In my discussions with Oracle Commerce Cloud partners, I had the opportunity to catch up with Susana Zoghbi, Co-Founder & CEO of Macty. This Brussels-based firm has an AI/ML-based app that provides customized product recommendations for fashions. She provides several interesting details on their innovations, use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how it all portends for retailers to provide new and great experiences for their customers, both online and in stores.
Tell me about Macty and what makes your solution unique?
Macty is an Artificial Intelligence startup that leverages Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing to create new and delightful experiences for customers on one hand and improved sales for retailers on the other. Studies show that conversion rates are below 4% online. One reason is that it’s often difficult to express or describe what we want using only words. The search bar only allows textual queries, however, in addition to language, we all communicate using visual information. How to leverage visual queries at the search bar? This is where Macty can help. Our state-of-the-art image and language processing tools enable shoppers to search your product collections using multi-modal information that ultimately leads to finding what they seek both online and offline.
Our offering is unique because we offer access to a diverse suite of visionary solutions that empower retailers to access the cutting-edge of retail marketing technology to transform the customer experiences they can provide for their end user customers. Solutions like “Snap to Shop”, “Complete the Look” and “Tweak & Pick” give customers new ways to discover the products that they love. They are fun and delightful to use and foster engagement, creating deeper links between retailers and customers.
How does Macty provide a better experience for eCommerce customers?
Macty makes eCommerce experiences more fun, engaging, and productive. Let me explain.
Part of the fun of shoping is the thrill of finding a great product. That’s a big part of the experience. We empower retailers to differentiate themselves from the crowd and offer an exclusive, special experience to their customers.
For example, our “Snap to Shop” solution enables shoppers to upload their pictures to your store. Macty identifies the relevant items and matches them with the most visually similar in your collection. Snap to Shop blends many searches with one click to get the full outfit! This provides a high level of interactivity for customers and gives retailers the ability to surface multiple products based upon a single search.
Technology has been integrating interactivity and customization into every other area of our daily lives, so retailers must maintain the pace with effective and seamless engagement to forge strong and long-lasting connections with their customers, too.
Our “Tweak & Pick” solution is a great example of this. The user can upload an image of an item and then modify that item using words. For instance, when I find a dress I like, but wish to modify the length of the skirt, I can use the image in combination with language to retrieve the perfect product. The solution helps retailers to surface the relevant items within their collection while giving the customer what she wants.
We all love it when technology just works. But, there’s also got to be a level of effectiveness to tie everything together. Our Complete The Look solution is something many shoppers will find quite helpful when putting an outfit together. Imagine you have a nice blouse at home, but you are looking for a new combination to spark your closet. You can take a picture of the item you own, upload it to your favorite store, and Macty will show you other products that will complement it, e.g., a nice skirt, shoes and accessories.
All of our solutions exist to be as effective as possible and give retailers the helping hand that they need to surface more products and close more sales. Our seamless integration with Oracle Commerce Cloud, together with cutting-edge tools, all exist to inspire shoppers.
Oracle Cloud and Macty Enhance Customer Experience with AI
What does the next generation of retail marketing look like from your perspective?
The next generation of retail marketing is certainly driven by artificial intelligence. AI is becoming pervasive in all aspects of the retailers’ value chain. From operational optimization, forecasting demand, adaptive storefronts with dynamic recommendations, AI provides the new competitive advantage for retailers. Findings from Juniper Research suggest that in retail, global spending on AI will leap from $2 billion in 2018 to an estimated $7.3 billion a year by 2022. Renowned thought leaders have named AI as the new electricity.
Retailers call upon fresh technologies to bridge the gap between online and offline experiences to offer a cohesive customer purchase journey. Many customers now expect premium experiences both online and offline. We believe that retailers will have to offer unique shopping experiences to satisfy the customer demand for new experiences.
As these technologies are implemented, retailers can capitalize on the physical locations to give consumers new, fun and innovative experiences.
How do you envision visual search impacting the in-store shopping experience?
In large stores, instead of having to physically walk and explore the entire space, shoppers can discover products by providing an image of the item they seek to an interactive screen.
Specifically, customers can already enjoy this experience when finding the perfect lingerie for an outfit. Users upload an image, and Macty retrieves the lingerie that matches it within the store. Check out the video below of Macty Artificial Intelligence In the Store.
In other instances, recommendations are presented through the power of augmented reality using technologies like smart mirrors, where you stand in front of a mirror and it reflects what you look like in a particular outfit.
Does Macty have any new cool features, products, or major initiatives that you can share with us?
We know that the fashion industry has a host of negative impacts on the environment and we hope that by revolutionizing how shoppers find what they want, the industry can move towards less waste and more efficient use of resources.
For example, one cool initiative we are working on consists of enabling users to design their outfit, through the generation of images in real time, given a textual description. In this use case, a user can create and change an image of an outfit using their own language, until they are satisfied on how the outfit looks and are ready to order. We believe that this kind of technology has the potential of driving the fast –and often wasteful- mass production of clothing into an on-demand model, where only the items that will be purchased are manufactured. It’s still a long road for this, but this truly excites us.The 2019 Digital Commerce Magic Quadrant represents the 10th consecutive evaluation in which Oracle has been named a leader in the market. Click here to get the full 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce.