Kelly Slessor from The Ecommerce Tribe: AI Tips from a Technologist | #326

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Kelly talks AI, inclusivity and shopping in moments

Kelly Slessor from The Ecommerce Tribe

Kelly Slessor has been driving digital growth and innovation in retail for the past 20 years. Founder of the The Ecommerce Tribe, an Ecommerce training company, she has worked with over 1000 retailers, hospitality providers, and shopping centres globally, she has helped world-leading companies including Westfield, Woolworths, David Jones, Big W, Showpo, Le Specs, Jac & Jack and Gluestore to grow their digital channels. Kelly is also the founder and CEO of Shop You, an Artificially Intelligent personal shopping assistant. She recently launched The Digital Fishing Project, aimed at digitally educating minority and underrepresented groups working with remote communities.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Kelly Slessor, founder of The Ecommerce Tribe

You might also know Kelly as the  founder of personalised shopping app, Shop You.  She has helped hundreds of companies including Westfield, Woolworths and Big W to develop and grow their digital channels and was chair of this year’s Online Retailer Conference and Expo.  Kelly shares her thoughts on diversity and inclusivity through the lens of technology, why she’s all about natural language when it comes to shopping and how to give Chat GPT a personality and get it working harder for you.

“We have little conversations. I talk to it about me and who I am and what’s important”

Kelly Slessor

Natural language for shopping

“I realized that actually, we don’t shop for a red dress, we shop for a dress for a party, for a birthday for a 40 year old. We shop in moments and we shop in a real thought process. And when we think about buying something, it’s a natural language process. It’s not, I want a size 12 red dress. It’s, I want a red dress to wear to my best friend’s 50th birthday party at the weekend. And we’re going on a boat. And it’s got to be age appropriate, you know, whatever that might be. 

And so when I got into that mode and started looking at natural language models, I was really fascinated by, could we create a process where I could literally text you, because SMS was growing phenomenally at the time, where I could text you and say, Nathan, find me a dress for my 50th birthday party at the weekend. And you would know me, based on my style, my preferences, the brands I’d shopped with before, and could present something back to me that was more likely to appeal to me. 

And we saw conversion rates between 7% when we did it on app, up to 25% when we used the app and physical as well.”

Quick wins with Chat GPT

“There’s a lot of retailers spending a lot of money on ads at the moment, but yet their own organic traffic isn’t working for them because they’re not driving natural traffic to their site. So where I’m seeing the wins in AI is actually applying it in each of those areas. 

So for instance, on my course that I teach, one of the areas we look at is things like product descriptions and optimizing your product descriptions for conversions. AI is a great tool using chat GPT to optimize your product descriptions and make sure it talks to your customers problems, it captures all the features and benefits, but it talks to things like value and quality and uses triggers for the customer. 

I read a Shopify report last week, which was awesome, and they talk about the second most important thing that customers are looking for is quality. As retailers, we don’t talk enough or reinforce that notion or the products are of quality. So using it for things like product descriptions to just really bring out those features and benefits in a way that aligns with customer.”

Giving back

“I was brought up by my dad, we were in a predominantly white community, we were the only black kids in school, and we were taught that we always had to be better, we always had to work harder to be better. And working with community, I met a lot of people that just weren’t fortunate enough to have some of the education that I’ve had or to have some of the support that I had. 

It’s easy to say be better, do better, but if you don’t arm them with the skills to be able to do that, it’s bloody hard and there’s so much information out there in this digital space that it’s hard to know what to do. I feel like I found my purpose. I feel like I found my mission in life. Education is key to me. So I love working on educating retailers on all things e-commerce and technology. But to be able to do it with founders that have some generational trauma and don’t have necessarily the connections that we have here in Sydney, don’t necessarily have the education. And to be able to give back. That’s where the digital fishing project started.”

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