Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ultimate Wish List or Intrusion?

Online shopping is becoming easier than ever with new advanced artificial intelligence, Shoptagr. Shoptagr provides online shoppers with a personal shopping assistant which filters millions of products best suited for the customer. This technology uses machine learning algorithms that creates a predictive analytical bot that assists the consumer to make more cost effective decisions before their purchases. “Shoptagr uses millions of data points in order to collect big data in real time along with behavioral science to learn their users shopping habits and purchasing patterns.”

Shoptagr claims they provide customers with a unified wish list of all the best deals in the market, and instead of fragmented shopping experiences where customers must search and checkout per retailer site, Shoptagr consolidates every item into one place.” I believe this could be beneficial for the consumer in numerous ways but it also may detract one’s brand loyalty. Shoptagr does provide you with the cheapest price for the product you are looking for; however, not all consumers are looking for the cheapest products. Within the last four years there has been an increase in consumers that say they prefer the quality of their clothing over the low prices. Shoptagr claims they send alerts to customers when items are low in stock, drop in price or are restocked. Companies that provide cheaper clothing with lower qualities will be forced to lower their prices due to strong competition.

Since the start of Shoptagr, “over 2.7 million products have been saved using Shoptagr, in addition to saving users a combined $8.3 million.” At first, I thought that money saved would promote consumer spending in other markets, but then I realized that those 2.7 million products are not being saved, they are being wasted. The founder Jonathan Friedman believes “the whole purpose of shopping online is to save time and get a better price that what is offered in physical retail stores.” I agree that shopping online saves time, but I believe a bigger reason for online shopping is an increase in preferences. I believe consumers like to look online and browse for their own preferences, not products that are generated by artificial intelligence. I also believe consumers will be wary about the privacy issues of Shoptagr. This technology prevents any privacy when looking for products to buy online. I strongly believe that customers that shop online like to shop for product they chose, not ones that are generated based on prior searches. This technology may seem promising in the future, especially with the coupon aspect of AI, but today I do not believe consumers will like a curated list of possible cheap products based on their private search history being tracked.



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3 comments:

Nevell Provo said...

Nevell Provo

This was a pretty interesting article. I feel as if ShopTagr is a great idea, and is something I haven't thought of before. Yes there are Datamining companies that recommend websites and certain things for you. However, this is on another scale. Imagine walking into a store with all the things you like at the lowest prices. I feel this is a great idea, on the surface.
However, as you mentioned customers might feel a way about this; i'm not sold on the success of this app. I don't really agree with the intrusion aspect, I don't think customers are that weary of intrusion in this day in age of data mining, and so forth. This form of "intrusion" already exists. The ShopTagr app doesn't know much personal information, it just works off of your behavior and it's convenient. Convenient is the name of the game!
Where I do agree is that it might be a little too convenient for customers. Shopping is one of those personal things, I barely like when my girlfriend shops for me because although she sees me every day I have my own personal tastes that change frequently. So with this ShopTagr, yes they might be accurate but it's not me, a part of shopping is looking at things you like and don't like and choosing the latter. Yes online shopping is about convenience and finding cheap prices. However, it still has the aspect of shopping, which is really exciting.
As you mentioned, me personally I am looking for quality of clothing over prices. In a perfect world the two meet at a great point. Clothing is also a very brand loyal sensitive issue. If I’m looking for a T-shirt from Burberry, a T-shirt from Old Navy will not suffice. If this was something like consumer products such as books or something I believe this would be a great idea, but for something like clothing it is a bit hard. Clothing is heavily brand influenced, where in some places if you wear Ralph Lauren you would never even think about buying a Tommy Hilfiger shirt.
All in all, this was interesting to see and it will be interesting to see the success of this company. I personally feel as if there isn’t much growth for them for many of the reasons I mentioned. This shows the continuing growth of technology. We are giving all of our will up to robots and algorithms. What will there be left for humans to do, when something as simple as shopping his handled by robots. What then do we have to live for?

Kelly McNamara said...

Great blog post! I think you made some good points about Shoptagr. First, I think this type of application is forward thinking and I predict that we will be seeing a lot of other similar applications being developed in the future. As being someone who shops online, I can honestly say that it can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many websites and so many different products that are so similar that it is hard to find and filter through all the different websites and all the different products. I like the idea of Shoptagr being a one-stop-shop and doing the filtering for me.
A lot of the time, I find that many websites will sell the exact same product that is made from the same brand, but the product will be listed at different prices. Also, during the time when I am looking for a specific product, the different websites may have certain sales or discounts taking place or different shipping prices, so it takes a lot of work to calculate which website will let me get the product at the best price. I have not tried out Shoptagr yet, but I would hope that the application would help shoppers to find their ideal product at the best price. If they do not already do this, I think the developers should look into adding this type of feature to the application’s software.
I am intrigued by the feature that Shoptagr will show similar products at lower prices. I think this feature will be especially beneficial for the shopper that is looking to mimic a new high-fashion designer look or is looking to save some money. It is not a secret that there is a huge market for shoppers looking to dress as if they are wearing designer brand clothing and accessories but they do not have the budget for that. For example, stores like Forever 21 and H&M and online retailers like Tobi has a target market of the type of shoppers I have just described.
I agree with the point you have made that a lot of people shop online to find a specific product and are not looking for suggestions, but with the increase in online shopping, I think that this feature will be very appealing to a lot of consumers. When people go to the mall, sometimes they are not shopping for a specific brand product, but instead a black dress or a white button down and are not necessarily looking to by a specific brand product.
Overall, I am interested to try out this application and I am intrigued to see how this application further develops and what other similar applications we will be seeing in the future that also change the way consumers shop online.

Jacqui Schmidt said...

E-commerce has a real presence in today’s society. So many people are buying everything they need online from their clothing to their food. It makes sense that with the increase in popularity there would be many new emerging technologies that followed. For example, if I am online shopping or browsing through Amazon, I have noticed recommendations provided usually at the bottom or along the sides of the website. ‘You might also like’ or ‘previously browsed’ are some of the more common tabs given. I will even log into Facebook and see previously browsed clothing stores emerge as ads on my timeline. Through artificial intelligence online shopping is becoming more customized and personalized to the individual. Shoptagr is almost taking this idea and expanding it further by bringing forth all recommendations from varied stores into one place.
With e-commerce becoming more pronounced, online stores have been adding technology and artificial intelligence to make the online-shopping experience easier and more successful. For example, when you go to check out at your favorite store, it can save your credit card information to cut out the steps of manually entering your information. Some people really find this feature beneficial but I always push ‘Never remember this card’ because I do not feel comfortable with it. None-the-less many find it useful
In an article published by Forbes they spoke of “How Artificial Intelligence Can Benefit E-Commerce Business.” The first thing Forbes mentioned was the personalized experience that e-commerce can provide. “This means that it can rapidly identify clusters and patterns in the information - such as similarities between customers, past purchasing behavior, credit checks and other common threads.” This is similar to what I mentioned above with the suggestions that websites now provide. Companies can take the data of the product you are looking at and then see what other products are similar. Products could be similar because other customers bought the original and suggested option together, or it could be the same category or similar service.
Another interesting thing the article mentioned, which is also a little creepy, is that in-person stores are developing facial recognition systems to customers and then retargeting them later online through special offers.
Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2017/02/26/how-artificial-intelligence-can-benefit-e-commerce-businesses/#4c5432bf54b2