Why AI is the Next Frontier of Product Innovation

Written by
Frederik Bussler
June 25, 2021

Artificial intelligence is the next frontier for product innovation. Product teams are leveraging AI every day to innovate new products and features. At its most basic, AI is a computer system that mimics human behavior or thought processes, and it brings new capabilities to the innovation process.

There are numerous benefits to firms with an AI-enabled approach to product development and management. 

For example, with Commerce.AI's data engine, AI has scanned over a trillion data points, and can scan new product data in seconds, compared to manual analysis of today’s big data which would be completely infeasible.

It can be used for everything from product strategy, competitive strategy, market intelligence, customer experience research, and suggestions for improved product content on company websites. 

This saves both time and money spent on these tasks as well as frees up valuable resources for other vital aspects of running a business or managing an organization like finance or marketing, or more creative, human-centered innovation.

AI in Practice

Today's leading product teams are deploying AI in a number of ways.

Unilever employs AI solutions to analyze leading products and brands, interpret reasons for success, and gain recommendations for new product strategies; Suzuki uses AI to fuel prioritization of product improvement and development initiatives; Netgear turns to it to detect abnormal customer sentiment, generating millions of dollars of value in the process.

The technology is evolving and with that, so too are the roles and responsibilities of every member of the product team. From designers to developers to marketers, AI is entirely transforming the way we build products, reach our audiences, and grow our businesses.

It’s not just a buzzword—AI has evolved from being just an ingredient in otherwise successful products to being the secret sauce that fuels innovation in today’s product marketplace. Each step on the roadmap of new opportunities needs a foundational AI-first approach if it wants a chance at succeeding. New innovations can be sparked by AI’s predictive power—it uncovers hidden insights about customers, trends, and new product opportunities.

In turn, this predictive power unlocks entire new sets of possibilities for new product development, marketing campaigns, and business models alike.

This is why AI has also gained prominence among investors looking for promising companies who are further along their adoption curve than most other firms: It's clear that there are sustainable competitive advantages potentially available from adopting early.

Is Product Innovation Possible Without AI?

Great business leaders and decision-makers utilize a blend of data and intuition when making decisions. But many only have access to a few data points and a narrow view of their business, so they often solely rely on the latter. As a result, organizations are frequently not able to maximize their potential impact. Decisions made without data often come with drawbacks such as the inability to predict market changes, customer needs, and competitive threats.

AI has opened up a new frontier for innovation in the world of business decision-making; with its ability to automate the ingesting, processing and learning of copious amounts of data, it can now be used to uncover and seize opportunities that were previously invisible. 

The emergence of big data has more recently enabled machine learning algorithms to make decisions like human experts do - by looking at past experiences and applying these lessons to new situations, understanding nuances that humans cannot even detect, as well as providing continuous feedback loops so that mistakes can be corrected quickly.


Companies across the world are utilizing Artificial Intelligence in new and creative ways, whether it's deciding what features to change or even what product line to start next. These examples show the potential for AI as a driver of innovation, both now and in the future.

AI is going to be an instrumental part of how companies create new products. It'll be used for everything from determining what product will sell best and understanding customer needs better, to making machines smarter by providing them with logic and reasoning abilities. 

AI will allow machines to emulate our brains more closely than ever before, which could lead to more natural interactions between people and computers and result in far more advanced products. Considering this impact on product development, it's important for companies across all industries to understand how they can best utilize AI as part of their innovation strategy - regardless if they currently have teams dedicated solely to artificial intelligence research or not.

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