28.11.2023 | by Lili
Artificial intelligence, or AI is on the rise in almost every area of life. This cost-effective, versatile technology allows individuals and businesses alike to save time and effort while improving their day-to-day operations in countless ways.
No wonder that e-Commerce has taken notice.
There are almost too many AI applications in the industry to list them in one article, because the technology can be used in virtually any area of business. For example, customer service can become easier with an AI chatbot providing the first line of service in directing customer queries to the right department, and maybe even answering the easier questions.
Illustration of a conversation with a chatbot
Product descriptions usually follow the same pattern. With the right AI tool, your employees can save time by generating product descriptions automatically, instead of manually creating each one.
Data management is another great application for AI. The collection, handling and analytics of data, including sales numbers, inventory details, incoming orders, sales forecasts and similar tasks can be easily taken care of by artificial intelligence.
Advanced AI tools can analyse a customer’s purchasing habits, allowing them to create personalised marketing incentives for each of your customers. Similarly, based on their previous purchases, AI can enhance the shopping experience for your returning customers by providing tailor-made recommendations and even instant support in case of queries.
Let’s take a look at a few recent AI applications by two big names in e-Commerce.
It’s quite easy to use: all vendors need to do is upload a picture of the product in front of a white background. After selecting a few keywords about their desired backgrounds, the AI tool will insert the product into a chosen scenario. For example, a kitchen appliance can appear in a stylish, professional kitchen. There are even seasonal options sellers can choose, like Christmas decorations, pumpkins around Halloween, etc.
Screenshot of aboutamazon.com displaying the new feature where a bottle of shampoo is placed in various AI-generated scenarios
Shopify, on the other hand, has announced the introduction of an AI assistant to its merchants. This tool, nicknamed “Sidekick”, would appear as a button on merchants’ Shopify dashboards and assist them with their various queries as well as up-to-date sales trends.
Screenshot of shopify.com illustrating Sidekick
As noted earlier, AI applications can provide businesses with cost-effective and helpful solutions in many areas of operation. Especially small businesses and startups tight on sufficient monetary and human resources may find it helpful to use AI tools for various tasks.
Since AI tends to improve productivity and efficiency, it’s a no-brainer for many businesses to enlist AI tools to take over several tasks from their employees. As fears are constant that AI endagers jobs, researchers point out the need for humans to learn how to work alongside AI - and carve out new potentials for themselves.
Technology and humans working together is indeed a dream scenario where the inabilities of one could be complemented by the abilities of the other, and vice versa. However, this requires a certain amount of out-of-the-box thinking and innovation on the part of humans to be able to recognise the need for change and adapt their job descriptions to the new era.
No advantage comes without a drawback, and that’s true for AI applications in e-Commerce as well. Online brand protection experts are always on the lookout for ways that fraudsters can cheat the system - and unfortunately, AI tools are perfect for the job.
As is the case with many innovative solutions in the industry, the same advantages they bring apply to both honest businesses and fraudulent users as well. AI tools can assist an IP infringing seller to appear legit and professional, thus taking away one of the most important ways of recognising fraudulent sellers: their shady online appearance.
With the help of AI, it takes just as much time and money to create a bad-looking webshop as a compelling one. Moreover, with machine learning, AI applications can mimic your brand’s style and design in an instant, allowing fraudsters to fool consumers into thinking they’re legit and authorised by you.
This can become a problem even if the perpetrator doesn’t have any malicious intent, only a preference for your style. With AI, it’s easier than ever to copy IP protected assets, creating a whole series of problems for brands.
Even the best of intentions can contribute to legal non-compliance issues, and if AI is concerned, the problems can arise much faster and on a much larger scale.
For instance, German drugstore chain dm-drogerie markt has been experimenting with ChatGPT for some time to streamline its internal operations. It was working really well, however, the company discovered that by using ChatGPT, they unintentionally violated the EU’s strict data protection regulation (GDPR).
ChatGPT stores all data on foreign cloud servers, which is not compliant with GDPR rules. This problem is especially serious if - as in the case of dm - it concerns not only the data of the company itself, but its business partners, employees and/or customers as well.
Illustration of GDPR rules
dm’s solution was to develop its own tool, dmGPT, one that complies with all legislation and still does its intended job. Today, around 3,000 employees at dm’s headquarters use the tool that processes over 2,000 requests per day. Thanks to dmGPT, dm became the first company in Germany to use AI for such a large-scale operation.
While this solution is ingenious, not all businesses have the resources to produce their own AI tools. In addition, many of them may not even think to check if they’re unintentionally breaking the law by using a tool or another. One thing is clear: lawmakers have to concentrate on this area and build a clear legislative framework for the use of AI.
Luckily, AI-generated types of content are no different from regular ones when it comes to online brand protection.
Our image monitoring service detects potentially IP infringing pictures anywhere online, however they were created. With an allow list, you can exclude authorised image-users like contracted sellers and business partners from the search results. Our software finds both exact copies and similar images, allowing us to catch people who try to mimic your style without actually using your copyrighted pictures.
We recommend our marketplace monitoring service to check for any unauthorised product listings on over 150 marketplaces worldwide. As for social media platforms, our social media monitoring service detects any kind of infringing content, including ads, posts, product listings, and much more. (In the case of AI-based infringements, this is especially important to cover all the marketing features of various AI tools.)
Finally, once we’ve determined that a type of content indeed infringes on your IP rights, we will enforce them and demand its removal from the platform it’s present on.
The amount of AI applications in e-Commerce is on the rise. Don’t let fraudsters make the most of the opportunities AI provides for them; contact us and let’s devise a strategy together for the optimal protection of your brand’s IP rights.