eCommerce Expert and Keynote Speaker Sharon Gai: How Brands Across the World Use AI

Sharon Gai on The E-Commerce Toolbox

The internet is global, which means the e-commerce industry is too.

With so many cultures around the world, and with e-commerce being such a dynamic industry, there is a lot of variation in processes and strategy.

On the latest episode of The E-Commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives podcast, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Keynote Speaker Sharon Gai. Together, they explore how e-commerce differs across the World, drawing on Sharon’s experience working in China and the Western world, as well as how AI can be implemented to streamline processes and bridge cultures.

E-commerce Across the Globe

Sharon has worked in e-commerce in both China and the Western world, seeing first-hand the differences between how the industry operates in different cultures. Stark differences are apparent just by comparing Amazon with Tmall, a business-to-consumer online retail platform operated by Alibaba Group.

In e-commerce in the Western world, and particularly on Amazon, there is a focus on making processes as efficient as possible. The ideal situation is for customers to enter the app, find their product, checkout, and exit the app as quickly as possible. On Tmall, however, the goal is to keep customers within the app. They ideally want them to be browsing for longer and viewing more products. This means that there is often a far more complicated setup.

Another key difference is how products are presented. Amazon doesn’t really care about brands, it is far more product and SKU-based. This means that companies need to optimize their listings for searches, using keywords in product descriptions and names so they appear first in the search results. Tmall is brand-based. This means that companies need to focus more on their brand story, and this is often done by working with live-streamers to share the story behind a product or brand, thereby cultivating knowledge and conversations about it.

Sharon Gai on e-commerce across the globe

Implementing AI Capabilities

AI is evolving constantly. Every day, there is a new announcement of a new capability that will make our lives easier. It can be hard to keep up with what’s already out there, but you can always look at what other companies are already doing.

Whilst working with Alibaba in China, Sharon saw AI being implemented in multiple ways to streamline processes to make them as efficient as possible. There was a distinct focus on coordination, so if a process ever appeared to be repetitive, AI was implemented, allowing staff to focus on more valuable tasks.

For example, apps like DingTalk are used for communicating both internally with staff and externally with vendors and merchants. With so many people involved, group chats could become overrun with repetitive questions that have been asked hundreds of times. Upon seeing this, the company developed an AI chatbot that was specifically designed to answer these questions from a bank of FAQs.

Sharon also sees AI as being instrumental in connecting cultures. Today, we are already seeing AI models that will automatically translate conversations into new languages, allowing for more people across the globe to engage with content relevant to them. These models can even reflect tone of voice changes, meaning that meaning is conveyed incredibly efficiently, without the need for human translators.

However, it is important to note that most AI tools are not yet up to scratch. While Sharon is hopeful that AI will accelerate the pace of internationalization and bring more cultures together, we still have a long way to go until it is perfect.

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-Commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Sharon Gai to learn more about global e-commerce trends.

👉 Apple: https://apple.co/4asyhzC

👉 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/4cB5x9Y

Sharon Gai is a well-respected keynote speaker who delivers presentations on e-commerce, AI, digital marketing, and China tech. Over her career, she has spoken to over 100,000 professionals in five continents on the topics. She also is the Founder of Culture Fluid, a company committed to teaching individuals and organizations how to develop a mindset that enables them to traverse between cultures. Sharon is also the author of Ecommerce Reimagined, a practical guide to Chinese e-commerce markets.

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