Waitrose turns to AI to power up online shopping boost

Waitrose_onlineWaitrose is aiming to transform its online shopping experience by implementing a new suite of AI-driven tools to improve the search and browsing experience, and develop personalised and tailored experiences for customers.

The John Lewis Partnership-owned retailer has has already started working with Netcore Unbxd, which claims to improve the ecommerce performance of nearly 1,500 websites, generating over $10bn in revenue across 40+ countries.

Unbxd was launched in 2011 in California, with Netcore acquiring a majority stake in the business last year in a deal worth $100m; key clients include Unilever, McDonald’s, Crocs and Pepe Jeans.

The deal is designed to allow Waitrose to improve customer service based on past customer buying patterns and behaviours – including search and browsing habits, product favourites, and brand choice.

The upmarket supermarket reckons that customers will benefit from highly relevant and accurate search results, making it quicker and easier to find what they need.

Waitrose will also be able to automate the search experience by providing relevant results for more complex searches – for example – if a customer searches for “drinks for teetotallers” then the search results will display a range of alcohol-free drinks for the customer to browse through.

Waitrose director of online Laura Burbedge said: “We know that our customers are busy and have lots of demands on their time – they need to be able to quickly and easily fill their online shopping trolley with minimal effort.

“Through working with Unbxd we have already seen a significant improvement in customers satisfaction with our search feature, with more personalised results.”

“We look forward to being able to help customers with meal planning too. If they search for ‘what goes well with steak?’, we will be able to provide useful suggestions to help their shopping experience.”

Netcore Unbxd CEO Pavan Sondur added: “When it comes to providing a seamless and personalised shopping experience, AI and machine learning play a pivotal role in understanding and meeting customer needs.

“With our Unbxd suite, Waitrose will be able to optimise their website, deliver relevant search results, and ensure meaningful shopper interactions.”

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