How AI is Changing the Retail Industry

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its impact on the retail industry is something we all keep hearing about. But, using the terms “predictions” suggests that the change hasn’t happened yet. Well, it would be very naïve to think that AI isn’t already changing the way businesses tap into their customer bases. AI is already playing an active role in improving and enhancing the retail industry.

Marketing company Tractica predicts that the revenue from AI, across the globe, will be way over €30 billion by 2025. One of the many factors contributing to this massive jump in revenue is AI’s ability to render job creation unnecessary. In fact, Forrester predicts that cognitive technologies, driven by development in AI and Automation, will replace 7% of the jobs in the US.

To put it simply, retail businesses will see a reduction in the labor cost and a boost in efficiency as far as shopping processes go.

Let’s take a look at how AI is changing up the retail industry.

Personalisation and Recommendations

These days most of us shop on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.  In fact, we couldn’t imagine a world without Amazon. One of the reasons why we love Amazon is because it knows exactly what a potential buyer is interested in. Amazon knows this through its recommendation engines through which Amazon can figure out what a customer’s interests are based on their past purchases and other data, making real-time targeting an actual possibility.

Apart from personalising the shopping experience, AI is also allowing sales and marketing teams to identify leads that are most likely to convert. This is possible through the analysis of data acquired at various points throughout the database. Salesforce Einstein is a good example. Salesforce Einstein is an artificial intelligence platform built right into Salesforce. Einstein AI helps make decisions faster, make employees more productive, and make customers happier using AI-powered predictions and recommendations.

Smarter Shelf Organization

Supermarkets are now charging vendors a lot of money for prime shelf space. Capturing the attention of potential customers has become truly expensive.

However, even with prime shelf space that’s been paid for, it can be difficult to compete. This is where AI-based tech can change things. Startups are currently developing solutions that track metrics such as “share of shelf” and “distribution” to give businesses a better idea of how to optimise shelf positioning.

AI is also helping stores like Walmart track stolen products.

Computer Vision

Computer Vision is already being leveraged across multiple industries. It’s having a major impact on retail, enhancing customer experiences for in-store and online shoppers. A good example would be Amazon’s Go stores, where cashiers are non-existent. Customers buy and check out the products all by themselves, while payments are made via the Amazon Pay account. The entire process is made possible because of deep learning, sensor fusion, and computer vision.

Some stores are leveraging in-store cameras, machine learning, and AI to monitor product performance and to carry out analysis for the purpose of optimising product promotion and placement.

If you would like to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and how it can be integrated with your business to improve your operations, create new efficiencies and generate value and cost savings, contact us. We can offer you solutions to all your AI and automation needs.

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