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The Future of Ecommerce: How AI Is Changing the Industry

Talk about a great year for AI!
Derric Haynie
Dec 22
May 5, 2021
June 11, 2021 21:05

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Talk about a great year for AI! There are so many new tools available for us to understand and harness all the data that comes with running a business. Topics for this event include:

  • How to prepare for AI’s transformation of eCommerce
  • When and how to successfully integrate AI tools and opportunities into your stack
  • Emerging AI tech and trends in the eCommerce industry

If you’re looking for an in-depth look at all the different aspects of AI, keep reading.

Good luck!

To check out the entire virtual summit, go here. Or follow along below to get the sessions and some brief recaps.

Here's the session list:

Turning the Spotlight on the Customer: How AI Fundamentally Changes the Buyer Experience

A talk by Sharon Goldstein, CEO, LimeSpot

Overview: Have you ever wondered what AI for eCommerce IS and why you can’t go without it? One big answer is how it contributes to personalized experiences for your customers, thus increasing conversion, retention, and sales. Watch this session or keep reading to find out how.

Summary: AI can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. What many people don’t know is that AI is made up of many algorithms in one. The three main algorithms are:

  • Computer vision: This algorithm enables the AI to identify what’s in photos and tag it accordingly.
  • Natural language processing: This enables the AI to read human written text and identify important language from it, turning it into usable data
  • Machine learning: This is the primary concept people think about when they hear the term “AI”. In the past, data schematics had to be done using linear modeling, but with machine learning, you just have to give the system a starting point and ending point. The AI then builds out the schematic using that information and educates itself. A good example of this would be personalized product recommendations.

One thing to keep in mind about AI is that the quality and fidelity of your data is really important, and the more data sets you have to analyze, the better your AI solution will perform. In fact, companies tend to see a 2-10x increase in ROAS when AI personalization data is used effectively.

Automation to Drive Retention & Conversion

A talk by Nicole Baqai, Strategic Partnerships, Gorgias

Overview: The swiftness of your online response time is key to having happy customers. Unfortunately, we all know how easy it can be to become bogged down in repetitive inquiries. To save yourself time and ensure every customer and potential customer receives a response in record time, personalize your responses using automation with machine learning components. 

Summary: There are a number of ways to leverage automation with customer experience. To start, you’ll need to study what your customers are asking and ask yourself what you are doing to answer these questions quickly and accurately. Then, begin to incorporate the following customer service strategies into your own:

  • Use macros (canned responses) to speed up response times and improve customer experiences
  • Have an omni-channel approach that automates responses and allows customers to answer WISMO questions themselves
  • Prioritize social media comments to engage with customers before they hit your website and understand what is going on in your support system

Tech Showcase: Route

A talk by Bar Bruhis, Partner Marketing, Route

Overview: Route helps brands own their post-purchase customer experience with visual order tracking, package protection, effortless claim-filing, and the world’s first universal order history. Keep reading to find out how!

Summary: If you currently pay for shipping insurance when you send packages out to customers, then Route may be the answer to the problems you don’t know you have. Route helps brands own their post-purchase customer experience in 4 ways:

  • Protect: Increases your customers’ peace of mind at checkout by protecting every order against loss, damage, and theft
  • Track: Proactively deflects WISMO inquiries by allowing customers to track their order in real-time on a map interface and through proactive push notifications.
  • Resolve: Enables your customers to self-solve order issues in just a few clicks, quickly turning a negative experience into a positive one. Route will also reorder from you or refund customer purchases within 24 hours of an issue being reported.
  • Engage: Engage with your customers post-purchase using your personalized brand profile, increasing customer lifetime value and reducing customer acquisition costs

Merchant Interview: How ezpz Built and Scaled Its Online Business

A talk by Sharon Goldstein, CEO, Limespot and Lindsey Laurain, CEO, ezpz

Overview: Mom, Inventor, Founder. Meet Lindsey Laurain, CEO of EZPZ, and join her as she discusses how EZPZ leverages multichannel marketing and makes the most of AI merchandising to drive sales.

Summary: EZPZ is a completely self-funded store that has bootstrapped its way into growth since 2015. In this session, Lindsey explains that they didn’t need cash to get started. Instead, they needed licensing opportunities, and after spending the last 5 years in aggressive litigation, they’re finally ready to begin emphasizing their focus on marketing. In describing EZPZ’s use of AI, Lindsey explains that they chose to go with LimeSpot after searching for a product that would help highlight new products and cross-merchandising. Since adding AI to their customer approach, EZPZ has seen increased basket size and conversion rates, and 17-18% of their total monthly revenue comes from using LimeSpot.

How to Create a Personalized Shopping Experience in Ecommerce

A talk by Martina Cronin, Agency Partnerships Manager, OctaneAI

Overview: Adding a quiz to your store can not only increase conversions, AOV, and customer retention — this level of personalization makes shopping more enjoyable, efficient, and rewarding. It shows you’re paying attention to your customers’ preferences and reacting in a way that adds value.


There are many methods for creating a personalized shopping experience in eCommerce. One of the best ways is by bringing the in-store retail experience to the online marketplace through a shoppable quiz. You can do this with four key steps.

  • Ask customers key questions to collect data and build accurate buyer personas
  • Personalize the shopping experience based on who your customers are and not just what they look at
  • Collect valuable data with your quiz that can be used both on-site and in your marketing campaigns
  • Use this data for personalization, retargeting, and more

Tech Showcase: ShopFluency

A talk by Seth Hirsch, Co-Founder, ShopFluency

Overview: Spent the last 20 years helping really big brands, and the goal now is to take the information they’ve learned from helping big brands and use it to help growing brands achieve the same results. With a database of more than 128 million US households and their purchasing data, ShopFluency helps brands create custom profiles that enable the brand to be extremely focused and targeted.


Not all customers that come to your site are the same. They are, in fact, different people experiencing different circumstances in different stages of life. ShopFluency helps brands understand your customers more deeply and put that data into action more effectively. They do this in two ways.

  • A deep-dive consultation and review of your brand’s customer profiles
  • Audience distribution to key marketing platforms for price testing based on active customers

Beat Deadlines with Reliable, AI-Powered Retouching

A talk by Brian Guidry, Chief Growth Officer, Pixelz

Overview: In this session, Brian explains how AI-powered retouching enables brands to get new products and product images online FASTER than traditional outsourcing allows for using a 'hybrid' post-production model.


AI isn’t just for creating personalized website experiences. It can also be used to get new products online and in front of your audience more quickly than traditional methods. In doing so, it also has significant results. Results like:

  • 12% increase in add-to-cart
  • 61% less rejected images
  • 80% faster time to market
  • 100% automated workflow

AI Gets the Thumbs Up

A talk by Derric Haynie, Chief Ecommerce Technologist, and Christine Russo, Retail Creative and Consulting Agency

Overview: Join Christine Russo and our own Derric Haynie as they sit down and discuss what personalization looks like in an AI-filled world, how AI (and the eCommerce industry) are evolving, and what often-overlooked KPI you don’t want to miss.


This action-packed session is filled with one insight after another into the future of eCommerce and the role AI will play in that future. Some of the biggest takeaways?

  • AI is a tool of automation. Period. In fact, we may soon just start saying automation in reference to AI, given how prevalent and expected it’s now become within the ecommerce industry.
  • Retail is like whack-a-mole: there’s always a challenge, no matter what. AI helps you know WHAT that challenge is and may be in the future based on past and current data.
  • Similar to a brick-and-mortar store, your email marketing is a “window” to your store. And when your customers click onto the site, they’re “in your store”. Your job, once they get to the site, is to sell.

Transform Your Brand into a Customer-Favorite Shopping Experience

A talk by Olivia Rees, Sales Executive, FenixCommerce

Overview: A negative post-purchase experience can jeopardize driving repeat purchases. Customers expect accurate shipping dates and costs - PRIOR to purchasing. Shoppers are willing to pay more for shipping if there is a concrete date associated with that price

Summary: Shoppers are willing to pay more for shipping if there is a concrete date associated with that price. That’s where offering real-time carrier rate shopping and intelligent order routing can come in handy. With these, you’re able to intelligently route orders according to the lowest shipping times, reduce shipping costs, and improve your end-to-end customer shipping experience.

#SpeedMatters (Way More Than You Might Think!) 

A talk by Jacob Loveless, CEO, Edgemesh

Overview: 56% of users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That's 56% of ad dollars wasted, 56% of opportunities lost, and 56% less products you can sell. Faster sites convert more users, drive higher ARPU, and increase customer loyalty. You might think you are 'fast enough' - but we've found that a 1-second decrease in site speed can increase conversions by 44% and reduce bounce rates by 8%.

Summary: The right way to think about how outliers impact your business is that “no one gets to your site for free”. You either paid with money or time to get them there, so anyone being bounced because of speed issues is a cost to you. When the site is fast, on the other hand, your customers shop, and they end up buying things that they want instead of things that they need. The solution? Pre-caching. Small parallel performance gains in page speed load times with pre-caching help to improve overall site speed. This means large amounts of pages are already loaded before a customer clicks on them, which loads the page and the overall website much more quickly.

Turbocharging Your Email Marketing with Machine Learning Segmentation 

A talk by John Chao, CEO and Founder, Tresl Inc.

Overview: Purchase Timing - Change your email marketing campaign send times and flows to increase revenue. Churn Prevention - Identify at risk customers and send them a one of targeted offer to encourage repurchase. Customer CLV - Leverage Segments data to shape how much extra you can spend to acquire customers based on their CLV

Summary: Shopify has a ton of data that has been captured about your customers that is going unused. You can help lift ROI by utilizing that data to segment your customers and use your email engine to provide personalized campaigns. How do you do that?

  • Use purchase timing to understand your customers’ life cycle journey, and change your email send times accordingly
  • Turn one-time customers into repeat purchasers by tailoring the timing and marketing messaging of your re-engagement campaigns according to your historical data
  • Create lookalike audiences based on your highest  CLV customers and target them via Facebook

Tech Showcase: MySureFit

A talk by Christian Ruth, CEO and Founder, MySureFit

Overview: Accelerating consumer demand for fashion Ecommerce exposes retail industry weaknesses. Ecommerce economics are deadly for retailers due to false demand, returns, and inventory. MySureFit prevents false demand, stock-outs, returns, and delivers happy customers.

Summary: With the ever-increasing shift toward online shopping, eCommerce stores are seeing big changes in customers’ purchasing behaviors. Whereas a customer may only purchase one size of a product when shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, they may order 2-3 different sizes and return what doesn’t fit when ordering online. This often results in a stock-out or overstock problem for retailers. MySureFit solves this through an augmented reality fitting room, meaning:

  • One size gets ordered
  • One size gets kept
  • Nothing is returned

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About the author

Derric Haynie was the founder and Chief Ecommerce Technologist at – Where Ecommerce stores go to research, discover, and buy the right tools to grow their store. Half of his day is spent reviewing tech tools, and the other half is talking with merchants to help them discover which solutions are right for them.