SAN MATEO, CA — January 10, 2023 — Firework, the world’s leading video commerce and engagement platform built for brands and retailers, today unveiled a powerful AI-generated video sales assistant purpose-built for commerce — AVA (short for AI Virtual Assistant). Powered by Firework’s own proprietary fine-tuned large-language model (LLM) and rendered as a lifelike, digital human avatar, AVA brings a face to e-commerce, helping brands fully transform cold e-commerce sites into connected virtual stores. Customizable and powered by adaptive intelligence, AVA serves as an always-available brand and product expert, capable of answering customers’ questions, offering guidance based on past purchase history, and even demoing products in real time — all in a way that is consistent with each Firework customer’s unique brand identity. AVA will be available to all Firework customers as of today.
Developed by Firework’s team of in-house experts, AVA represents a sea change in digital experience for both retailers and consumers. It gives retailers an edge in the market by seamlessly integrating advanced AI video technology with their websites, and catering to consumer demand for a seamless CX with prompt, customizable assistance. Consumers who miss the personal touch and guidance of in-store shopping, can enjoy the convenience of online browsing with the benefits of speaking to a digital human that can inform, recommend, and guide their purchases.
“With AVA, we are offering brands a truly transformative advantage in the marketplace,” said Firework Co-Founder and President Jerry Luk. “By seamlessly integrating our advanced AI technology with their own websites, brands can fundamentally reshape the digital customer experience — bringing the best aspects of in-store shopping online, while doubling down on the inherent advantages of ecommerce. This combination of convenience, accessibility, and personalized assistance defies traditional notions of the physical-digital divide; bringing the industry one step closer to a truly integrated customer experience.”
In developing AVA, Firework adopted a strategic approach to AI-generated content (AIGC) development — which focuses on the confluence of Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) and model fine-tuning. The result is an intelligent digital human that is uniquely suited to meet both brands’ and consumers’ growing demand for cutting-edge digital video content that is not only engaging, but also highly personalized.
It is this approach that allows AVA to grow and adapt over time — learning from a variety of inputs and information, including customer questions and feedback, engagement outcomes, sales data, and more. AVA is also able to draw upon live data — such as promotions, reviews, videos, and FAQs — to deliver accurate, informed responses to customers in real-time. Not only do these capabilities improve AVA’s performance and drive conversions, but they also give brands unprecedented visibility into the questions, concerns, and needs of their customers.
"AVA is not just an advancement in AI technology; it's a visionary step towards personalized digital commerce,” said Firework Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Yang. “With AVA, we are redefining customer engagement by providing a 24/7 virtual sales assistant that understands the unique needs of each brand and consumer. This level of personalization and real-time interaction is the cornerstone of our commitment to bring the human touch to e-commerce, ensuring that every customer's experience is not only seamless but also genuinely connected and informed."
"In a dynamic retail landscape centered on personalized digital interactions, customers crave new ways to connect with their favorite brands online," said Chris Rupp, Chief Customer Officer at Victoria’s Secret & Co. “Emerging technologies such as Firework’s AVA are poised to offer a uniquely approachable digital shopping experience, mirroring the welcoming touch of being in a physical store, reimagined for the online consumer.”
In addition to being independently adaptive, AVA will continue to be trained and refined at the model level. Firework’s ongoing AI innovation efforts have also benefited from their collaboration with Google Cloud, which has brought together Google Cloud’s retail innovation team and Firework to accelerate testing, prototyping and go-to-market initiatives using Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform — an AI platform for the development and training of AI and machine learning models.
“With AVA, Firework is showing that AI has the ability to humanize and personalize the online shopping experience in ways most never thought possible.” said Chris Colyer, Head of Retail Industry Partnerships at Google Cloud. “We’re excited to see how our partners such as Firework are utilizing Google Cloud’s AI to build impactful tools, and bring tangible value to retailers, empowering them to forge deeper connections with their customers.”
“Firework's AVA transforms the essence of online shopping, turning each click into a human-centered interaction. It is a stellar example of how AI can redefine online shopping and foster genuine human connection,” said Tamar Kosowsky, Investment Vice President at SoftBank Investment Advisers. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led Firework’s Series B funding round. Kosowsky continued: “Through their unwavering dedication to innovation, Firework continues to be a trailblazer in reshaping the e-commerce landscape and we are excited to support their vision.”
To learn more about AVA and see it in action for yourself, visit firework.com/solutions/ava.
Firework is the world's leading video commerce and engagement platform built for brands. Leveraging interactive short video, digital showroom, and game-changing one-to-one live shopping solutions, Firework empowers the world's most dynamic and exciting retailers, consumer brands, and publishers to build engaging video experiences on their owned and operated digital properties and across channels at a global scale. Firework enables organizations to bring new levels of authenticity and connection to online video experiences, speaking to digital natives in the language they understand fully—and taking control of their own customer data. The company employs over 300 professionals across 38 countries and has raised over $235 million in capital to date. To learn more, please visit firework.com.