Hackathon, Product discovery, personalization

In With The New: The Rosetta AI Hackathon

3-day drive delivers 3 new product discovery features for fashion & beauty ecommerce
Photo of our Content Strategist, Ian McKinnon
Ian McKinnonJanuary 11th 20234 min read

For just over 5 years now Rosetta AI has helped websites in APAC and beyond to increase average order value and convert more sales at every stage of the customer journey.

The two main products at work are based on proprietary AI Visual Preference Analytics, and which feature our unique Hesitant Customer Detection system.

Overall, the name of the game is product discovery, especially for SMB fashion and beauty brands looking to improve both their bottom line and the customer experiences of their VIP shoppers.

Visual AI Preference Analytics

Seeing what shoppers see in what they love to buy

Looking forward

This past December, CEO Daniel Huang called on all members of Rosetta AI look forward and imagine new product discovery features that would compliment our current line-up of website plugins.

Daniel proposed a list of new ideas related to onsite search for the Hackathon and 3 were chosen by a company-wide vote on Slack.

Teams and team work

The dates for a Hackathon were set for Thursday December 1st until the 3rd and teams were decided by which product each person chose.

However, there were some last minute team trades to balance the teams. This was important because Daniel wanted each team to include all the necessary functional roles:

  • Marketers/Sales/CSM to plan the go-to-market strategy
  • Annotators to help the data preparation
  • ML Engineer for the modeling
  • Designers to ideate the user flow and user interface
  • B2E and F2E to implement and realize it

People in Taipei came into the office, remote ladies and gentlemen joined online. A giant order of junk food, sugary beverages and beer was ordered. Pizza and fried chicken was ordered. And then the Hackathon began.

The teams got together and worked some long hours over the three days.

Theme of the hackathon: rethinking product discovery for fashion & beauty ecommerce

Product discovery is a crucial feature for any ecommerce website, but it's especially important for fashion and beauty websites, where customers are super picky about the specific styles, products and brands they're looking for.

A website can make product discovery easier with recommendations but shoppers still search proactively and the quality of the onsite search matters.

If customers can quickly find the products they are looking for it helps improve their overall shopping experience and increase the chances of them making a purchase.

Additionally, if the onsite search experience can help surface products that the customer may not have otherwise known existed, the surprise factor kicks in and it can make a big difference.

The feeling of delight a shopper feels when they find something they like but didn't expect often leads to a sale. That emotional charge of the "surprise find" motivates people to open their wallets happily.

Enjoyment is another factor. If the search is fun, shoppers will keep at it and come back for more.

So online search, if done right, can be surprising and fun. But a big part of making that happen relies on personalization of the search results. If the customer's taste, history and interests are known, search results can lead to these pleasant experiences and make online search more effective as a tool for product discovery.

Onsite search can also help to reduce bounce rates and improve the overall usability of the website. A good onsite search feature can make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and increase the chances of them converting into paying customers.

What were the three new ideas?

They're related to online search but the juicy details about the innovations we've thought up are top secret for now! We'll be sharing them with current clients and beta testing them in Q1.

For now, everyone is hard at work and planning to launch in late spring. Here's another hint: the new products will not just help ecommerce merchants but their shoppers and indeed the fashion & beauty industry at large.

So stay tuned, as the products develop we'll return to this topic and post again!

CEO: hackathon was cool beans

Daniel left an encouraging message on Slack the next day, adorned with cool beans and trophy emoji.

Positive feedback all around

We sent out a Typeform and got more encouraging feedback from everyone, although it looks like someone wasn’t pumped to work on Saturday.

Team award

We voted on best team and the top two got a team trip to a fancy hotel in Beitou, the hot spring mountain on the north side of Taipei.

MVP: Cynthia

We also voted on the most valuable player and it ended up being the supremely likable UI & Visual Designer, Cynthia, who narrates our Shopify onboarding.

Future plans

The hackathon ideas are still in development and we’re keeping the timeline under wraps for now. In time though these search features for product discovery will be added to the Rosetta AI web app. For SMB Fashion & Beauty brands and even larger enterprise clients, the plugins will be available on a subscription basis. A new Shopify app or possibly an app on another platform is also likely.

Final thoughts

Now, over a month after the first ever Rosetta AI hackathon, we’re all thinking back on it fondly. We got a little out of our comfort zone for a few days and worked some long hours with a single focus. But that small sacrifice paid off and now we have some new products cooking that the whole company understands from the ground up.

Being a “hacker” has become a complicated claim to make nowadays. There is definitely some shade on the term. But for CEO Daniel Huang, being a “hacker, not a coder” is in his blood and it’s in the DNA of Rosetta AI. It’s literally spelled out on one of the original Rosetta AI swag t-shirts from back in 2021!

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