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LovetheSales develops AI tech to speed up online merchandising

Online retail sales aggregator LovetheSales.com has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that allows it to find, display and market discounted items from around the web at pace.

The eCommerce business, which collates and promotes sales stock from more than 700 retailers and brands including All Saints, House of Fraser and Ralph Lauren, says its Minerva technology has the potential to revolutionise eCommerce merchandising.

Minerva’s role is to understand what each product is, recognise its attributes – such as colour, length, style and material – and place each item into the relevant area of LovetheSales.com. It then promotes ranges based on customers’ shopping history to boost the chance of sales conversions.

Utilising support vector machine technology, the new system can review the entire product catalogue and tag each product individually with any relevant attributes in eight hours – at a minimal ongoing cost.

LovetheSales estimates that it would take a team of ten people four years, at a cost of around £1.25 million to classify and promote one million products in this way.

“The future of retail is highly connected with developments in machine learning,” said David Bishop, chief technology officer and co-founder of LovetheSales.

“It’s an exciting time as it allows us to bring to market great services such as LovetheSales, which wouldn’t have been feasible ten years ago. Ultimately it’s consumers who will reap the benefits.”

LovetheSales has recently started targeting the US and European retail markets, as it looks to expand its international remit and achieve its goal of enabling more consumers to shop the sales quickly and easily.

The website currently displays and promotes around 1.2 million products across all territories. Black Friday 2016 was its busiest day for online visitors, as bargain-hunting shoppers looked to locate deals on a single website.

Essential Retail understands that although Minerva is only presently used as an internal tool, it has the potential to be adapted to help third parties with their own online merchandising processes.

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