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Salesforce launches Einstein Visual Search for retailer product discovery

Salesforce is announcing Monday at the National Retail Federation (NRF) trade show several enhancements to its Commerce Cloud.

The company says that retailers employing its Commerce Cloud sell $16 billion dollars of wares annually through more than 3,000 websites in more than five dozen countries.

Visual Search, Recommendation Engine. Einstein Visual Search is now available for stores and product catalogs built in the Cloud. Users can upload from their smartphones a newly taken photo or a found image, and the platform will find a visually similar product. The name of the famous scientist is Salesforce’s term for its AI layer.

Salesforce says the feature improves search because different users commonly employ different words to search for a product. (Think Pinterest’s Lens, which launched in 2017 and can also be used to augment text-based searches.) Each search is conducted within a given retailer, and, while the default enables uploads from a mobile device, a marketer could extend the capability to include a desktop or laptop.

The Einstein Recommendation Engine is now available via API to any experience, such as providing recommendations in a product catalog or through the app on a store associate’s tablet. Previously, it was available only in a Commerce Cloud online storefront.

Inventory, API Explorer.
The Cloud’s Inventory Availability Service was also previously available only through a storefront. But it now allows inventory to be checked in any channel, such as through a store associate’s tablet app. It can also be linked to the Recommendation Engine, so any app or site can recommend something that is in stock in a store near the user.

Salesforce also noted the release of a new Commerce API Explorer, which lets developers search across an API library and test different calls and functions.

Why you should care. These announcements are the latest efforts by Salesforce to boost the Einsteinian smarts of its Commerce Cloud, following such enhancements as its addition of customer-based product recommendations and shopping cart analytics in the spring of 2017.

Now addressing B2B as well as B2C, the Commerce Cloud is clearly positioning itself with features designed to help marketers offer personalized product selections in any experience, part of the overall trend where online shopping is an intelligent activity and is available outside of online shops.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.


About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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15 January, 2019

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