Introducing a New Epoch of Technological Innovation in Ecommerce to Maintain Ahead of Trends
ZALORA, a leading authority in Asian fashion and a division of the Global Fashion Group (GFG), is taking the lead in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region in adopting cutting-edge generative AI technologies. This is being accomplished through the introduction of their exclusive Platform-as-a-Service integration called TITAN, developed by OpenAI. As pioneers in the realm of fashion e-commerce, ZALORA is utilizing TITAN to enhance operational efficiencies, elevate online fashion shopping experiences, and unlock avenues for growth.
The launch of TITAN coincides with a series of upcoming technological advancements scheduled for release this year. This reflects ZALORA’s ongoing dedication to maintaining its position as a leader in the fashion e-commerce sector and underscores the significance of integrating the latest technologies, such as generative AI, across both its retail and backend operations. The initial sectors empowered by TITAN encompass:
- Smart Search Discovery: Enhancements to the existing search function aimed at helping customers locate desired items more swiftly and effortlessly, thus enhancing the overall customer experience.
- Conversational Shopping Assistant: A forward-looking approach to e-commerce interactions, transforming the way customers browse and shop by implementing intelligent prompts and improved real-time interactive features while shopping on the ZALORA platform.
- Production Automation: The application of emerging technology to streamline automation in various functions, leading to improved productivity gains among employees.
- Internal Chatbots: Enhancing employee experiences and productivity through the implementation of Business Intelligence chatbots, knowledge repositories, and the ability to execute basic system actions via conversational user interfaces.
Gunjan Soni, ZALORA CEO and Global Fashion Group COO said: “With a history of innovations under our belt we are excited to embrace the future with Generative AI and leverage it to deliver the best ‘tailored for fashion’ e-commerce experience for our customers both during and post-purchase.With TITAN we will once again be the first in the region to offer these innovations to our growing loyal base.”
Additionally, TITAN will serve as a conduit for ZALORA and its parent company, Global Fashion Group, to achieve greater heights in Southeast Asia and replicate this technology across diverse regions like Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Revolutionizing the Online Shopping Experience through Generative AI
Leveraging OpenAI via TITAN, ZALORA is enhancing its existing Search & Discovery feature to deliver more intuitive and accurate results for customers. The refined search capability is adept at handling a broader range of spelling variations and errors, thus improving the identification, presentation, and sorting of customer search results. This mitigates instances where customers encounter zero search results and enhances their overall search experience. Since its launch, this enhancement has contributed to a notable 4-6% increase in Conversion Rates.
With early experiments already benefiting shoppers, ZALORA is also focused on what it envisions as the future of e-commerce: Conversational Shopping. Capitalizing on ZALORA’s profound grasp of the region, its extensive customer base of over 55 million, and emerging technologies, the company is in the preliminary stages of developing a Conversational Shopping Assistant set to debut in late 2023. This initiative seeks to redefine how customers engage in browsing, find inspiration, and make online purchases.
Enhancing Operational Excellence through Technological Innovation
In addition to driving customer experience innovation, ZALORA is utilizing OpenAI to address tangible business challenges. An especially noteworthy application is the automation of production services through the tagging of product attributes, such as color, pattern, or sleeve length, alongside the automated generation of comprehensive product descriptions and SKUs. This results in improved search accuracy, significant reductions in manual data entry efforts, decreased reliance on third-party services, and an enhanced customer experience.
ZALORA is also in the initial planning stages of integrating advanced OpenAI functionalities into its in-house Warehouse Management System (WMS) for purposes such as planning, forecasting, and picking algorithms. Preliminary experiments have demonstrated a 30-50% enhancement in forecasting accuracy, enabling ZALORA to uphold its renowned exceptional delivery experience in a more efficient and profitable manner. Planned enhancements are poised to revolutionize ZALORA’s entire fulfillment process, and the updated WMS will also be adopted by other e-commerce platforms within the Global Fashion Group, such as ANZ-based The Iconic, thereby providing substantial efficiencies at a group level.
Furthermore, with the aid of generative AI, ZALORA is able to create and refine a more intelligent customer service environment. The platform gains the capability to automatically address customer inquiries and resolve issues by comprehending customer needs and delivering personalized responses. This empowers human customer service agents to concentrate on more intricate tasks, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience.
A Culture of Innovative Creativity
ZALORA’s reputation for fostering a culture of innovation, particularly within its Technology team, was recently exemplified through a 32-hour hackathon. This event brought together over 70 participants from 13 teams to collaboratively tackle genuine business and customer challenges using AI technologies. The hackathon yielded functional prototypes and concepts for virtual shopping assistants, internal business intelligence chatbots, automated returns defect detection, and numerous other innovations. These concepts are all slated for inclusion in ZALORA’s H2 2023 Technology roadmap.
ZALORA’s commitment to innovation goes hand in hand with its responsibility to safeguard the interests of its millions of customers and their personal data. The company is resolute in its intention to employ AI and TITAN in a conscientious manner, having formulated a set of guiding principles for responsible innovation and implementing various measures to ensure customer data protection. ZALORA’s consistent recognition as a leader in cybersecurity by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore’s internet hygiene rating underscores its steadfast adherence to top-tier internet security practices.
Sumit Jain, Chief Technology Officer, ZALORA said: “ZALORA is excited to leverage the potential of OpenAI via TITAN, our AI platform, to reimagine eCommerce and create a truly ‘wow’ customer experience. The future of retail will be driven by technology innovation, and the extent to which we prioritise ensuring a safe and seamless experience for customers. By building on OpenAI technology through our proprietary platform, TITAN, we intend to lead Fashion E-commerce innovation in maintaining a safe and seamless experience for customers and taking the online shopping experience to the next level.”