So we recently got to chat to Daniel Loughlin, CEO of IRP Commerce, a Northern Ireland based company who have developed new and exciting artificial intelligence software for implementation into their e-commerce platform to aid e-commerce sites in increasing their online sales. Here is what he had to say about this exciting new announcement and the future of AI for online e-commerce.
- How would you best describe IRP DeepAgent Artificial Intelligence to an owner of an e-commerce website?
DeepAgent analyses data in order to learn the actions that lead to more sales and profitability. It works on behalf of the e-commerce business to predict and then guide the moves the company needs to make to maximise its online sales. Data is collected in the IRP Cloud from e-commerce probabilities and using statistical and machine learning algorithms, DeepAgent mines and analyses information to learn which steps to take. This is then fed back to the company so they can identify what to do next, removing speculation associated with e-commerce sales. In its simplest form, DeepAgent is something that works on your behalf of the online business to increase sales. To give a basic analogy – computers can play chess better than people. DeepAgents will “play” the e-commerce moves better than people and therefore get more sales than its human counterparts ever could.
- What are the key benefits to having DeepAgent implemented into a site’s e-commerce platform?
The key benefit is that sales will go up significantly. The maths behind e-commerce sales comes from the basic formula – Number of Visitors * Conversion Rate% * Average Order Value = SALES. DeepAgent is primarily interested in increasing each of these values and the resulting sales number. It is a new approach to e-commerce – essentially going down a route of removing subjectivity from decision making where possible. When it identifies the block, it intervenes to offer suggestions on how to rectify the blocks. This can be if a customer is wavering on the postage page, or over some order and the DeepAgent can suggest a promo voucher code for example to help close the sale – this is automated and specific to each client.
- Was the software that’s used in DeepAgent developed entirely in-house or did you bring in outside programs to bring the AI aspect together?
We have built the software ourselves in-house. We have a strong software engineering team who understand also how e-commerce works. Combining the two areas means we have control of the business and have been successful at getting results.
- Who are the main Irish online outlets currently using DeepAgent on their sites?
The DeepAgent roll out is ongoing as the AI augmented section of our IRP Commerce platform. Companies like Christies Direct, based in County Antrim, Hals Golf, which are based across the south and Argento, who has its head office in Belfast but have outlets all over the country, including Dublin City centre will benefit from the technology. Historically the IRP Platform has transacted more than £1 billion for UK and Irish companies – and the DeepAgent technology will give a competitive advantage.
- Where do you see the future of AI in e-commerce taking us down the line?
I think the breakthroughs in machine learning and AI are going to take speculation out of so many areas of business and e-commerce. The ability of machines to process data, turn it into information is incredible – it is going to lead to a lot of efficiency. It will be important for companies to understand the significance and to be early adopters to get a competitive advantage.
- Finally, for a bit of fun, what’s your favourite SciFi film and why?
I recently watched Martian with Matt Damon – it was a good film to give an idea what it might be living somewhere else. Compared to what Mars looked like in the film maybe this planet is not such a bad place!