THE YES: Reimagining the Future of E-Commerce with Artificial Intelligence (AI)
THE YES, a multi-brand shopping app launched in May 2020 offered a new type of buying experience for women's fashion, driven by a sophisticated algorithm that used data science and machine learning to create and deliver a personalized store for every shopper, based on her style preferences, size, and budget. When a woman downloaded THE YES app, she embarked upon an interactive shopping journey that leveraged a fun, easy, gamified user experience (UX) reminiscent of dating apps to collect a stream of data from her that could be used to dynamically curate an ever-changing product assortment just for her. The founders had to decide whether to continue developing the UX and the algorithm to deliver on the company's customer value proposition, or to focus on new customer acquisition via paid media, with the idea that more users on the app improve the algorithm's performance. Several ideas for further monetizing the platform were on the table, including the development of social shopping features to make the shopping experience more viral, the design of an influencer program to bring fashion influencer voices onto the platform, and the construction of a customer loyalty program. Should THE YES invest in improving the algorithm, enhancing the UX with new functionality, or on customer acquisition?