The Fresh Market is working with its longtime marketing partner, Firework, to pilot the video-commerce platform’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) engine, the two companies announced Wednesday.
The beta release of the new patent-pending technology will let shoppers ask questions and get sophisticated, real-time answers in The Fresh Market’s in-video chat feature. Shoppers can use the chat feature during real-time videos as well as after the livestream has concluded, the companies noted.
Viewers will be able to ask questions such as, "What is the recipe for the salad being made in this video?” and the AI chatbot will list the ingredients.
“The new AI engine makes use of a large language model (LLM), can understand and respond in a wide range of languages, and can be customized to reflect each brand's unique voice,” the press release stated.
The new technology will be available on The Fresh Market’s website and its shoppable video live commerce retail media network. "Our customers are looking to engage with our brand in real time, both online and in store," said Kevin Miller, chief marketing officer at The Fresh Market, in a statement. "With Firework's generative AI technology, we can be certain that customers will receive prompt, friendly and personalized support whenever they choose to engage with our video commerce content."
Miller could not immediately be reached for further comment on the technology.
The tech gives more flexibility to shoppers who might not have been able to attend the livestream, according to Firework CTO Rick Zhuang.
"What sets video commerce apart from other media is the potential for immersive, interactive customer experiences," said Zhuang in a statement. "But, traditionally, the moment a livestream ended, a significant portion of that interactivity was lost. Now, with our generative AI-powered livestreams, shoppers can enjoy personalized, real-time interactivity and support no matter when they choose to watch. As a result, our customers can get even more lifetime value out of the video commerce content they create—transforming on-demand video into always-on, interactive experiences."
The Fresh Market joins a number of other grocers and delivery services working to incorporate artificial intelligence into their marketing and workflow plans. Instacart is working with OpenAI, developer of ChatGPT, to develop an artificially intelligent chatbot that can advise shoppers on orders, recipes and more.
The Fresh Market is among the first grocers to release the AI tech on its website, but its not likely to be the last, according to a Grocery Doppio report issued in early March. That report showed that 67% of grocers have discussed Chat GPT over the past year, and more than four out of five (82%) believe they will need to begin using AI in order to compete moving forward.
The move into artificial intelligence is not the Greensboro, North Carolina-based grocer’s first move toward enhancing its video content. In early March, The Fresh Market published the first issue of The Magazine, an online-only publication that enables interactive shopping. The publication also includes video content with recipes and material for shoppers.