12 minutes to read

AI in commerce – beyond the hype: a comprehensive and enlightening dive

AI in commerce – beyond the hype: a comprehensive and enlightening dive

AI encompasses much more than what is reported in the media. To fully understand its revolutionary potential, we need to dive deeper. Our CEO Stefan Hamann himself is passionate about this topic and gives insights and ideas for the use of AI in commerce.

Greetings, digital pioneers! 🚀

As we stand on the precipice of a new era, the digital landscape is buzzing with excitement, curiosity, and a hint of trepidation. Artificial Intelligence, once the stuff of sci-fi dreams and futuristic novels, is now at our fingertips, reshaping the very fabric of commerce. But beyond the flashy headlines and buzzwords, what does this truly mean for businesses, consumers, and the future of commerce?

The AI universe is vast, intricate, and teeming with potential. It promises a world where transactions are not just exchanges of value but rich, personalized experiences. Where businesses don't just react to market trends but anticipate and shape them. And where customers are no longer mere statistics but individual stories waiting to be told and understood.

But to truly harness the power of AI, we must delve deeper than surface-level applications and understand its transformative potential. Let´s deep dive into a couple of ideas and use cases on what we can do with AI in commerce.

Back to the future with AI

All superconductor, meisner-effect experts and hobby mad scientists are now back in the AI game (including me).

Table of contents:

Use cases for AI in commerce

a) LLMs: The unsung heroes of product data 🪄

Large Language Models (LLMs) are not just about translating languages or fixing typos. They represent the pinnacle of linguistic understanding and data manipulation in the AI realm.

  • Deep data analysis: LLMs can delve into your product data, understanding context, semantics, and nuances. They can identify gaps, not just in terms of missing information, but in terms of market relevance, customer preferences, and evolving trends.

  • Advanced translation capabilities: Beyond mere language translation, LLMs can culturally adapt your product data. This ensures that your product resonates with local sentiments, traditions, and preferences, making your brand globally adaptable yet locally relevant.

  • Predictive text generation: LLMs can forecast what your customers might search for in the future based on current global trends, helping you stay ahead of the curve. It's not just about what's trending now, but predicting the next big thing.

  • Beyond school tasks: While students might use LLMs for essays, in the commerce world, these models can generate creative product descriptions, craft compelling marketing narratives, and even suggest product innovations based on data insights.

b) Stable Diffusion: Crafting imagery that resonates 📸

If DALL·E was the first step, Stable Diffusion is the quantum leap. By fine-tuning with product images, it's not just about creating visuals but crafting stories.

  • Emotionally charged imagery: By understanding customer preferences, Stable Diffusion can generate images that evoke specific emotions, be it the nostalgia of a vintage product or the thrill of futuristic tech.

  • Adaptive visuals: Imagine creating product images that adapt to real-time events or seasons. A raincoat showcased against a monsoon backdrop during rains or a coffee mug steaming away on a chilly winter morning.

  • Personalized product showcases: For users who love, say, the color blue and vintage aesthetics, Stable Diffusion can craft product images that cater specifically to these preferences, increasing the likelihood of purchase.

c) RunwayML: Breathing life into products 🎬

RunwayML isn't just about moving images; it's about creating experiences.

  • Contextual video sequences: Depending on where the customer is accessing your site from, be it a beach resort or a bustling city, the product videos can adapt in real-time to resonate with their surroundings.

  • Interactive showcases: Customers can interact with the video, choosing different angles, zooming into product features, or even changing product colors on the fly.

  • Story-driven product tours: Instead of just showcasing the product, create a narrative. A handbag isn't just a bag; it's a journey through Parisian streets or a companion on a New York subway.

d) GPT-4's code interpreter: The oracle of customer behavior 🧠

OpenAI Code Interpreter
  • Behavioral analysis: Beyond search patterns, understand why a customer prefers sustainable products. Is it environmental concern, a recent documentary they watched, or peer influence?

  • Proactive product suggestions: Before John even realizes he needs a new pair of sustainable sneakers, the system nudges him with options, reviews, and even eco-friendly socks to go with them.

  • Customized shopping journeys: Each customer's site navigation can be unique. From the layout, color scheme, to the background music, everything can adapt to offer a personalized shopping experience.

e) Virtual try-ons: The new reality 🕶

  • Real-time feedback: As customers virtually try products, AI offers sartorial advice. "That blue shirt? It's shouting 'buy me!' with your skin tone." Or, "Those sunglasses? Maybe go for a matte finish; it's more 'you'."

  • Social integration: Share virtual try-ons on social media, gather feedback, and create polls. "Should I buy this hat?" becomes a trending topic, and suddenly, you're not just shopping; you're influencing.

  • Augmented reality shopping: Walk into a virtual store, pick up products, and even chat with AI-driven shop assistants. It's like shopping in the Matrix, minus the dodging bullets.

f) AI-powered recommendations: The shop assistant with a PhD in you 🛍

  • Deep dive into preferences: It's not just about past purchases. If you liked a post about vintage watches, expect a recommendation for a classic timepiece. If you've been listening to beach vibes music, how about a new pair of summer sandals?

  • Mood-based shopping: "Feeling blue? Here are some comfort products." "Celebrating a promotion? Check out these luxury items." AI understands not just what you want, but how you feel.

  • The clairvoyant cart: Before you even realize you need a new coffee machine, it's already in your cart with a discount, a complementary coffee pack, and a playlist of morning tunes.

The 12-month prognosis: Gazing into the AI crystal ball 🔮

As we stand at the cusp of a new dawn in AI-driven commerce, the next 12 months promise to be nothing short of transformative. Here's a glimpse of what the near future might hold:

  • Rapid AI integration: Companies that have been on the fence about AI will likely take the plunge. The tools are becoming more accessible, and the benefits more evident. First-movers, especially in the mid-market, will enjoy a distinct competitive advantage, not just in terms of market share, but in shaping customer expectations.

  • Hyper-personalization: The era of generic product recommendations is waning. In its place, expect AI-driven systems that understand individual customer moods, preferences, and even current weather conditions. Imagine a system suggesting a cozy sweater on a cold day or a refreshing drink during a heatwave.

  • Efficiency renaissance: After years of splurging on every shiny new tech toy, the focus will shift towards efficiency. Companies will look to AI not just to enhance customer experience but to streamline operations, reduce overheads, and optimize supply chains. It's not just about spending money but spending it wisely.

  • Sustainability and ethics in AI: As AI becomes more pervasive, there will be a growing emphasis on ethical AI practices. Companies will prioritize transparency, data privacy, and sustainable AI practices, ensuring that as we move forward, we do so responsibly.

  • Spatial commerce breakthroughs: With advancements in AR and VR, the line between online and offline shopping will blur. Virtual store walkthroughs, interactive product demos, and immersive brand experiences will redefine the shopping journey.

For businesses, the message is clear: The future belongs to those who not only adapt but lead the change. The next 12 months offer a window of opportunity, especially for first-movers in the mid-market, to set the tone for the next decade of commerce. It's not just about riding the wave but about shaping its direction.

Leaders, managers, C-levels: The AI odyssey awaits 🌈

The AI realm is not a mere tool; it's an evolving ecosystem. As leaders, the onus is on you to navigate this landscape, to invest, innovate, and inspire. The commerce of tomorrow will be shaped by the decisions you make today. The potential? It's not just about profits; it's about crafting legacies. Remember, in the world of AI, it's not about keeping up; it's about leading the way.

The future beckons with Shopware's AI Copilot 🚀

AI Copilot features

Ever wished for a sidekick in your digital endeavors? Someone (or something) that whispers genius ideas in your ear, has your back during digital duels, and occasionally cracks a joke or two? Well, wish no more! Meet Shopware's AI Copilot – the Robin to your Batman, the Chewbacca to your Han Solo, the Watson to your Sherlock (minus the British accent)!

This isn't just another AI tool; it's your digital buddy, ready to navigate the vast cosmos of commerce with you. From crafting personalized shopping experiences to predicting the next big trend, AI Copilot is here to ensure your business doesn't just fly, but soars!

So, are you ready to embark on the most epic digital adventure with the coolest copilot in the galaxy? Buckle up, and let's redefine commerce, one algorithm at a time!

And as we stand on the brink of this AI-powered Spatial Commerce revolution, remember the words of a certain tech visionary, slightly tweaked for our AI-driven era:

"Here's to the unconventional, the rebels, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world of commerce, are the ones who do."

Image Stefan Hamann

About the author: Stefan Hamann

Shopware's founder and Co-CEO

Since co-founding Shopware together with his brother Sebastian at the young age of just 16, Stefan Hamann has remained the driving force behind the company’s strategic direction. With a sharp focus on technology, finance, and controlling, he spearheads the continuous development of the innovative ecommerce platform. Stefan's exceptional expertise and visionary leadership have been instrumental in driving the global success of Shopware, solidifying its reputation as an acclaimed open source ecommerce solution within the industry.

Interested in this and similar topics? Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the latest news on ecommerce, usability, marketing and Shopware.

Subscribe now


Never miss out - get all the latest news sent straight to your inbox.

To the newsletter manager