AI-Powered Translation Boosted eBay Sales Over 10 Percent

eBay’s AI-powered translation tool worked for Spanish, French, Russian, and Italian languages.

Artificial intelligence as shown in potential in almost every domain, starting from everyday tasks to the medical sector. Multinational e-commerce company eBay added artificial intelligence to its platform in 2014, which has resulted in an increment in sales by almost 11 percent. A study was conducted by the researchers from MIT and Washington University in St. Louis. The researchers scraped data from the e-commerce platform and found out that the translation helped the buyers and sellers overcome the language barriers. The machine learning and artificial used on these e-commerce websites have helped to increase the sale.

eBay used to have automatic translation options before 2014, however, with AI it seems it has benefited the sellers vastly. The AI only affected search queries and listing titles, though no production descriptions. However, it looks like more accurate translation helped the customers to find the desired product, leading to an increase in sales. The researchers believe that other variables could have also caused this increase. eBay primarily used AI-based translation for Latin American customers to translate English into Spanish. Researchers compared this data with eBay’s rollout translation tool for French, Italian, and Russian.

They found similar results and improvements, estimating that the introduction of AI between countries is equivalent to reducing their distance from one another by 26%. Xiang Hui, a co-author on the paper said: “The problem is that it normally takes time for organizations to ramp up complementary innovations, be it organizational or technological, to harvest AI’s benefits.” He also stated that these results prove how effective tech can be if it is implemented properly. Although Google’s translation tool is more powerful and has better results than eBay’s AI-powered translation tool.