Retailers test generative AI to create product detail page content

This August, Newegg Commerce Inc. unleashed generative artificial intelligence onto its ecommerce site.  

The web-only consumer electronics brand built a generative AI tool that summarizes a product’s reviews into one succinct comment. Newegg displays this review, called SummaryAI, above the individual reviews.  

The generative AI tool also displays “Pros” and “Cons” for each product at the top of the reviews section, again taken from the published site reviews. These “Pros” are also displayed directly underneath the product image at the top of page and labeled as “Review Bytes.”   

“We feel that this would be helpful for many customers that are looking for a quicker analysis,” says Andrew Choi, director of brand and website experience for Newegg.  

Reviews are important for Newegg. 20% of shoppers read reviews and they spend 40% more than shoppers who don’t read reviews, so any way to enhance this section of the website is important to Newegg.  

“We ultimately want the customer to get the right product for their needs,” Choi says.  

Newegg is one of the early-adopting retailers of generative AI, the rapidly developing form of artificial intelligence that can create text, images and other kinds of content that often seems like it was produced by a human. These tools draw on large amounts of data they are exposed to, such as, in the case of online retailers, all the attributes and images of a product catalog.    

Major brands including marketplace eBay Inc. and chocolate brand Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. also are using generative AI to enhance elements of their product detail pages, such as optimizing the pages for conversion and creating pages faster. Many other retailers and brands are experimenting with how this type of AI can improve product detail pages, though most are still testing it and have not yet debuted their results to the public.  

AI is a hot topic in retail. 26% of retailers said they planned to increase their investment in artificial intelligence in 2023 compared to 2022, according to a Digital Commerce 360 survey of 135 retailer executives in October 2022. Plus, 11% said investments in AI will be critical to improving online conversion in 2023, and an additional 44% said it would be important, according to the survey.   

What’s more, that survey was conducted before the OpenAI consortium released generative AI-based chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022, sparking massive interest in the new form of AI. The bot uses generative artificial intelligence and natural language processing to answer questions and create content.   

Generative AI helps retailers with large product catalogs 

Retailers can use generative AI to create new content on a product detail page, such as a summary of the product reviews, or the actual product details. Each element on the detail page is “selling” the product with information with the goal of getting shoppers to add the product to their carts and ultimately buy it. But if these pages are not optimized, they are not doing the best job possible at converting shoppers.   

“Generative AI can help identify the opportunity among the product catalog and product pages and potentially suggest copy and ways to optimize pages,” says Kassi Socha, director analyst, retail, at research firm Gartner.   

Many product detail pages are not fully optimized for various reasons including:  

  • Large consumer brand manufacturers have thousands of SKUs.  
  • Brands sell their goods online through dozens of retailers and marketplaces.  
  • Global brands sell across dozens of sites in many countries.  
  • Marketplace operators host thousands of sellers, each responsible for their own product pages.   

Generative AI can help, particularly by automating the creation of product page content.   

“So many retailers have extensive product catalogs that they simply cannot manually update them on a regular or semiregular basis,” Socha says.   

“A more complete product page with more extensive product information allows the consumer to make a more informed decision and quicker decisions,” Socha adds.  

EBay Inc. saw the potential generative AI could have on its marketplace of more than 1 billion SKUs to help address two key challenges: helping shoppers find items faster and more easily, and helping sellers list items faster with fewer obstacles, says Xiaodi Zhang, vice president of seller experience at eBay.   

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