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SAP Emarsys launches Product Finder AI shopping tool

SAP Emarsys moves deeper into generative AI with Product Finder, a product recommendation tool that promises to improve e-commerce and marketing message relevancy.

Users of SAP's Emarsys marketing and e-commerce tools get a sneak peek at AI Product Finder, a generative AI tool that marketers can use to design email campaigns.

Generative AI (GenAI) in marketing is moving quickly; vendors such as Salesforce, Oracle and Adobe focus on generating content. Google earlier this month released a "creative chatbot" that can not only generate content and campaign ideas, but storyboard them as well.

The key to the success of all these tools is data -- knowing what a company has to offer, and what's in stock -- before setting a bot loose to dream up a marketing campaign.

The new AI Product Finder from SAP Emarsys, currently in pilot, can plumb product catalogs, which are extensive for many of the 1,500 SAP Emarsys customers. Using GenAI capabilities, it can suggest product groupings around a campaign idea.

This process takes time when done manually. AI can get marketers at least partway to the finish line, up to and including suggested email subject lines for a campaign.

"It is basically a way to, at scale, manage massive amounts of product data in detail," said Joanna Milliken, Emarsys' CEO. "You might only need one line -- in a bazillion -- to put into the body of a text message. [GenAI] parses all that [at] the size and scale and scope of data that SAP is used to managing -- and we are too."

It is the first of many GenAI updates SAP plans for its CX suite, which includes deep connections to its ERP supply chain technology stronghold. Milliken said the next wave of GenAI updates will focus on content and campaign orchestration across digital channels. SAP is finding traction for such commerce tools among large consumer packaged goods brands in retail, direct to consumer and both.

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While it's a good tool and smart use of GenAI in that CX suite, said analyst Paul Greenberg of The 56 Group, he worries about the overall health of SAP's CX technology amid multiple leadership changes and replatforming in the last five years.

"With a CX suite that they pay attention to, invest in and work on, yeah, it's actually a pretty smart move, especially if you have a CPQ [configure, price and quote] component to your CX portfolio," Greenberg said. "It plays well into inventory management, things like that, because AI and product catalogs are dependent on inventory management."

There is time to catch up, however, Greenberg continued, because e-commerce AI is still in its infancy. GenAI tools such as the free Microsoft Copilot embedded in the Edge browser aim to make online shopping a faster, better experience. More targeted GenAI tools will bring even more relevant results and reduce friction in online shopping.

Some search and recommendation technology vendors such as Coveo, before the recent wave of GenAI, enabled users to build custom websites on the fly based on shopping behavior using machine learning and other AI types. Generative AI will only sharpen these cloud services and has the potential to bring complicated B2B online buying on par with B2C shopping -- which is less complicated and therefore further along in its deployment of AI.

"When you're dealing with B2B buying online, the AI advantage will be its ability to recognize the more sophisticated requirements of the buy -- for example, if there's a compliance issue, AI lets you know," Greenberg said.

"Generative AI should be able to stitch together a fairly sophisticated view of a product and its requirements. And that's just one use case, which is to take things that ordinarily [you] would have to do a lot of manual labor to begin with, just to get to that point, and do them for you."

Don Fluckinger is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial. He covers customer experience, digital experience management and end-user computing. Got a tip? Email him.

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