Salesforce launches new AI features for retailers

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Salesforce.com Inc.’s efforts to automate common business tasks using artificial intelligence extend far beyond its flagship customer relationship management platform.

The company is also incorporating AI technology into other core services including Commerce Cloud, which received its latest batch of new features today. The most notable addition is a catalog personalization tool powered by Einstein, the cross-product learning engine at the heart of Salesforce’s automation drive. It can analyze each shopper’s purchase and browsing history to determine the best way of organizing search results when they look up a product.

The idea is to reduce the time it takes for users to find the items they’re after, which can improve the buying experience and lower the chance of a visitor leaving before making a purchase. Less churn in turns means higher sales. In the same spirit, Salesforce has added new order management features designed to help merchants deal with scenarios where a given product may not be immediately available.

According to the provider, Commerce Cloud now offers the ability to have merchandise moved between stores if a customer buys a product at a location where it’s not in stock. Retailers can also use the new features to give buyers the option of picking up items that they’ve bought online at the nearest branch.

Rounding out the release is Android Pay support and a reference architecture for setting up mobile e-commerce sites. According to Salesforce, the template contains “best practices in mobile site design, merchandising and technical architecture” that aim to help retails better support the more than half of online shoppers who make purchases from their handsets.

Today’s update is the latest fruit of a continuous effort by Salesforce to expand the appeal of Commerce Cloud that has been paying off handsomely so far. The company claims to have processed more than $16 billion worth of transactions in 2016 for some 2,000 retail sites, including a good number operated by major brands such as GoPro Inc., Panasonic Corp. and Columbia Sportswear Co.

Image: Salesforce