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Interview with Michelle Bacharach from FindMine

Team eCommerce Next interviewed Michelle Bacharach from FindMine to get more insights on AI/ML, Personalization. Following is our interview with her:

Can you tell us about how the technology/AI of FindMine works?

FindMine uses Machine Learning to essentially train the system to act like a new marketing or merchandising team member.

Think of how you’d train a new team member at a brand or retailer: share with them the vision of the brand, some guidelines, show them past examples of marketing content or campaigns, share what KPIs are important, what the customer is like, what you WANT the customer to be like, etc. and then have the new employee go make an email campaign to review together with the boss, iterate and then eventually the training period is over and that person can be “hive mind” with the brand and produce email content or whatever their job is without oversight).

FindMine follows that exact same process, but instead of training one individual person, it’s training an entire engine that can then produce content at the same quality but at 10000x the pace.

The human merchants and marketers are the creative directors driving the system’s direction and are an integral part of the equation – without the (limited) amount of content that the creatives in the brand already produce, the system wouldn’t know what is “on brand”. The problem is that the creative teams, merchandisers, marketers in the organization are human so they cannot be everywhere at once and have to leave opportunities untapped because they cannot possibly create enough content for every product, for every customer, for every channel. So FindMine’s system picks up where they leave off, creating inspirational shoppable content for everything they didn’t have time to get to, and casting them in the role of creative director vs. producer.

What are some ways brands can enhance the customer shopping experience online and increase loyalty (and, in turn, grow shopping carts?)

Brands have a unique position with respect to consumers – they are experts whereas the consumers are not. Share that expertise anywhere and everywhere you can and improve loyalty as well as short term revenue dramatically. We studied over 200 retailer and brand’s sites and found that there’s a huge correlation between the amount of inspirational, shoppable content that is shown in the ecommerce environment and KPIs like bounce rate, time on site, and pageviews/visit. The results were clear: the more of this expert content the better the KPIs. Our own customers’ experience with FindMine reflects that as well: they all have higher CLTV from their consumer after adding FindMine to their suite because FindMine increases 100x+ the amount of this inspirational content.

How does FindMine meet a market need for retail/e-commerce?

The market has been so focused on personalization and rightly so, but has overemphasized understanding the customer (first party data) and building the pipes to have a 1:1 conversation with that customer, to the detriment of  the third and most important piece of the puzzle – the conversation itself. If the brand has 50,000 unique, fine-grained customer segments and the ability to individually target each, but Marketing says, “OK! Here are the 5 assets that are brand-approved that you can send out!”), the brand only has FIVE SEGMENTS! The lack of immediately composable content that accounts for all the possible variety needed to fill those 50K segments is a huge miss in this market. That’s the need FindMine fills, and FindMine is an integral component of the overall success of the personalization investments brands and retailers are making. Without FindMine, any investment in the first two pieces of the personalization puzzle are completely wasted.

What do you envision for the future of FindMine? Any specific goals in mind?

As the industry moves toward more synthetic rendering media (e.g, CGI models, AR/VR, 3D rendered products) FindMine stands ready to create unique and powerful assets that tell the story of the brand and meaningfully drive product sales. I wish the industry would adopt these underlying rendering media sooner because there’s such a transformative customer experience possible with that level of quick content production!

About Michelle Bacharach

Michelle Bacharach is CEO and Co-Founder of FindMine, an award-winning content engine that uses machine learning to scale content curation for the world’s top retailers. As a product and strategy expert, Michelle is experienced in growing companies by launching software, apps and websites to millions of people, putting together joint ventures, and conceiving of new products. She has an MBA from NYU Stern and a BA from UC Berkeley (Go Bears!), where she wrote her honors thesis on managing innovation in multinational organizations.

About FindMine

Privately held and headquartered in New York, venture-backed FindMine is the leader in AI powered dynamic content creation for brands. FindMine’s content engine guides online
shoppers with dynamic shoppable content (editorial-themed pages, style guides, Complete the Look and more) that increase key sales KPIs across e-commerce, email, ads and social media, as well as in-store applications. FindMine works with top retailers and brands such as Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Rogers, adidas, Destination XL, Perry Ellis and many more.

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