In addition to improving its platform’s search engine, the firm is also using GenAI to improve customer- and employee- experiences.

How is generative AI (GenAI) being adopted in South-east Asia? One fashion e-commerce portal is showing the way, by launching a proprietary Platform-as-a-Service integration of OpenAI technologies.

The platform by Zalora is said to drive new efficiencies in operations, improve online fashion customer experiences, and unlock growth opportunities across retail and back-end services.

For a start, the platform offers AI-powered features such as:

    • Smart search: Small but powerful improvements to the firm’s existing search experience promise to allow customers to find what they are looking for more quickly and easily. The search engine can handle a wider array of spelling variations and errors to improve identification, search results lists, and the overall search experience.
    • Conversational shopping assistant: Customers can receive smart prompts as they shop online, and enjoy improved real-time interactive features. Currently in its early phases of development, the feature is expected to be launched in late 2023.
    • Production automation: Different production functions can be automated to improve employee productivity. For example, product attributes such as color, pattern, or sleeve length can be tagged to produce automatically generated stock-keeping units with comprehensive product descriptions to improve search accuracy, and reduce hundreds of hours of manual entry and dependence on third parties.
    • Internal chatbots: Business Intelligence chatbots and knowledge bases can improve employee experience and productivity, by providing and allowing basic system actions to be taken through a conversational user interface. This can free up human customer service agents to focus on more complex tasks, and it will also improve the customer experience.

The firm is also in the initial planning stages of integrating advanced OpenAI into its in-house Warehouse Management System (WMS) for planning, forecasting, and picking algorithms. Early experiments have seen an improvement of 30–50% in forecasting accuracy. With an improved fulfilment process, the firm’s updated WMS can also be adopted by other e-commerce platforms within parent Global Fashion Group in SEA, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

In terms of data security, Zalora has developed a series of principles to guide responsible innovation, and implement several measures to protect customers’ data. Said its CEO and Global Fashion Group COO, Gunjan Soni:

“We are excited to embrace the future with Generative AI and leverage it to deliver the best ‘tailored for fashion’ e-commerce experience for our customers both during and post-purchase.”