Qubit Personalizes Search With AI, Instagram-Like Mobile Feed

Amazon continues to challenge retailers, especially on mobile sites where search creates the best way to discover new products on small devices. Qubit has designed and released an Instagram-like product newsfeed for mobile powered by artificial intelligence.

The platform, Qubit Aura, predicts the types of items site visitors want to see based on hundreds of attributes. It uses AI to understand clickstream attributes such as location, time of day, device, search history on the site, brand and product preferences, and frequency of purchases. If the consumer bought a blue shirt it might serve up a matching handbag or shoes. The platform learns as the consumers search and swipe.

Felipe Araujo, head of ecommerce at Diane von Furstenberg, believes the challenge will be in bridging the gap between discover and purchases. Sometimes it happens on Instagram or similar sites, which makes the discovery phase remain within the walls.



All the data goes into a bucket to create a personal search experience, says Graham Cooke, CEO of Qubit.

Internal data from Qubit on 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since January 2017 identified trends in consumer behavior when comparing desktop and mobile. For example, while traffic to desktop and mobile are about the same -- 45.87% on desktop vs 44.7% on mobile -- revenue per visit is also more than double on desktop at $8.01 vs. mobile at $3.49.

Mid-year, Qubit put the product, Aura, in beta and has been working with Diane von Furstenberg, Wolf & Badger, and ColourPop, among 17 other businesses to prefect the platform prior to launch.

One of the biggest challenges today, Cooke says, is that consumers may spend more time searching for products on mobile devices, but the conversion rate for mobile remains less than half of desktop.

Searching and discovering products on home hubs like Amazon Alexa and Google Home also will become "an area for exploration." 

Cooke says Qubit has been working to build out a solution that pushes recommendations to consumers through these hubs.

The technology builds a personal journey for the consumers based on past data. The opt-out process is designed by the retailer using Qubit Aura. Cooke says data is owned by the retailer, which decides the length of time to keep the data.



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