eCommerce/Retail

Diffbot Is Teaching Robots to Shop

John Davi of the Diffbot blog recently wrote, “Diffbot’s human wranglers are proud today to announce the release of our newest product: an API for… products! The Product API can be used for extracting clean, structured data from any e-commerce product page. It automatically makes available all the product data you’d expect: price, discount/savings amount, shipping cost, product description, any relevant product images, SKU and/or other product IDs. Even cooler: pair the Product API with Crawlbot, our intelligent site-spidering tool, and let Diffbot determine which pages are products, then automatically structure the entire catalog.” Read more

Walmart Labs Gains a Bit of “Insight”

Rip Empson of TechCrunch reports, “Josh Fraser and Jon Fox founded Torbit in 2010 after becoming fed up with the amount of time they and other engineers dedicated to the tedious process of managing website performance optimization — by hand. In 2012, the Sunnyvale-based startup launched its first solution, called Insight, in an effort to make the tools they’d spent years developing internally available to the public — without requiring a degree in computer science or 15 developers to understand them.” Read more

Riskified Helps Stop E-Commerce Fraud with ‘Semantic Risk Engine’

Carmel Deamicis of Pando Daily reports, “Dr. Eyal Kishon, co-founder of Israeli based venture capital firm Genesis Partners, had a very personal reason for investing in Riskified, a startup that fights fraud for e-commerce sites. He kept getting rejected when he’d try to buy things online. Merchants would occasionally flag him as a “risky” purchase — perhaps because he lived in Israel and American stores can’t fact-check international addresses through the Address Verification System (AVS). Israeli startup Riskified, which recently raised a $1.65 million seed round, thinks its “semantic risk engine” is the answer. The technology builds a story around the shopper that ties together two types of information — the transaction information (where the person’s shipping address and billing address are, what proxy server they’re hiding behind, etc) and publicly available information about the person online. That way, they can more accurately predict which online shoppers are fraudsters and which are legitimate.” Read more

Leveraging Search Algorithms for Smarter E-Commerce

Barbara Starr of Search Engine Land recently wrote, “Innovation velocity in the search world is causing knowledge graphs to become increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous. In light of that, it is imperative that semantic Web groups and SEO groups maintain a frequent and open communication. The SEO of the future will need to have a strong understanding of how knowledge graphs work — as well as a solid grasp of semantic Web markup — in order to leverage this information for search marketing campaigns. On May 12, 2012, Google launched their knowledge graph, discussing it in a post entitled, Introducing the Knowledge Graph: things, not strings. The title alludes to Google’s continued evolution from a system that understands search queries as groups of keywords (‘strings’) to one that understands them as references to real entities/concepts/objects (‘things’).” Read more

The Semantic Web Benefits Local Business

David Amerland of Business2Community reports, “The web may be global but its effects are felt most acutely at a local level. While there have always been businesses that targeted a global market the bulk of business today are brick and mortar stores with a web presence or online businesses that have a local presence. Either way search that delivers global results when all you wanted to find was a pizza joint in your neighborhood is, understandably, less than satisfying. Thankfully search is changing. In the transition from Boolean search with its statistical text analysis properties to semantic search that uses ontology libraries to ascribe meaning to things Google has moved in what it famously calls “from strings to things”. The effects of the transition are noticed in two things that are part of the same phenomenon: First the fragmentation of search and second its intense personalization.” Read more

Google, Best Buy, & W3C Working on an Ecommerce Web Standard

David Meyer of GigaOM reports, “More than two dozen tech firms and ecommerce operators, including IBM, Google, Adobe, Best Buy and Qubit, have banded together to create a standard for managing certain types of website data – particularly the kind that will be valuable to ecommerce outfits. The companies are going public with the ‘Customer Experience Digital Data Acquisition’ standard now, although they submitted the draft standard back in May and are hoping for sign-off by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in September. The firms have been thrashing out the standard through the W3C’s Community and Business Groups initiative, which launched a couple of years ago to speed up industry-specific web standards development.” Read more

TrustYou & RezNext Partner to Deliver 360-Degree Approach to Online Reputation Management

Munich, Germany — TrustYou, an online reputation management (ORM) market leader specializing in the hospitality industry, has partnered with real-time online distribution and travel technology company RezNext to provide hotels in Asia, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa an integrated, 360-degree solution for aggregating and analyzing online reviews and social media content. TrustYou’s Reputation Machine offers RezNext customers a holistic approach to deliver superior semantic analysis in tandem with increasing reviews, distributing content across multiple platforms and ultimately driving revenue. Read more

Outlier Digital Uses Semantics to Open Up World of Fan Fiction

A new article out of Digital Book World reports, “Outlier Digital, a new imprint from the film and television production company responsible for producing the Twilight Saga and several other hit properties, wants to do what it says Amazon’s new fan fiction platform Kindle Worlds can’t: set fan fiction free. According to a press release, Outlier Digital will provide authors a way to sell their fan fiction for licensed work — just like Kindle Worlds. The announcement claims the company is in discussions will well-known authors and franchises and is ‘striking deals’ prior to launch this summer, but offers no details on the properties it has or will license. The possibility of licensing Twilight is teased but not explicitly spelled out. The company has not yet responded to request for comment.” Read more

Machine Learning May Be Online Marketplace Sales Magic

When it comes to selling in online marketplaces, it’s all too often a race to the bottom. There are plenty of rules-based tools out there to help sellers on Amazon or eBay beat competitors’ lowest prices by the proverbial penny, but winning the deal in that way sacrifices flexibility and profits.

That’s Feedvisor’s take on the topic, and it’s why the company recently came out with a machine-learning based approach to setting prices for Amazon Marketplace sellers. It says it’s the only re-pricing solution on Amazon to leverage the technology in Version 2 of its Algo-Pricing software, which aims at helping sellers win buyers without necessarily driving them into pricing wars.

“We came up with the idea of looking at artificial intelligence because we realized that trends — such as a specific item becoming popular very quickly or sellers running out of stock — play a very, very important role in predicting upcoming price changes,” says Feedvisor director of marketing Shmuli Goldberg. “The market itself is constantly changing. Just looking at a snapshot of what is going on right now is extremely useful, and it’s what we’ve been doing until now. But if you have just a bit of historical context and the ability to predict upcoming trends, you can do things that other re-pricing software hasn’t thought of, like raising the price of a product you see is just about to become popular.”

Read more

The Latest Breakthroughs of E-Discovery

Ben Cole of SearchCompliance recently interviewed information management expert Jeffrey Ritter about the latest e-discovery breakthroughs and best practices. Asked about the biggest breakthroughs in e-discovery, Ritter replied, “There are four of them worth mentioning. The first breakthrough that has never been appreciated in the legal community is the use of visualization patterning technology… The second… is the development and implementation of audit management tools in the field of e-discovery and the related legal services.” Read more

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