Posts Tagged ‘Best Buy’

Semantic Tech Lends A Hand To Thanksgiving Holiday Sales

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Retailers are pushing holiday shopping deals earlier and earlier each year, but for many consumers the Thanksgiving weekend still signals the official start of the gift-buying season. With that in mind, we present some thoughts on how the use of semantic technology may impact your holiday shopping this year.

  • Pinterest has gained a reputation as the go-to social network for online retailers that want to drive traffic and sales. Shoppers get an advantage, too, as more e-tailers deploy Rich Pins, a feature made available for general use late last year, for their products, using either schema.org or Open Graph. Daily updated Product Rich Pins now include extra information such as real-time pricing, availability and where to buy metatags right on the Pin itself. And, anyone who’s pinned a product of interest will get a notification when the price has dropped. OverstockTarget, and Shopify shops are just some of the sites that take advantage of the feature. Given that 75 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s nice that a recent update to Pinterest’s iPhone mobile app – and on the way for Andoid and iPads – also makes Pins information and images bigger on small screens.

 

  • Best Buy was one of the earliest retailers to look to semantic web technologies to help out shoppers (and its business), adding meaning to product data via RDFa and leveraging ontologies such as GoodRelations, FOAF and GEO. Today, the company’s web site properties use microdata and schema.org, continually adding to shopper engagement with added data elements, such as in-stock data and store location information for products in search results, as you can see in this presentation this summer by Jay Myers, Best Buy’s Emerging Digital Platforms Product Manager, given at Search Marketing Expo.

 

  • Retailers such as Urban Decay, Crate&Barrel, Golfsmith and Kate Somerville are using Edgecase’s Adaptive Experience platform, generating user-friendly taxonomies from the data they already have to drive a better customer navigation and discovery experience. The system relies on both machine learning and human curation to let online buyers shop on their terms, using the natural language they want to employ (see our story here for more details).

 

  • Walmart at its Walmart Labs has been steadily driving semantic technology further into its customer shopping experience. Last year, for example, Walmart Labs senior director Abhishek Gattani discussed at the Semantic Technology and Business conference capabilities it’s developed such as semantic algorithms for color detection so that it can rank apparel, for instance, by the color a shopper is looking for and show him items in colors close to read when red itself is not available, as well as categorizing queries to direct people to the department that’s really most interesting to them. This year, WalMart Labs added talent from Adchemy when it acquired the company to bring further expertise in semantic search and data analytics to its team, as well as Luvocracy, an online community that enables the social shopping experience—from discovery of products recommended by people a users trusts to commerce itself. Search and product discovery is at the heart of new features its rolling out to drive the in-store experience too, via mobile apps such as Search My Store to find exactly where items on their list are located at any retail site.

What’s your favorite semantically-enhanced shopping experience? Share it with our readers below to streamline their holiday shopping!

 

Let Semantic Tech Help You Plan Your Summer Fun

edamampixMemorial Day brought with it the official kickoff of summer! Along with that comes everything from outside living to family vacations.

Semantic technology can be part of the fun. Over the next couple of days we’ll look at some ways it can chip in. Let’s start with food as you start thinking about the summer BBQs. There are semantic solutions that can help on various fronts here. Edamam, for example, has built a food ontology that classifies ingredients, nutrients and food that it applies to recipes it scrapes from the web with the help of its natural language processing and machine learning functions.

As you’re breaking out the grill, you can break out the smartphone or iPad to search for grilled burger recipes that incorporate tomatoes in the 200 to 400 calorie range, for example, and take your pick of ranch salmon, Portobello mushroom, turkey with spiced tomato chutney or the classic beef with garden vegetables, for instance. “The nutrition information we append to recipes using natural language processing. This translates into people being able to filter recipes by diet/calories/allergies and be a bit more health-conscious this summer,” says Victor Penev, Edamam founder and CEO.

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GS1 Explores How Its Systems And Standards Will Fit Into The Semantic Web

gs1usnewGS1, the standards organization responsible for barcodes and the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), among other things, is working to extend the standards used for the identification of goods in the brick and mortar retail world into the web realm. As part of an overall conversation with its retail industry members about focusing more broadly on the digital space, it’s exploring how GS1 systems and standards fit into the semantic web.

What we call the UPC code in North America – and the GTIN (Global Trade Identification Network) code elsewhere – is a key part of the discussion. “The interesting thing is that the schema.org folks did some work to show how the GS1 system could be represented in their schemas,” says Bernie Hogan, Senior Vice President, Emerging Capabilities and Industries, who is spearheading GS1 US’s work in the online space. The schema.org/Product properties include quantitative values based on GTIN codes . “We started looking at that and started asking how we can build upon it.”  (Barbara Starr’s recent SearchEngineLand column provides insight into the benefits today of using GS1 identifiers and structured data, including semantic markup on websites, for e-commerce.)

Today, GS1 US’s B2C Alliance now is working with its community to test some of the concepts around embedding the GS1 system in the web, and how that may positively or negatively impact how retailers’ and brand owners’ products are seen by search engines, says Hogan. “Everything with a unique identifier on the web is merging with Linked Open Data, and that gets pretty interesting, so we are working on a strategy to learn how we can fit into this whole thing,” he says, with the help of the GS1 Auto ID Labs research arm. “We ultimately want to make some standards recommendations, but first we are going through the process of testing and getting consensus and doing some research on how that might be done. But it is all about improving search and relevance for identifying products and finding related information.”

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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

Best Buy Releases ‘Like for Like’ Metis API

Best Buy has now released its previously announced “Like for Like” Metis API: “BBY Open and the Metis project team are excited to announce the release of our semantically-driven ‘Like for Like’ endpoint, available now for public consumption. Like for like functionality is defined as: “for any given game, software, or hardgood SKU, display the products most like it, ordered by the number of product attributes that match’.” Read more

Announcing: Best Buy Product Catalog via Semantic Endpoints

Logo for BBYOpenA new resource has been announced on Best Buy’s BBYOpen blog: Metis Alpha. Like Best Buy’s earlier forays into Semantic Web use, this one started with a business problem. As the announcement states: “These days, consumers have a rich variety of products available at their fingertips. A massive product landscape has evolved, but sadly products in this enormous and rich landscape often get flattened to just a price tag. Over time, it seems the product value proposition, variety, descriptions, specifics, and details that make up products have all but disappeared. This presents consumers with a ‘paradox of choice’ where misinformed decisions can lead to poor product selections, and ultimately product returns and customer remorse.”

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Semantic Tech Checks In As The Holiday Shopping Begins

 

Photo credit: FlickR/crd!

 

With Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, and Cyber-Monday right in front of us, it is clear the holiday season is in full force. Apparently, retailers – both online and real-world – are doing pretty well as a group when it comes to sales racked up.

Reports have it that e-commerce topped the $1 billion mark for Black Friday in the U.S. for the first time this year, with Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple taking honors as the most visited online stores, according to ComScore. Consumers spent $11.2 billion at stores across the U.S. on Black Friday, said ShopperTrak, down from last year but probably impacted by more people heading out to more stores for deals that began on Thursday night. The National Retail Federation put total spending over the four-day weekend at a record $59.1 billion, up 13 percent from $52.4 billion last year.

Not surprisingly, semantic technology wants in on the shopping action. Social intelligence vendor NetBase, for instance, just launched a new online tool that analyzes the web for mentions of the 10 top retailers to show the mood of shoppers flocking to those sources. The Mood Meter, which media outlets and others can embed in their sites, ranks the 10 brands based on sentiment unearthed with the help of its natural language processing technology.  Read more

SemTechBiz Keynote: Jay Myers discusses Linked Data at Best Buy

Photo of Jay MyersJay Myers at Best Buy has been working with semantic technologies for a number of years.

Traditional retailers like Best Buy are looking for opportunities to survive and grow, as competition increases and margins grow ever-narrower. Semantic Web and Linked Data solutions are part enabling transformation, even inside traditional offline retailers. Read more

SemTech Keynotes Show The Power of the Semantic Web

The Semantic Technology & Business Conference has been underway since Sunday, with tutorials and lightning sessions catching audience interest. The conference presentations get underway today, most of them following on the heels of the opening keynotes given by Bart van Leeuwen, firefighter and architect at netage.nl; Jay Myers, web architect at Best Buy; and Steve Harris, CTO of Garlik, a part of Experian.

Best Buy, as readers of this blog know, has been diving deep into the semantic web waters under Myers’ direction for a few years now, and he shared that journey with the audience at SemTech.

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SemTechBiz’s Schema.org Panel: Which Way Will It Go?

Perhaps one of the most anticipated panels at next week’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in San Francisco is the Wednesday morning session on Schema.org. Since the announcement of Schema.org just prior to last year’s SemTech Business Conference on the west coast, using the Schema.org shared vocabularies along with the microdata format to mark up web pages has been much debated, and created questions in the minds of webmasters and web search marketers along the lines of, “Which way should we go? Microdata or RDFa?”

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