Shopping has never been the same experience from person to person, and merchants are constantly searching for a service that creates the ultimate personalized experience. While a few companies are using some machine learning to tailor things for consumers, NeoWize believes there’s a better solution. It thinks that its use of artificial intelligence can offer better customization in real time. The company has launched and is offering its services to ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento.
Founded by Omer Nevo, Yoav Cafri, and Ronen Ness, this Y Combinator-backed startup leverages active machine learning, a process that looks at a person’s journey on a site or app and continuously analyzes their behavior — did they scroll past a particular product? How long did the mouse cursor hover over something? Was there a click? All of these data points are examined to present a better view to merchants about what consumers are doing on the site.
“We show customers the products that will teach us the most about them,” Nevo explained. “This allows us to adapt much more quickly and be relevant within a single session…[helping to convert] new users into paying customers, which is currently an unsolved problem.”
In contrast, passive machine learning, according to NeoWize, is the process of collecting user data, but waiting until you’ve built enough of a profile about the consumer to make efforts to personalize the experience. What it boils down to is how quickly do merchants want to customize the shopping experience: After multiple pages are perused and the consumer leaves, or following their interactions on the first page?
The company currently offers two products: one that automates the personalization within an ecommerce platform and another that launched 3 weeks ago that provides an analytics and insights dashboard, but won’t change anything on the site for merchants.
“One product gives you information about what you should do to be efficient on your site and the rest is personalization,” Nevo stated. He said that more than 260 stores have signed up to use NeoWize’s dashboard product, NeoWize Analytics and Insights. The dashboard currently has more than 280,000 weekly active users, a huge leap from two weeks ago when it had 60 stores and 130,000 users.
NeoWize’s products can be installed by merchants using a plugin the company made available on Shopify, Magento, and other platforms. No configuration is needed. The service implements A/B testing, with some shoppers seeing changes while others view the site as it was before. Nevo claims that to date, merchants have seen a 10 to 30 percent bump in revenue thanks to NeoWize’s efforts.
In an interview, Nevo described the real-time personalization experience as being like a human salesperson who observes what a customer is doing at the store: “If you ask the right questions, you’ll very quickly have good filters about what [the customer] is not looking for, a price range, style, etc…You’ll at least know where to go.”
NeoWize starts analyzing your behavior right when you visit the site, and as soon as you’re on the second screen, it’ll have gleaned enough information to begin filtering down what might best resonate with you, such as price range, particular style, and other elements you’re looking into.
“Our technology doesn’t need to know products, product placement, or revenue,” Nevo said. “It’s incredibly generic in that it just needs to know indications and goal. … The nice thing is that it’s a new framework of looking at artificial intelligence, so you’re getting better information” when it’s time to make decisions.
Although NeoWize is leveraging its AI technology in the shopping space, that doesn’t mean it can’t be applied to other industries, such as education or transportation. However, the team started with shopping because the value being created is immediately measurable and you’re able to know at the end of the month how much a store has made. “We’re able to solve a problem currently unsolved: doing personalization fast enough so that we can turn new visitors into paying customers. It’s a huge business problem for store owners,” Nevo said.
Competitors in the space include RichRelevance and Dynamic Yield.
Currently the team is made up of the three cofounders, but there are plans to bring on two employees who will be based out of Israel. NeoWize will continue to have some presence in Silicon Valley following graduation from Y Combinator later this month. It has raised a seed round of $620,000 from an angel group led by Rina Shainski and additional funding from Y Combinator.