AI for Retail & eCommerce

In 2019, AI and machine learning technologies in retail have eclipsed the human analytical capability. Simple, rules-based pricing and competitive response have given way to agile, SaaS-delivered solutions optimized for immediate market conditions. By combining historical sales data with edge sensors and demand-shaping signals, retailers and ecommerce marketers utilize the massive scalability of machine learning to anticipate market events. Customer-facing applications powered by AI, such as recommendation functions and self-service checkout capabilities, enhance the customer experience.

Thursday, October 24


7:45 am
Registration Opens

8:00 Continental Breakfast (Harborview Foyer)

9:00 – 12:25 pm Plenary Keynote Sessions (Harborview)

12:25 pm Networking, Coffee & Dessert in the Expo (Commonwealth Hall)

1:30 pm Opening Remarks 

Duke_JonJon Duke, Research Vice President Retail Insights, IDC

1:35 Applying AI in Retail & eCommerce: A Market Overview

Duke_JonJon Duke, Research Vice President Retail Insights, IDC




2:00 Leveraging AI to Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

Siu_SarahSarah Siu, Data Science Manager, Shopify

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes and have different needs. Shopify is creating a more modular platform for entrepreneurs and helping our diverse users succeed with the help of our third party ecosystem. This talk focuses on how Shopify leverages data and AI to help build a more modular platform to help our entrepreneurs solve their biggest problems. 

2:20 Business at the Speed of AI: An eCommerce Journey

Bahmani_BahmanBahman Bahmani, PhD, Director of Data Science, Rakuten

AI has a true potential to transform the enterprise. Actualizing this potential requires a well-informed organizational strategy and consistent execution of best practices regarding people, processes, and platforms. This talk focuses on these strategies and best practices and provides insights into their successful execution.

2:40 PANEL: Retail & eCommerce Practitioners

McConnon_AiliModerator: Aili McConnon, Contributor, Wall Street Journal

Feindt_MichaelPanelists: Michael Feindt, PhD, Founder, BlueYonder, A JDA Company 

Mason SheffieldMason Sheffield, Director of Lab Technology - Lowe's Innovation Labs, Lowe's Companies, Inc. 

Verma_NitinNitin Verma, VP Digital Solutions, Staples 

3:20 Networking Break in the Expo (Commonwealth Hall)

4:05 Transforming Physical Work with Applied AI for Supply Chain Robotics

Geyer_ChrisChris Geyer, PhD, Engineering Fellow, Berkshire Grey

AI is transforming physical work in eCommerce and retail enterprises today. This is not through a single advance or a single AI technique, but through systems that orchestrate many types of computational intelligence, such as machine learning and vision, to carry out tasks in a timely and effective fashion. In this talk, we cover some of the fundamentally hard to solve problems in building intelligent systems, share how to work around these hard problems, demonstrate concepts with the audience, and share insights on the successful application of AI to the automation of eCommerce fulfillment and store restocking.

4:35 Causal Inference and Uplift Modeling in Digital Marketing

Wang_JenJen Wang, PhD, Data Science Manager, Wayfair 

Traditional marketing strategies target customers who are most likely to respond to ads. This can cause wasted marketing investment since those customers may buy even without seeing an ad. Uplift modeling predicts the causal effect of marketing campaigns by comparing the conversion rates of both treated and control groups, and thus selects the most “persuadable” customers for targeting. In this presentation Jen will discuss how data scientists at Wayfair take uplift modeling approaches to drive incremental revenue and improve marketing RoI.  

5:05 Networking Reception in the Expo (Commonwealth Hall)

6:30 Meetup Groups (Cityview)

7:30 Close of Day 2