is arduous and time-consuming. To address this, our team has been evaluating Cloud AutoML to automate the product attribution process by recognizing nuanced product characteristics like patterns and necklines styles. Cloud AutoML has great promise to help our customers with better discovery, recommendation, and search experiences.”

Mike White, chief technology officer and SVP at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, said: “Cloud AutoML’s technology is helping us build vision models to annotate our products with Disney characters, product categories, and colors. These annotations are being integrated into our search engine to enhance the impact on guest experience through more relevant search results, expedited discovery, and product recommendations on shopDisney.”

Elsewhere Tommy Hilfiger is collaborating on a project with IBM and The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Infor Design and Tech Lab to use AI. It aims to identify fashion trends that will resonate with shoppers before they appear on the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. This project is designed to prepare the next generation of retail leaders as they begin their careers.

The pilot used IBM Research capabilities including computer vision, natural language understanding, and deep learning techniques specifically trained with fashion data.

IDC has previously found that by 2019, about 40% of retailers will develop a new kind of customer experience based on an AI platform and hyper-micro personalization can provide a 30% conversion increase.

Photo credit: dragonstock (Fotolia)




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