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Transcript Blog- Revuze: Using AI to Discover New Trends During COVID-19

On this episode of Industry Insights by SAP, Josephine Monberg interviews Alon Ghelber, CMO at Revuze. Revuze uses data and self-learning AI to analyze trends and understand consumer behavior in various industries. Listen now to hear about new trends occurring in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Josie: (00:04) 
Welcome to the industry insights by SAP podcast series. My name is Josephine Monberg and I am your host. You are now listening to the COVID 19 special edition of our show. Welcome to our podcast. Hi everyone. And looking to this episode of our podcast today. I’m very, very excited, excited because I am joined by Alon Ghelber​, who’s the CFO of a very, very interesting company called Revuze. And I’m not going to tell you guys what the company does because I’m going to let Alon do that, but I’ll tell you that it’s really interesting. We’re going to get a lot of insights about what’s going on during or right now during COVID 19 and the different trends that we’re seeing in the industry all based on data. So I’ve given you a little bit of a teaser, but we’re reveal anymore. And before we get into it, Alon, thank you so much for being with us today.  
 
Alon: (01:04) 
Thank you.  
 
Josie: (01:05) 
So Alon, what does it mean to be the CMO at Revuze and what does Revuze do? What’s, what’s so special about you guys?  
 
Alon: (01:17) 
So what we do is, um, we take the power of, uh, of our self-learning, uh, AI, um, which is quite, quite a unique, breakthrough in the tech world. So, um, what we do is we have a pretty much a machine which teaches itself to analyze and extract consumer sentiment from, uh, online quotes. Um, and what we do is we source through a lot of data from eCommerce websites through internal data, like call centers, surveys and analyzed, uh, open ended questions to understand what customers think about products and even features within, um, a single product. Um, what we also do is, since we are gathering a lot of data from publicly available sources, we’re able to get benchmark data on the entire industry and run competitive analysis and compare products, brands, sentiment, um, et cetera, uh, on various industry and, and multiple languages. Um, the beauty of it is it’s self-learning. So we only have to train the data set once and then it automatically evolves. Um, so this is why we are the first solution to be industry agnostic, language agnostic, and we don’t need any humans to train to train the machine, which is, um, on the AI standpoint is where the most money is thrown at you. You have to get people to train the AI. Um, and eventually it’s doing a great job, but it costs a lot of money to do.  
 
Josie: (03:11) 
Yes, always more money involved when humans are involved and you’re the CMO at the company. So what do you do on a daily basis?  
 
Alon: (03:19) 
So my, my main challenge is is to educate the market, um, and establish how we do it. No one actually believes that this is, that is achievable. Um, and a lot of people, especially in the retail and commerce side, um, they are all focused about things they know about estimators to consumer sentiment, like net promoter score or customer satisfaction index and other indexes that were invented in order to give some estimates or to what their customers think about their product or about their brand. Um, and they also are aware of service and they know that it takes a lot of time and effort to run surveys. Um, so they do it once, once a quarter, once a year. Um, and they quite hesitate to, to, to realize that they can actually monitor the sentiment and the voice of the customer towards even specific features within a specific product. Um, so, but once they understand that, that it’s actually doable, um, then the CMO is really easy cause they’re there, the need is there and no one actually understand that it’s achievable. And once they do, uh, these stories is pretty much therefore,  
 
Josie: (04:50) 
mm. Well SAP clearly believes in you because we, I believe SAP invested in us, part of our startup, uh, program, right. I called IO. Is that, can you tell us a little bit about your journey with SAP? And then I also know that you’ve been working with Qualtrics, which is a company that SAP acquired, very focused on what we call experience management, all about figuring out what the human experiences and how it can be managed and measured by companies to better optimize whatever experience a company provides. Tell us a little bit about SAP involvement and your partnership with Qualtrics just quickly.  
 
Alon: (05:31) 
So the thing is that SAP actually came to us. They had a team that monitored our online activity and studied our technology, uh, and they invited us to meet with their CTO. Um, and after they had a meeting with, uh, with our founder and, and uh, and our CTO, and bother the CEO, uh, they decided they want to invest in us. And since then they are in constant contact with us. They’re introducing us to SAP teams and customers all over the world. Um, and we’re doing some joint partnership where, um, SAP, uh, is the leader and we enrich the data, uh, SAP customers have, uh, with, with our consumer sentiment and with our voice of customer solution. Um, and this is something that is done on a, on a daily basis, almost a daily basis with, uh, with our sales, marketing and, and, um, upper management. And the Qualtrics part is where in, in investigating how we can use our AI in order to enrich and extract, um, sentiment and topics, uh, from call center and survey data, uh, and offer another value to an additional value to the Qualtrics customers in SAP’s customers.  
 
Josie: (07:06) 
So exciting. I’m so glad that we are partnering with you guys because this is really an area that requires a lot of investment and I really truly believe that this is where the future is. So in the beginning of, um, of the podcast, I promise our listeners, we’re going to talk about trends and data and what’s going on right now in our current global pandemics. So I think you’ve been looking a bit at different trends using your technology in terms of what’s going on under Kovac. So can you tell us a little bit more about what you’re seeing?  
 
Alon: (07:43) 
Yeah. Um, so because we are, ha, we have a look at entire industries and we want it to hundreds of brands and tens of thousands of products within every category, we can get an understanding of, of what customers think and how consumer tastes change over, over this period of time. Um, and we do see a lot of changes, um, especially in the U S market where people are forced to not be loyal to their favorite grants. It’s all about of item availability. People will buy whatever is there for them. You’ve seen, we’ve all seen the, the photos of empty shelves on the market. So when someone goes into the, to the supermarket or goes on Amazon, um, or other eCommerce websites, they buy whatever is available. Um, and what they are, what we see is that they are quite happy with, uh, with Brandless products.  
 
Alon: (08:51) 
Um, and it’s, and it’s a going on. And what we witnessed is, you know, when people go on Amazon or, um, or an eBay or other online marketplaces, they buy it because, because of not the brand itself, if I, because of Amazon’s name, Amazon’s customer service, the fact that you can return, uh, items without going to store, uh, and the react fast. And we see new upcoming brands, which are different. There are manufacturers, uh, who decided to tap into voice of customer data, understand what their consumer thing and, and what are their needs. Uh, and, and it’s something that we see that the best selling products on our eCommerce platforms are actually non-branded. Uh, and, and when we do calls with, with, um, with our customers and we explain to them what people think about the product. Um, so there is always, um, there are two things that we always talk about. So one is when we talk about people in the coffee industry, everyone thinks that, you know, the taste is the most important thing. And we actually figured it out that it’s actually not even in the top five. It’s somewhere between seven to 10, um, top discussed topics. And same for vacuum cleaners. You know, people think that it’s all about suction power and weight. But no, it’s actually, uh, the hose length.  
 
Josie: (10:34) 
really wait. So I have to ask you if taste is the most important thing when it comes to coffee. Do you know what is the most important thing? Did you figure that out?  
 
Alon: (10:44) 
Yeah, so, so we figured out, uh, I’ve actually made a report for the top, uh, topics in Q1 2019 and in Q1 2020. So, um, taste, uh, wasn’t even in the top 10, uh, in, in Q1 2019. Um, it was under the most discussed topic was functionality then is a fuse cleanability, design. And the quality of, of, uh, of the product, um, and test was only the 11 most. Yeah,  
 
Josie: (11:25) 
I think this is a, this is revolutionizing the entire coffee industry, this kind of data.  
 
Alon: (11:33) 
And actually in, in Q1 this year, which is, you know, mainly they, it will always be remembered as the quarter of the corona virus. So there are a lot of changes. Uh, we saw a difference in volume, in discussion, volume of average, uh, between 40 to 111% increase. So for example, quality is no longer important, but steaming and uh, and milk troughing is important. It, it’s 200% more important and in volume and sentiment because well, people are at home, they can go to their coffee shop, uh, and they want to have like a, they want to have their cafeteria at home. Um, and so is that design the design was the six most important topic and now it’s 10th most important topic. Cleanability uh, is number three and there are only the only two who remained the same is functionality and ease of use.  
 
Josie: (12:43) 
Really. So do you, when you ha you get all these insights based on data, do you have examples of your customers that you’ve helped reimagine or, and maybe not reimagine, but I guess replan their strategy for how they reach consumers based on the, the data that’s telling them how the consumer behavior is changing?  
 
Alon: (13:07) 
Yeah. So we work with a lot of home appliances, uh, brands, uh, and they use our data in to, to understand that the trending topics, what’s going on, what people talk about, which he words do, they use, how they phrase it, how they phrase their reviews, um, and what it talks about. And then to go and do a brainstorming and come up with new products or make small evolutions to existing products and to their listings in order to improve and come up with better ways to improve their sales. And also hit consumer sentiment because a satisfied customer has high alert lifetime value. And we do see a lot of our customers who actually use our data. Um, and, and the trend is going on specifically in the, in the coffee, in the coffee industry, consumer shift into making coffee at home. Uh, and I’m not sure that it, you know, when people understand that they can make good coffee at home, some of them will continue  
 
Josie: (14:26) 
coffee shops. So it’ll be a more longterm trend beyond covid 19. And we are, I mean, this podcast is called industry insights by SAP. So we obviously have a strong focus on industries. Do you have, do you see any specific industry trends that have emerged under covid 19?  
 
Alon: (14:47) 
Yeah, so we see a huge shift in industry, uh, in, in home appliances if are buying Breadmakers, uh, air fryers, a lot of changes happening in the cosmetics world. Uh, we see a decrease at quite a decrease, which is a trend. Men are growing beards and, uh, and it’s something that we see and we see a decrease on the sales of Frasers, uh, but an increase in the sale of oils, uh, for, you know, maintaining the beard. On the other hand, we see a lot of, uh, hair removal products for, for ladies and, and waxing and so on. And we actually see some, a lot of quotes saying that, uh, saying that I will not go to the medics, medics shops again. And she just learned again, I can do it at hand. I can call my hair at home. Why should I pay $200 for, for, uh, you know, for calling my hair.  
 
Alon: (15:51) 
Um, other, other imaging topics are a work from home. So, um, where I analyzed, uh, it took some time and analyzed, uh, wireless headphones, industry and people are talking more about, um, noise cancellation and is a fuse and audit quality and battery lifetime because they’re, they’re at home with their kids. Uh, the one, I have some good noise cancellation to make it work. Uh, and they, and they use the headphones for much longer. So the battery needs to be, uh, you know, survive for longer time. Um, so the industries and manufacturers that will understand that this is what the customer needs and react fast, um, will, will become the clear winners of it. Um, and also I think that some of these trends are here to stay. Um, so when you, when you get used to wireless headphones that last for, for two or three days in a row, uh, you’ll never go back. And for noise cancellations and for audit quality, same for goods, coffee at home.  
 
Josie: (17:09) 
Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t agree more with you. And I also do these, uh, right now I’m in interviewing various industry leaders at SAP where we talk about how each industry is being impacted by COVID 19, but we also talk about how in the longterm, beyond COVID these different industries, their business models will be reimagined as a result of COVID 19 and also because of the acceleration of technology. And of course I think that also has the same impact on consumer behavior. That to your point it might change under COVID, but if you look at it long term, it might be a lasting behavior. So you already touched on this, but if you could, what would you say to companies on how they can use data to better prepare for the future beyond COVID 19? Can they start using them? Can they use the data already? Now? What do they do to plan for the future? And it perhaps completely fundamentally changed consumer behavior.  
 
Alon: (18:12) 
So, so what I think is, is, is actually a revolution that, that evolve that is evolving, uh, right now. So consumers, um, understand that they can buy things online. They don’t have to, um, go on call centers because call centers are not really available. They are less brand aware, um, and, and they expect online service and they expect it right here, right now. And they don’t wanna. And when they return products, they want UPS to come and pick it up. Uh, and, and, and it’s going to change and it’s happening fast.  
 
Alon: (18:55) 
And these changes, uh, in consumer tastes, uh, will change. And they see that brands must evolve faster, release new products at a much faster pace than they used to. Um, but on the other hand, brands are going direct to consumer and when they go direct to consumer, they have more data. Um, and, and trends are evolving fast, which is good for everyone because you don’t have, you no longer have to wait six months to get enough data to create new product or to create decisions based on that product. Since everyone is buying online, they’ll leave reviews online. And when you have online reviews, you can analyze them and extract, uh, the sentiments towards everything and literally everything, even even small minute changes within products and evolve your product, evolve your marketing and those who will understand and talking the language of your customers, uh, do and, and learn, um, what their customers need, uh, and evolve will clearly win, uh, and benefit out of this, uh, this, um, this pandemic. Um, and some will unfortunately go out of business.  
 
Josie: (20:18) 
Yeah. That’s the other reality. So it’s really about right now looking at using data to look at what’s happening during COVID, what’s changing, but what is a change that’s not longterm and what are the changes that are longterm and how do we navigate accordingly so that, um, you can become a customer centric business that stated data-driven really. And I think COVID has really changed the pace for all of this. Um, so on those words, Alon, thank you so much for coming on the show and telling us about how data is really changing or how companies can use data to change their engagement and their interaction with customers. And what’s what, what’s the changing consumer behavior during COVID? So thanks so much for, uh, for sharing on the show.  
 
Josie: (21:12) 
Thank you so much and to all those. Thank you. And so all those who listen to this episode, thank you so much for listening in. Uh, hopefully I will see you on the next episode. Bye everyone and stay healthy. Thank you for listening to this episode of podcast. Please subscribe to our channel industry insights by SAP at open SAP, Apple, Spotify, or group of podcasts to learn more about what SAP is doing to help you cope in covert 19 you can go to sap.com about global health safety and find free access to select SAP software tools to support your business and much more. Stay safe. Everyone. 

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