Marketing Podcast for Shopify Merchants: The Ecommerce Coffee Break

How Visual Generative AI Will Help Increase Your Ecommerce Sales | #181 Dr. Yair Adato

May 08, 2023 Claus Lauter: Ecommerce Podcast Host | Shopify Partner | Marketing Optimizer Season 4 Episode 44
Marketing Podcast for Shopify Merchants: The Ecommerce Coffee Break
How Visual Generative AI Will Help Increase Your Ecommerce Sales | #181 Dr. Yair Adato
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast, we have Dr. Yair Adato, Co-founder and CEO of, sharing his insights on how Visual Generative AI can help you increase your ecommerce sales.

On the Show Today You’ll Learn:

  • How you can incorporate Artificial Intelligence into your Shopify business
  • Examples of the benefits of Visual Generative AI
  • The legal ownership of the images generated through AI
  • The range of images that can be created using AI
  •  What does the future of AI look like in the next 12 months

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Claus Lauter: Hello and welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Coffee Break podcast. I talk to a lot of merchants and they're all scratching their heads right now about ai, artificial intelligence. There seems to be a new software solution on AI popping up every day, they're all very excited about it, but they do not really know on how to facilitate this technology into their business.

Now there's a huge potential, and that's what we want to. Talk about today. We want to talk about specifically how visual generative AI will help increase your e-commerce sales. So wi on the show I have Dr. Yair Adato. He's the co-founder and CEO of He has a PhD in computer vision from BGO University with a joint research from Harvard University.

Yair is the winner of the Google Fellowship of Computer Vision 20 11 1 PhD in computer vision In. European Union and as an expert in computer vision and machine learning, YAI has also more than 10 academic papers and more than 45 patents under his build. So it's definitely someone to talk to when it comes to AI.

So I wanna like to welcome him to the show. Hi Yair, how are you today? 

Yair Adato: I'm fine. Thank you for hosting me today. 

Claus Lauter: Tell me a little bit about what got you into AI in the first place. I'm just curious about that. 

Yair Adato: I'm a math guy. I really like math. I knew that I'm going to have a PhD in math when I was in my second grade, like, Eight years old.

So I knew that this is what I'm going to do with my life this is why I went for math and ai, but they also really like visual. So eventually I did my PhD in computer vision. The ability, the discipline that help computer to understand vision or even today to generate 

Claus Lauter: vision. Yeah, that's what we're wanting to talk about today.

Now, since November last year when chat p t open AI really came into the market, everyone is talking about artificial intelligence, all the tools that are out there, and I said merchants are curious on how they can use that in their own business. it's a time saver, but there are a lot of other benefits coming to it.

So let's talk a little bit about the solution you came up with. 

Yair Adato: So open AI and chat is, in a discipline called generative AI for text they have language model , and the computer can generate, sentences, paragraph, stories like human or at least to try to do that. Like human. we are doing something similar with visual.

We have the capability to generate or to modify visual, By creating a new one. So in the context of the e-commerce, you can take an image with your product, and then you can customize the image to your need. For example, automatically replace, and generate new background. So the visual, we look like it's in a completely different scenario.

change his expression, With this capabilities to generate new visual, think that until today was only for a big brand with a lot of budget and marketing teams and production, they, now, they can do that by simplifying an app in Shopify.

Simple as that. 

Claus Lauter: So means when you had a graphic artist in the past and, that takes a little bit of time and all of that AI will help you with that. Now, I was using or testing your tool the other day and it's actually quite impressive. Now, one thing that I think is always a bit of a struggle is you need to have the right prompt to basically tell the AI what it should do.

Tell me a little bit more on how you can fine tune it or what is the approach to Right the, the best prompt. 

Yair Adato: We have a little bit different approach in Bria and we try to build this solution in a way that it would be very easy to use. So actually we removed most of the capabilities, or mo most of the demands in the prompt engineering.

I think that what happened is that this technology came so fast and it's so revolutionized thing that it's become, useful and aware by the public before we get to some level of maturity. And this ity is, an example for that. If you'll go in the shop and we'll try, I just want it for Christmas.

You will get something nice in most of the cases. Again, you need to play with a little bit. To understand how to work with the system to understand what, you like, basically, but you don't need to do it, put all of this crazy log prompt, engineering, by the way, we add some explanation.

When you generate a new visual, the system can tip you and help you to understand what you can do. 

Claus Lauter: Okay. No, that sounds great. that's a huge help there. Now there's a couple of, features that you have, like enriching products and so on and so forth. That makes it easier now, probably will give our merchants, our listeners a better understanding how they can use your, solution.

Give me a bit of an idea, what are the main tasks that merchants probably will use it for? 

Yair Adato: We are a focus on visual , and one of the challenges , in catalog is to create. Good visuals for your product. And even if you have them, it's hard to personalize them or it's hard to adapt them to different holiday, to different campaigns, to different, audience.

We try to make this entire process, very simple. If you know that there is a Eastern coming up, you can easily change the entire store for Easter for two, three days. Without budget, without the designer, without no one. Continue from there. If you want to test what is, working better, , a white background or more creative background, or maybe you want to have several images, then you can do that.

I think that there is studies that says that if you have more than one image, The engagement is increasing and the conversion is increasing. Numbers said that around six or seven is the sweet spot of how many visual you need per visual. Create six or seven.

That's a great tip there. 

Claus Lauter: You said you can change images very quickly on the fly storewide. For specific occasions like Christmas or whatsoever, how does that work? , what's, are the steps involved? 

Yair Adato: You choose your product, you go for the prompt. You say, I need it for Christmas, and you get it for Christmas.

As simple as that. The nice thing about the generative AI is that, what you get. If you'll ask something, I want this product, on the outdoor environment with the forest in the background. This is what the system will generate Now. What we do, which is a little bit different, we make sure that your product will keep exactly the same.

We don't want to change your product cause this is what we sell. And you don't want to create a gap there, but the background will be different. Now keep in mind that this is not a template because when we generate the background, we generate also shadowing, reflection, it'll look very natural.

You need to play a little bit until you will get the result that you like. But we see, stores that once they get it, they become addicted to that. It's really nice to see that. 

Claus Lauter: No, I can totally understand that. It , becomes addictive very, very quickly. When you said, the images that the merchants already have, and then you're basically changing them, does that have any impact on copyrights and all of these trademarks?

How does that work from the legal side of things? 

Yair Adato: this is actually a very good question. I didn't thought we covered that. One of the issue with generative AI is everything related to the problem it raised with. Ethical ai, responsible ai, copyright safety bias. There is a very long list of, how to do it the right way.

What we do with Bria, which is a very different model, we develop this generative platform, visual generative platform. In a way that it's spec copyright. All of the visual that we're using for the training is visual. That we have the right to use. We put a lot of emphasize for safety, for bias, for, firmness.

This generative AI is huge revolution. If we will have time, maybe we can talk. While it's that big revolution, you need to implement that in a very, very responsible way. , get images, getti images is one of the, project that we have, with the company, and they're actually one of our investors also as a startup.

, and what we do, we partners with many companies that give us the data for training, and we have. Very sophisticated way to pay attribution we needed. So in that way, using in our system is safe. People will start to ask themself when we see more and more generative ai, people will start to ask themself, is the system safe?

Is this system respect? Copyright is the system respect artists and creators. And I think that it'll be more and more, important in the next, few months. 

Claus Lauter: Yeah, I think it's a very important aspect there. As you said, technology came in so fast, everyone was surprised everyone knew that it would come, but it just came in so quickly that people are, and I think that , the legal, , side of things will slowly catch up, and then it's good to be on the safe side in the first place.

Now you have a Shopify app. Tell me a little bit more about that. How does that work? How does the implementation work? 

Yair Adato: I just want to say something about what you just mentioned. , I saw generative air for the first time in 2014, and I knew that I'm going to have a startup with this, , technology.

We, the startup three years ago. No one knows about it. Investor asked me what the hell you think you are doing with genetic ai and. For the first time in the last 20 years that, I'm a tech guy, the technology involved and improved much faster than everyone even thought it would be or participated.

And it just emphasized the need for everyone from a store owner to a small store owner in New Jersey to Nike to adopt this technology really fast because the one that will not adopt this technology will stay behind. And it's emphasized the , two things, the responsible part and the adoption part.

Claus Lauter: No, that's very, very true. And then I think the, ethics about or behind ai, should be in the mind , of everyone who's using them. But I'm a big fan of ai. but I'm also aware that you need to be picky what kind of AI you use in your business. You need to be aware of what kind of results you want to achieve with AI and not just blindly use it and become addictive.

And then you have a time was in, in your business, which doesn't really help you there. , Let's talk about the app. 

Yair Adato: We try to create it in a very simple and user-friendly way. You can upload a product or you can choose a product from your catalog.

You can remove the background. The background removal is, by the way, for free. This is not what we do. We do the generation. And then you can also decide that you want to generate a new background for this product to place it in a different environment. And again, there is many reason why you want to do that.

You want to do that because of a campaign. You want to do that To adopt it to a different, , event or to a different, location or subgroup or something like that. And the idea is that it'll encourage, a user to engage more with your product.

It'll help them to visualize better how the product might look like in their, environments. , Does it make sense? 

Claus Lauter: Absolutely. Now we were talking about product pictures mainly, but a lot of content creators obviously need also more visuals for blog posts and other things. Seeing from your website that is something obviously that your app or that your solution can do, tell me a little bit what's the whole range of images that you can create with, Priya?

Yair Adato: use cases to take the product and to create from the product and add to place it in a different aspect ratio. And then you can use it in social or in mail or something like that. And when you can take the product and create a full image on that.

Some copies, some text, and maybe call to action. It'll give you something very strong, which again, until today was l was limited , to marketing teams and to, big, brands. with budget now it's very easy to do that. We still didn't implement that in the Shopify app.

You can register in a waiting list, if you want to do that. But if someone want to try it, he can go to, upload the image there, not in Shopify, directly in and create it. And even more than that, if someone wants to join, the better email me and I will, add into the plan.

The idea behind technology is to create automation. At the end of the day, this is all. What we do when we implement new technology, the generative AI help you to create automation, which eventually creates something new.

This is why it's that a big revolution in the context of the visual. It can help you to create new ads, new campaign, new social material, new market marketing collaterals and this is the reason why it's so powerful. 

Claus Lauter: Yeah, and I think the good point that you mentioned there, just streamline it.

Processes. , I don't think it will necessarily take jobs away. I think a good graphic designer will be still in business. They will just have one more tool that they can use to work more efficient. Now, talking about the different formats that you can get. What graphic format, like Photoshop or whatever.

What can you export out of your solution? 

Yair Adato: So you cannot ex export jpeg. You can export all of the standout, image, you can also export that as a Photoshop if you want to continue to work on that in a different, tool. uniquely.

When we have an image, and think here about a standard image, maybe a getti image as a stock image or , that natural image that someone upload, we delaying the image to the background, to the present, or to the object, to the text, and to the brand. And then we can modify each one of them. And because we delaying and modify each one of them, it's very easy to do that.

There is no pixel editing. It's just by, interface or a text. And we can export that as a layer to Photoshop. If you're a designer and you want to continue to improve the result on Photoshop, you can do that. 

Claus Lauter: Okay. No, that's very interesting. Tell me a little bit about the pricing structure.

How is that working? 

Yair Adato: We believe that this technology is going to be very useful in the way that people. Automate the visual process or the supply chain of creative or the catalog. So we try to limited barriers there to put as little as possible. And we try to avoid of pie structure that you don't really know how much you're going to pay at the end of the month.

So usually we put just a flat fee. Not that expensive. It's few dollars for the basic capabilities, per month when you can use it as many time as you want. Even if you will go to our, web tool, the ai, which has the full capabilities and stock images, et cetera. use it how much you want to use it, and that's it.

It's unlimited. 

Claus Lauter: Okay. That's obviously a good, , start for somebody who wants to try it out. Now you're an expert on that, and I wanna pick your brain a little bit on what's happening in the next 12 months. What do you think, where does the train go when it comes to ai? , in the e-commerce space? 

Yair Adato: Wow.

I think that we will see a lot more of personalized and customized e-commerce and campaign. There's no reason that. I will see the same campaign that my wife is seeing and that people in, Europe and people in Philippines will see the same, catalog. up until today it was very expensive.

Our wider return of investment was not worth it. Now we can do that with an ai, it's become worth it. So I think that we'll see much more customized than personalized e-commerce. For example, yesterday we launched, it's McKen with Unilever Launch a campaign where, a user can upload his visual and get his profile, his image and get a new image out of it like a superhero.

, it's a campaign that they have with some of the Unilever brain, but Generatively enabled this type of, new campaign, a new way to think about marketing. So we will see a lot of new idea of how marketing should look like, and unfortunately, we will see a lot of very boring, average automatic, campaigns that, other generative AI platform will do.

With no, uh, creative person between us. Someone, that take a look what happened and some of the, content that we will see will be just really average. So I'm echo what you said earlier. It's not going to replace the designer. It's not going to replace content creator.

It's not going to replace the store owner that knows exactly his product, his store, his audience. It's just going to. increase their capabilities to do more? 

Claus Lauter: I think we are on the same page there. Nobody should fear ai. It is a helpful tool. , I think the best way is to approach it with a goal in mind and then pick the right tools to get it implemented into your business.

Now you said, Bria AI is your website. Where else can people 

Yair Adato: find you? So ai, this is the web tool that they can, , play around. We have the Shopify app. They can try it. We give a lot of credit to use it for free , remove background is for free for. Always generative, background.

You need to play with that a little bit we are now implemented an another, tool for Figma. maybe it's another thing that we will see in the next, few months, we will see more and more companies use this capabilities, and in many cases will be Bria and other startups like Bria behind the scene.

For example, with Getty, Everything that you will see generative AI with getti, it's actually going to be brilliant. Okay. 

Claus Lauter: No, that sounds really interesting. I will put links in the show notes as always. Then you just one click away and it makes it easy for our listeners to find you. Thanks so much for giving us an overview.

We will see a lot of movement in the next couple of months, it comes to there. And I think merchants who start early will be ahead of the curve when it comes to their business. Thanks so much for 

Yair Adato: your time. Bye bye. Thank you very much.