Brands De­ploy Smart Fil­ters, User- Gen­er­ated Con­tent

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews -

Re­gard­less of whether they need to work with Ama­zon, DTC brands should think like the on­line gi­ant to boost con­ver­sions.

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence is now more ac­ces­si­ble than ever, and the pil­fer­ing of cus­tomer data to boost AI-pow­ered prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions isn’t just an Ama­zo­nian tool, as more and more di­rect-to-con­sumer brands are lev­er­ag­ing this data to im­prove con­ver­sion.

Ama­zon sits atop a cul­ture of in­no­va­tion us­ing ma­chine learn­ing, deep learn­ing and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, not all of which was de­vel­oped in­house, as the tech­no­log­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture that for­ever jolted e-com­merce. Hav­ing the guts to fail for­ward and de­fine a new land­scape with the cus­tomer, and con­tent, as king is unig­nor­able and re­ver­ber­a­tions are still felt among fash­ion e-tail­ers, small and large.

The prod­uct re­view fea­ture reel cap­tures user-gen­er­ated con­tent, wherein any­one who shopped a prod­uct and had the time to pro­vide their feed­back be­comes ei­ther a good faith tes­ti­mo­nial or scathing blast to brand loy­alty; it’s sim­i­lar to wordof-mouth, yet it’s In­ter­net-friendly, and it pro­vides quick con­fi­dence to on­line shop­pers.

And in two sep­a­rate sur­veys, on­line cus­tomer re­views are seen to gen­er­ate trust and in­form pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions. As eMar­keter re­ported from Bizrate In­sights data ear­lier this year, nearly 25 per­cent al­ways ref­er­enced re­views, 40.8 per­cent of­ten ref­er­enced re­views and 25.6 per­cent oc­ca­sion­ally looked at on­line re­views. Sep­a­rately, BrightLo­cal, a search re­sults fo­cused com­pany aid­ing small busi­ness, spot­lighted in a sur­vey from last year that eight in 10

U.S. In­ter­net users “gen­er­ally trust on­line re­views as much as per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tions.”

In­creas­ingly di­rect-to­cus­tomer brands are lev­er­ag­ing tech­nol­ogy to con­tex­tu­al­ize pur­chases with user-gen­er­ated con­tent. Rais­ing $101 mil­lion in fund­ing and em­ploy­ing more than 300 em­ploy­ees glob­ally, Yotpo is one cloud-based mar­ket­ing so­lu­tion tap­ping into user­gen­er­ated con­tent as a source for gar­ner­ing cus­tomer loy­alty and re­fer­rals while aim­ing to ad­vance cus­tomer life­time value with its ad­vance­ments in smart fil­ters, re­cently launch­ing its Yotpo Fo­cus suite of wid­gets for e-com­merce us­age.

As an of­fi­cial part­ner to Google, Face­book, Shopify and Ma­gento, com­pa­nies such as Yotpo aim to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from Ama­zon by se­man­tic group­ing — en­sur­ing brands don’t dis­play mul­ti­ple vari­a­tions of the same topic fil­ters, thereby con­sol­i­dat­ing sim­i­lar terms such as “cost” and “price” which are for the most part viewed as one item in the minds of the end-con­sumer. Sim­i­larly, their pro­pri­etary tech­nol­ogy em­ploys ma­chine learn­ing to test and op­ti­mize the best top­ics and re­views for prom­i­nent dis­play on­site, serv­ing as a high­light reel for prod­ucts.

Jus­ti­fy­ing a need to cut through the noise and chase the celebrity ap­peal, the use of smart fil­ters, such as pro­vided by Yotpo, serves valu­able to cus­tomers who are seek­ing ex­act prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions from their so­cial me­dia out­lets, per­haps spot­ting a pair as they scroll through the im­agery on their feed. With “A-list celebrity” clien­tele, such as Cardi B and the Kar­dashi­ans, Fash­ion Nova, the pri­vately owned Los An­ge­les-based “ul­tra-fast fash­ion” com­pany, is known for blis­ter­ing into dig­i­tal res­o­nance with tight­fit­ting and af­ford­able fash­ion – and 14 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers to match.

E-com­merce ruled by so­cial me­dia means de­mand is resur­gent, and the prod­ucts are many. Fol­low­ing this land­scape of fast and even faster fash­ion, di­rect-to­con­sumer brands such as Fash­ion Nova now em­ploy its own AI smart fil­ters, in ad­di­tion to now list­ing a few prod­ucts on Ama­zon, de­spite an ear­lier WWD ar­ti­cle wherein Fash­ion Nova’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and founder Richard Saghian said, “[They] don’t need to work with Ama­zon.”

Re­gard­less of whether they need to work with Ama­zon, DTC brands should think like Ama­zon in or­der to stay cur­rent, and one way is through this smart fil­ter­ing and user-gen­er­ated con­tent in the form of prod­uct re­views.

And with re­cent data from Texas-based bri­dal and for­mal­wear e-com­merce busi­ness, Revelry, the de­ploy­ment of two AI-pow­ered wid­gets, in­clud­ing the smart fil­ters and user re­view high­light streams gen­er­ated 59.8 per­cent en­gage­ment rate and a 7.6 per­cent con­ver­sion rate, with 97.4 per­cent of to­tal sales be­ing from cus­tomers that en­gaged with Yotpo wid­gets.

Through the wid­gets, Lau­raLee Baird, head of mar­ket­ing and brand spe­cial­ist at Revelry, spoke of the added “con­fi­dence in our brand and prod­ucts,” and util­ity for cus­tomers who don’t have “to comb through nu­mer­ous re­views on site.” Other com­pa­nies em­ploy­ing AI-pow­ered re­view fea­tures in­clude Away, Glossier and MVMT watches among other new­com­ers.

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and user-gen­er­ated con­tent are be­com­ing ubiq­ui­tous.

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