SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud Brings Facial Recognition AI to Retailing

The human face is a trove of demographic data. Using AI-enabled facial recognition, SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud helps marketers unlock that information.

SAP Facial Recognition

SAP's Hybris Marketing Cloud service is using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, machine learning particularly, to help retailers make more informed and targeted marketing decisions.

During the SAP Hybris LIVE: Global Summit event in Barcelona, the German business software giant announced on Oct. 17 an integration with SAP Leonardo that allows SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud customers to use facial recognition to help retailers promote in-store sales and bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar retailing.

Powered by SAP Leonardo's machine learning, the facial recognition system provides a foundation for intelligent and personalized shopping experiences, according to Jackie Palmer, global vice president of Strategy and Solution Management at SAP Hybris.

"SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud analyzes clues about customers to provide personalized recommendations. When a customer enters a store, the technology will capture demographic data such as eye color, hair color, sex, age, etc. as well as other factors such as what they are wearing," explained Palmer in an email exchange with eWEEK.

Capturing that data is just the start. SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud can then use that information to help shoppers find merchandise that fits their tastes and needs.

"This information is funneled into the digital kiosk/sign to offer customized product suggestions," continued Palmer. "For example, a shopper with blue eyes and a tan cardigan would be guided towards blue sweaters to match their eye color and sense of style."

The new facial recognition capabilities complement SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud's other machine learning capabilities, which help provide personalized product and offer recommendations, Palmer said. They can also supply retailers with lead scoring, churn prediction and buying propensity information, among several other insights.

Ultimately, the product helps solve a problem that many brands face today.

Despite the wealth of data that can be generated by shoppers and their interactions, capturing it and using it to create more complete customer profiles is often a struggle. By digitizing the in-store shopping experience and making it trackable for businesses—plus adding a smattering of third-party data sources—SAP's solution helps set the stage for contextually driven retail operations that are imbued with intelligence and help marketers make the right call at an opportune time.

Naturally, data privacy is a big concern, given the types and amount of data that today's technology can collect on an individual. In that regard, SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud fully supports the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the company announced. GDPR is a set of stringent privacy regulations that goes into effect in May 2018 and applies to companies doing business in the region, even if they are based elsewhere.

Also new is SAP Hybris Customer Attribution (formerly Abakus), a solution that generates accurate measurement of marketing campaigns. A new Digital Boardroom tailored to the needs of CMOs (chief marketing officers) joins the portfolio. The solution is based on SAP Digital Boardroom, a business intelligence and data visualization product for C-level executives.

On the Internet of Things (IoT) front, marketers can now use consumer IoT devices to trigger campaigns and generate personalized offers. Finally, SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud now features a WeChat integration that extends its reach into the Chinese social media application's 889 million users.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...