5 minutes

Despite generative AI's popularity in 2023, many online retailers still haven't implemented it into their workflows. But some have, and those retailers share how generative AI (and AI in general) have guided their online sales throughout the year.

With more than a full year in the books for generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and DALL-E, retailers have had time to test the technology and see what it looks like when implemented into their businesses. But generative is just part of the equation. The larger, far more expansive field of artificial intelligence entered standard operating procedures in various forms for many online retailers in 2023.

Between artificial intelligence and machine learning, automation in retail is becoming increasingly common. Whereas artificial intelligence refers to technology that can mimic human intelligence, machine learning is different. Machine learning technology enables a program to perform specific tasks and provide accurate results by identifying patterns. And as online retailers continue to use both, the lines can sometimes get blurry, but the results are clear.

Salesforce said artificial intelligence accounted for $194 billion in online holiday sales, primarily through predictive recommendations. And that’s just in November and December. The software provider said artificial intelligence influenced 17% of all online orders in the last two months of 2023.

Below, we recap some of Digital Commerce 360’s most insightful coverage about artificial intelligence (including generative AI) and machine learning in online retail from the past year. These stories highlight meaningful AI/ML trends among online retailers in 2023. Most notably, they include use cases spanning from product design to chatbots and digital marketing, and much more.


What we learned about artificial intelligence in online retail in 2023

Online pet supplements retailer uses AI to appeal to new customers

Online pet retailer Finn invested in artificial intelligence to appeal to specific groups of customers quickly. 

SodaStream uses AI to increase conversions through email, SMS and social media

SodaStream invested in artificial intelligence to determine which ad campaigns would be most successful via email, SMS text and on social media. 

Furniture brand launches negotiation AI chatbot

Thousands of shoppers each month negotiate with Industry West’s artificial intelligence chatbot in hopes of reaching a deal for a product discount.

How SMBs are using AI


Small and medium-sized businesses like men’s grooming retailer Huron are using AI to balance financials easily. The retailer is also balancing how it sells to customers shopping via Amazon versus its direct-to-consumer website. The brand is using plug-ins to upsell. 

Experts say Google’s AI fitting tool presents a big opportunity for retailers

Google’s AI dressing room technology could reduce ecommerce returns and give retailers data to better target consumers, experts say.

Tailored Brands invests in AI to enhance the customer experience

Tailored Brands Inc. invests in artificial intelligence to understand its retail and rental customers for digital and in-store shoppers. 

Machine learning pairs well with AI

Retailer uses machine learning to entice shoppers to click and buy

Online music instrument and equipment retailer Sweetwater increases email open rates and online sales thanks to AI-generated email recommendations. 


AI helps Mars Petcare increase conversion by 30%

Machine learning software enables Mars Petcare to measure how appealing pet food images are to online consumers.

Goat milk skin care retailer is on a mission to be the GOAT of beauty brands

The My Skin Biome tool from Beekman 1802 and Perfect Corp. works directly from the website on a user’s mobile phone. 

Generative AI is still developing, but it’s already producing results for some retailers

Can generative AI help online retailers design better products?

Generative AI has been a key discussion topic all year. Online retailers are already incorporating it into their design processes to come up with new products and variations of existing products. 

AI powers Asian Beauty Essentials  

Adding shoppable products on both English and Spanish blog posts — which are AI-generated — has helped the retailer more than triple its average order value. 


A menswear company uses AI fitting technology to keep returns at a fraction of the industry average

Menswear retailer Otero attributes its low return rate to the accuracy of its online fitting tool using Perfitly. 

Evo to launch ChatGPT customer service chatbot

Impressed with the sophistication of generative AI chatbots, ski and sporting goods brand Evo plans to launch a customer service chatbot in time for the holiday season. 

Newegg launches generative AI product review summary

The generative AI tool creates and publishes a summary of all of the reviews at the top of the customer reviews section on the product detail page. 

Generative AI in retail is too ‘immature’ for implementation, Stanley Black & Decker says

Large tool manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker is looking for a generative AI tool to write product descriptions and speed up its product detail product optimization. But the technology is not there yet. 


Retailers add ChatGPT to their holiday bag of tricks

Generative AI systems like ChatGPT are the hottest thing in tech these days, and some retailers will be showing off the power of the technology during the upcoming holiday season. 

Colgate pilots generative AI tool to improve product detail pages

Toothpaste CPG brand Colgate-Palmolive tests a generative AI chatbot to more efficiently gather analysis to create better-converting product detail pages. 

Why digital marketers should not fear generative AI 

Generative AI is a valuable tool for digital marketers looking to simplify tasks. The technology is a creative reservoir for good and bad — and sometimes outright goofy — ideas. But that’s a good thing when trying to stand out from the competition, retailers say.  

Retailers test generative AI to create product detail page content

Major retailers and consumer brands including eBay, Colgate, Ghirardelli, Newegg and Stanley Black & Decker are using generative AI today to speed product detail page content creation or optimization. While some have AI-created content live today, others are still perfecting their tools before debuting them to the public.   


Ghirardelli taps generative AI to edit photos but not yet to generate images

The chocolate brand’s ecommerce content operations and development manager shares how the major chocolate brand is using AI to make decisions about product detail page images. 

Reseller uses AI to speed up listing process

Queenly uses generative AI to populate product listings from a series of questions answered by online resellers. 

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