• Fernbrook Capital Management LLC

How Lily Ai is Helping Ecommerce Partners Understand Customer Intent

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Fernbrook is excited to be an investor in, and board member of, Lily Ai, the Customer Intent Platform built to power the present and future of ecommerce.

What is Lily Ai? Based in Mountain View, CA, Lily Ai’s technology platform helps ecommerce companies dramatically improve on-site search, personalized product discovery, recommendations, and demand prediction, resulting in revenue growth, higher conversion rates, and increased customer loyalty.

  • Lily Ai’s technology platform is powered by a universal language that can help present every unique consumer with exactly what they’re looking for in real time.

  • It injects robust product attribute data and unique Customer Intent into the entire ecommerce tech stack, massively enhancing performance by providing a depth and scale of product attribution that no other enterprise solution can match.

Background: Ecommerce companies and their customers now operate in a hyper-personalized world in which shoppers expect to be shown what they want online before even they know they want it. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased and sharpened consumers’ expectations.

According to McKinsey & Co.:

  • With digital transformation having been rapidly accelerated by the pandemic, the ecommerce market has more than doubled in size since 2019.

  • About 75% of consumers tried a new shopping behavior in the last 18 months, and more than 80% plan to continue these new behaviors.

  • 71% of consumers expect that ecommerce will deliver personalized interactions, while at least 76% get frustrated when this personalization isn’t delivered.

  • Companies that lean into personalization generate 40% more revenue than the average operator.

Coming out of the pandemic, ecommerce platforms that had already embraced digital optimization are now standing head and shoulders above their peers. Likewise, greater demand has widened any hairline fractures in the customer experience when shopping online into total chasms – any minor hurdle to purchasing is now enough to make consumers shop elsewhere.

What’s ecommerce missing: While abandoned cart emails and light personalization are now table stakes, many ecommerce platforms are still failing to properly engage their customers, deliver personalized product recommendations based on search patterns, and get them to the checkout.

  • Even the more advanced customer data platforms struggle to facilitate discovery in a way that maximizes revenue: the industry average conversion rate is 2%, with a 50% return rate and an average unsold inventory of 30%.

How does Lily Ai solve these problems? Lily Ai has tackled these problems head-on bringing together an understanding of product attributes and customer intent. Its Customer Intent Platform turns qualitative product attributes into a high-volume, universal mathematical language with unprecedented accuracy.

  • Without perfect synergy between these two drivers, and with a reliance on outdated spreadsheet-based demand forecasting, ecommerce operators can only guess about their customers’ true search intent and relevant inventory to recommend to them.

  • Even an educated guess is simply that – a guess.

  • Its proprietary algorithms put an end to the fragmented tech stacks common in ecommerce, and instead, Lily Ai offers a hyper-personalised experience for both ecommerce platforms and customers.

  • Instead of rudimentary text-based keyword search, Lily Ai’s customer intent platform uses AI-powered image recognition to extract product attributes, allowing retailers ten times greater attributes per product – and in turn, greater accuracy.

  • This universal language, which Lily Ai pioneered and developed, has yet more fluency: it can also help contextualize and understand why a customer likes or dislikes a product, and thus improve recommendations.

  • It’s this rich, essentially emotional, data that will prove make-or-break for Lily Ai’s ecommerce customers. Without an understanding of what their customers want, when they want it and which product exactly matches their desire, carts will be abandoned and discovery will falter.

  • Because Lily AI has pioneered and automated this universal language to describe products, it is also in a unique position to understand consumers in this same language of attributes, in order to extract the why behind what they like and dislike in a completely unique way that’s never done before by Artificial Intelligence.

  • This results in a step-change in metrics across search engines, recommendation systems, demand prediction models, and item set-up processes.

Why this matters: Lily Ai has already helped Bloomingdale’s create a universal product description language that is consistent across their entire organization.

  • By automating the product data attribution process, Lily Ai helped improve their conversation rate – 43% of shoppers use the search bar, but Bloomingdale’s could only reliably sort category and brand searches. With deeper, richer, and crucially, AI-powered product attribution, Lily Ai finds that customers spend 2.6 times more.

Going forward: For Purva Gupta, Lily Ai’s CEO, this is just the beginning. According to research conducted by KPMG, 78% of consumer and ecommerce executives reported that they plan to invest more heavily in ecommerce and digital sales platforms in the coming year, with close to two-thirds also expecting to engage with customers to predominantly engage with customers online in the future.

  • Lily Ai’s proven ability to streamline the ecommerce experience and provide a hyper-personalised, intuitive and ever-smarter customer intent platform make them key players in this rapidly growing field.

Fernbrook’s partnership with Lily Ai: Not only does Fernbrook have a seat on Lily Ai’s board of directors, along with representatives of NEA and Canaan Ventures, our team has been focused on assisting the Lily Ai’s sales team with targeting and engaging with the senior management teams of leading ecommerce companies and brands.

  • By leveraging our senior relationship network across this industry, we help Lily Ai’s sales team efficiently access senior level decision makers, thus accelerating the sales cycle.

Fernbrook is proud to back Purva and her team – we can’t wait to see what they achieve next.

By Daniela Morosini and Fernbrook

Lily Ai is hiring. Current job opportunities can be found here.

A few of the team in Mountain View, CA.

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