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Retail Is Being Innovated By Technology and Israeli Startup renovai is a Driving Force

renovai is the company behind the world’s first AI-based interior designer.

With the vision of creating inspiring and engaging online interactions, renovai developed a complete suite of AI Design solutions addressing all visual commerce needs.

Powered by decades of design knowledge and best practices, renovai integrates with leading retailers, giving them a competitive edge by providing real-time realistic product display options and hyper-personalized journeys, significantly increasing conversion and average order value.

We had the pleasure to interview renovai’s Co-Founder & CEO Alon Gilady, and investigate deeply the retail landscape and its intersection with technology.

How can retailers increase profitability?

Obviously, there are a lot of issues and various tracks for increasing profitability.

By now, most if not all retailers have an online presence. Even if some customers prefer to shop in-store for items like furniture, most of the exploration phase takes place online, so it’s imperative for customers to find the brand online. Setting up an online store is creating a secondary sales channel to complement brick-and-mortar sales. Also, an online store can increase your exposure and sales while costing far less than opening a second physical location.

Another important thing is inventory planning which can be done much easier today with trends forecasting, supported by AI tools. It’s also important to monitor patterns and even offer discounts or packages, maximizing items’ gross profits.

Automated processes are a must – not just operational issues like storage or staffing but also product tagging and in-store digitization. There are a lot of places where retailers can lower overhead spending without sacrificing the quality of their customer experience.

The bottom line, though, is keeping shoppers happy. It all comes down to understanding your customers and how they want to shop and what they need to have a good and comfortable shopping experience. Addressing your customers’ needs is key to ensuring that you’re mapping out customer journeys that drive business results.

One way to keep customers returning to your shop is by offering new and exciting products and displaying them in an engaging and inspiring manner. Retailers should leverage retail tech in every way possible – every time retailers invest in a new piece of technology, they are always amazed at the results and wonder how we lived without it for so long. By deploying innovative solutions, including robots, cashier-less shopping, online marketplaces, and AI-driven technology, retailers can increase profitability and protect themselves from future unexpected events like those experienced in the last two years while enhancing the customer experience.

What are some of the challenges in retail?

Like any other field, the retail landscape is ever-changing, and leading retailers are constantly required to reinvent themselves. Customers are flooded with choices, and everything is at the reach of their fingertips. The explosive growth of ecommerce and digital disruption requires a unified omnichannel experience which some retailers still struggle with. Frictionless omnichannel experiences need to go beyond just buying online, in-store pickup, and curbside pickup and enable a truly seamless experience for selling, serving, fulfilling, and delivering.

Finding the right technology to support your business strategy is crucial. A complex and unwieldy software platform can actually increase costs and throw discord into a company that was functioning passably without it. Retailers need to map all their business needs and gaps, both internal and external touchpoints, and bring in the suitable technology in a structured process without overwhelming all relevant stakeholders.

Staffing is a really big challenge as well – Retail has historically had a high employee turnover rate, and this is even a bigger issue today. One way to tackle this challenge is to increase employee engagement by reducing tedious, repetitive tasks with automation but also providing them with digital solutions to complement their work – whether in-store or to back their customer support activities.

The right type of technology should support true personalization, which has become the norm.

Customers are becoming more used to a certain level of one-on-one engagement that develops a more personal relationship to build trust. Traditional customer loyalty programs can no longer cut it, and retailers really have to prove they understand and care about their customers in order to maintain brand loyalty.

This also needs to be aligned with all marketing activities, which are becoming increasingly challenging and costly. Many retail companies are having difficulty being efficient and effective and measuring the impact of their marketing channels. Retailers need to be able to integrate data storage platforms with fulfillment and reporting solutions, such as email service providers, display networks, and marketing intelligence tools,  tracking the impact of their marketing campaigns to determine what strategies are effective and will increase ROI in the long term. They need to identify who their customers are no matter where they are or what device they are using. They also need to be able to build trust so that customers are comfortable sharing personal information and create customer loyalty by finding ways to turn that data into smarter decisions across the board.

How can retailers improve customer experience?

We all witnessed a major shift in how people shop. Shoppers today expect a seamless experience across all touchpoints. Whether in-store or online, they expect to feel connected to a brand. In fact, almost 90% of customers say they’re willing to pay more money for a better customer experience.

It’s easy for brands to create content and messaging centered around their own products, but they have to look at things from the customer’s perspective and their pain points. As you shape your customer experience, focus ondriving emotional connection through value.

Retailers need to identify all friction points across the customer journey to avoid frustration and negative sentiment towards their brand – especially if the competition alleviates that frustration with an easier path to purchase. It’s important to always be on top of the overall product display strategy and identify and eliminate all possible issues with complex forms, navigation obstacles, device responsiveness issues, or unclear calls to action.

Delivering a personalized customer experience is the key to making customers feel like they matter to your brand. Personalization allows your brand to deliver the right content at the right time and to the right person. Always strive for innovation – mastering personalization is a digital transformation journey from getting started with quick wins to AI-driven automated personalization.

How does renovai help retail brands?

The mission of renovai is to use the power of AI to increase the joy, ease, and comfort of buying furniture and fashion online. renovai provides an AI-driven shopping platform for large-scale online retailers. The platform increases both the speed and quantity of sales by delivering a gamified and personalized user experience by leveraging decades of design knowledge. With renovai, online retailers can display their wares in a more compelling way that is explicitly attuned to each buyer’s individual and unique needs. renovai’s AI modules and machine learning capabilities give the platform the ability to seamlessly streamline the lifestyle shopping experience while adapting to each person’s preferences on-the-fly.

The result is faster decision-making, larger and more frequent purchases, and happier customers. Retailers using renovai have already realized a dramatic uplift in business, including A 25-30% uptick in revenue, A 100% increase in customer session duration, and a 16% increase in Average Order Value (AOV). In contrast, shoppers hunting for furniture on a non-renovate-fortified site typically spend north of 30 hours before abandoning the site without making even a single purchase! Based on retailer feedback, this same customer who navigates a renovai empowered website not only initiates the initial purchase in h hours but typically adds additional items to the shopping cart on the first visit.

Aside from its dramatic impact on sales, renovai can be deployed quickly, affordably, and without the need for a costly integration process.

What is the process like for retailers to use renovai?

They basically just need to share their product feed, and we take care of the rest. Once we have all the products, we begin our deep tagging process, identifying hundreds of attributes and allocating them to their destination category.

renovai’s system is an automated personalized platform for designing spaces and styling outfits based on multi-layered machine-learning and deep-learning algorithms. The platform takes into consideration both the user’s personal taste/preferences, as well as industry-standard professional design standards and best practices. The designs are shown to the user using interactive 2D or 3D imagery if the clients go for our recommendation product suite. In short, renovai is a unique AI engine designed to mimic the process of working with a professional interior designer and stylist, combining state-of-the-art technologies such as Machine learning and correlated deep tagging.

Each of our solution’s UX is completely customizable to incorporate the brand’s visual guidelines and TOV.

We also have other “basic” solutions like the Studio or the 360 viewer which are even quicker to deploy and are becoming a must-have for most retailers today.

Retail sites with ‘renovai inside’ are designed to transform online shopping from a laborious, tedious, and unrewarding process into an enjoyable, efficient, addictive, and transformative experience.

How did you come up with the idea for renovai?

Two of the Co-founders owned a 3D-rendering studio back in 2017. The company created virtual reality experiences for architects and interior designers. From the knowledge and experience gained in this venture, the idea of renovai was born with an ambitious mission: to empower online retailers with AI to make professional design and stylist services affordable and accessible for all.

Today renovai caters to leading global brands allowing them to display their wares in a more compelling way that is attuned to each buyer’s needs. The result is faster decision-making, larger and more frequent purchases, and happier customers.

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