The world’s first AI marketing employee for e-commerce stores is ready for hire

And it works for free.

Dan Stearn
Mar 7, 2019 · 6 min read
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On a mild Thursday afternoon in a Costa Coffee in Chichester, England, on 12 December 2013, we held the first discussions for the creation of Pathfinder — an AI employee that would do marketing for humans.

It had a different name then, and a much smaller scope, but the basic question was the same as it is today:

Moreover,

How can we help small teams compete with big teams, when today’s staff are more over-worked than ever before?

How can we make marketing more accessible, when today’s marketing stacks are more complicated than ever before?

How can we help online stores compete on any budget, when top marketing talent is more in-demand (and more expensive) than ever before?

Put differently,

What would happen if every online store had access to an AI marketing workforce… that designed campaigns in MINUTES not months… was an EXPERT in advanced marketing automation… and worked for FREE until it proved its value to the business?

Well, today, we move one step closer to answering that question.

After more than 5 years of research, development and training…

after 18 months of intensive BETA testing…

after 65MM+ messages written/sent…

Pathfinder, our AI marketing employee, is ready for hire! :)

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It works like this.

Pathfinder first learns about your store by connecting via an extension and asking questions:

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Pathfinder currently integrates with Shopify and Magento stores, with more platforms coming later this year.

Then, after 10–15 minutes of initial set up and training, Pathfinder can be “hired” to do various marketing jobs.

How do you give jobs to Pathfinder you ask? You do it by turning on “skills”:

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Turn on “skills” to give Pathfinder jobs you want to hand over. Think of it as Alexa meets Marketo.

Skills represent specific jobs you can “hire” Pathfinder to complete.

Your first 2 skills are free and we have 3 skills ready so far in total. They are:

  • Reduce abandoned checkouts
  • Upsell customers after a purchase
  • Recover lost customers

Once a “skill” is turned on, Pathfinder takes full responsibility for the job. This means:

  • 1) It advises on strategy. Pathfinder suggests marketing ideas suitable for your business and consults with you through a chatbot.
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Answer simple questions to help Pathfinder decide how it should be marketing.
  • 2) It designs marketing materials in the style of your brand. Pathfinder builds campaigns, customer journey workflows, emails, forms, pop-ups, web notifications, banners, promo codes and other materials to market your store, and pushes them live with your approval. No other marketing tools are necessary. No code or tech skills are necessary. No specialist marketing expertise is necessary.
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Pathfinder designs customer journeys like this for you, and writes all of the emails, web messages and promotional banners too, custom fit for your brand. Make changes if you want, then approve and push live.
  • 3) It analyses results. Pathfinder tracks results and reports the KPIs back to you. It also meticulously analyses campaign performance for insights, then comes back with suggested improvements or split tests it can run based on the results. Nifty.
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Pathfinder tracks revenue and success rates of every campaign so you can see exactly how it is contributing to your store’s bottom line. Better yet, it learns from what’s working and what’s not, so the longer you use it, the smarter it gets!

Don’t worry. You’ll always get final say over what goes to market, and you can change anything Pathfinder builds for you if you don’t like what it comes up with. But the basic idea is Pathfinder will do most of the heavy lifting and save you a bunch of time, money and effort. All that’s left to run some final checks and “push it live”.

The end result? Teams of all sizes get more done in less time.

3 more skills are coming later this year

Believe it or not, but developing airtight skills that can market any type of store… generate revenue on demand… and save marketing teams dozens of hours each week… well… it all adds up to quite a bit of work.

We had hoped to release 6 skills at launch, but the reality is we’re not quite ready to take them all out of incubation yet.

However, behind closed doors you should know that we’re already working on skills for:

  • Acquiring new customers
  • Improving customer satisfaction
  • Running holiday promotions
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A preview showing one of 10 different types of campaign the “Acquire new customers” skill can build

The good news is that all of the above are in various stages of development, and we’re working super hard to ship them in the coming months.

Talking of our pipeline…

We’ve published our public roadmap on Trello

We published our product roadmap to give you a look into what we’re working on and what we have coming up as we build Pathfinder together.

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Take a peek behind the scenes at Pathfinder HQ with our public roadmap on Trello.

Being transparent and building Pathfinder together is super important to us. Our mission is to level the e-commerce playing field and to “democratise” online marketing, so we feel like this is something we ought to be building as openly as possible.

What does it cost?

As I’ve mentioned, we want to empower small teams to compete with big teams, on any budget. That’s why Pathfinder will work for free until it’s proven its value to you.

The way this works in practice is that you can hire Pathfinder for up to two skills and 4,000 contacts, free of charge forever.

If you like what you see after that and want to set up more skills later, plans start from $179 per month depending on the size of your business, and include access to all Pathfinder skills.

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Your first 2 skills and 4,000 contacts are free for an unlimited period of time. Upgrade to a paid plan for more skills, more contacts and more advanced features

Hire Pathfinder today!

Offering Pathfinder for free is our way of “putting our best foot forward” and giving you a great first impression of Pathfinder. Our hope is that you’ll love it, it will demonstrate real value, and this will be the start of a good business relationship for years to come.

With that in mind, if you’re looking for an easier way to get customers, Pathfinder might be for you. Click here to create a free account and get your first two skills on the house. If you like it, use the money it made and saved you to set up more skills, so you never pay out of pocket!

A note on integrations…

One last thing to mention is that, at the time of writing, Pathfinder only works with Shopify and Magento stores. However, we are planning to support more e-commerce platforms later in the year, so don’t be too disappointed if you use another platform.

If you do use another platform, sign up anyway, choose your platform from the list after you register, and we’ll notify when we roll out support for your store. Each vote helps guide our decision on which integrations to roll out next (and in the meantime you’ll be able to play around with a demo store) so it’s well worth doing.

P.S. We started this blog to share e-commerce growth hacks and marketing tips, as well as document our progress and share behind-the-scenes experiences as we build Pathfinder.

There’s much more to come, so if you like the sound of that, follow us here on Medium! 😎

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Pathfinder

Voices, growth hacks and musings from the people behind…

Dan Stearn

Written by

Founder & CEO @ Pathfinder. Building an AI marketing employee that does marketing for us humans. https://pathfindercommerce.com

Pathfinder

Voices, growth hacks and musings from the people behind Pathfinder

Dan Stearn

Written by

Founder & CEO @ Pathfinder. Building an AI marketing employee that does marketing for us humans. https://pathfindercommerce.com

Pathfinder

Voices, growth hacks and musings from the people behind Pathfinder

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