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Zalando CEO: AI to be a ‘huge contributor’ to the evolution of online customer experience

Robert Gentz at Shoptalk Europe

The co-founder and co-CEO of online fashion marketplace Zalando, Robert Gentz, has predicted generative AI to largely facilitate product discovery, claiming the tool will allow retailers’ ecommerce journey’s to become more “fun, relevant and personal.”

Speaking at Shoptalk Europe, Gentz highlighted the fast development of e-commerce, particularly in the fashion space.

According to the Zalando CEO, the future of online retail will “look much different to how it is today”. He said: “We will look back and scratch our heads and wonder why we operated the way we do now.”

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In online fashion, such technology offers a source of inspiration and interaction—elements typically associated with shopping at physical stores, Gentz claimed.

For example, rather than asking store associates for advice on outfits for an upcoming social occasion, he predicts shoppers to use generative AI to access recommendations and discover relevant products.

He also expects ChatGPT and content inspiration features to help boost the fashion sector’s share of the European e-commerce market from around 20% to 40% in the future.

This comes as Zalando recently unveiled a new tool, powered by ChatGPT, to enhance the experience of shopping for fashion online and help navigate through its app and web platforms.

At the time, Zalando vice president of personalisation and recommendations Tian Su said: “This is just the beginning; we are committed to understanding our customers needs and preferences even better, and we are eager to explore the potential that ChatGPT can bring to their shopping journey.”

Image credit: Shoptalk Europe

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