Flipkart banking on data; developing artificial intelligence for sale prediction

Editor | Sep 15, 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for ecommerce has been around for a few years now. Many biggies are slowly depending on AI to predict the exact number of conversions from the number of visitors. Intel India notes that by 2020, AI will be a part of all major applications. It is no wonder then, that leading companies are looking at their options to leverage AI.

Flipkart is mulling over developing its artificial intelligence wing to help efficiently route its resources. For its tenth birthday, it is planning to deep dive into customer behaviour and predict the exact number of units it will sell, says Krishnendu Chaudhury, principal scientist and head of image sciences at Flipkart.

Chaudhury says,

“We are trying to predict how many units of what we will sell. This is a very complex thing that is dependent on a variety of inputs such as price, discount or if an event, such as Diwali or Christmas is coming up,” he continues, “it will also look at something like how much hype is being created in the media about a certain product. For example, iPhone sales depend hugely on the media hype. So, we have to capture all these things and it will make a very complex decision.”

Players in AI for ecommerce

Intel’s India wing has a dedicated AI department. It is working on tie-ups with companies in different sectors including ecommerce.

Prakash Mallya, MD of Intel South Asia said,

“We are targeting the BFSI, telecom, and e-commerce sectors, across High Performance Computing (HPC), big data, and Internet of Things, all of which are complementary to AI.”

Staqu is a start-up in the AI arena with its focus on ecommerce.

“High operational costs have resulted in a major bloodbath in the ecommerce industry. We aim to help these companies minimise their costs through automating their search and tag generations,” maintains Atul Rai, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

How far will AI help with sales?

Online marketplaces have tried to get the sales going by increasing convenience to the buyers (pick up products at common spots), giving out loans and grooming lessons to sellers, and increasingly turning to data analysis to help make prudent decisions.

As of now it is too early to calculate and put a number on how AI can benefit sales. However, looking at the hype it is creating, it would be a game changer.


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