Keen to discover how artificial intelligence (AI) is set to shake up the retail space, IBM surveyed 1 900 retail and consumer product representatives across 23 countries. What they found was that the adoption of intelligent automation technologies within the retail industry is only set to increase. The focus of the IBM study was to look at the convergence of humans and AI in the retail industry and to explore how automation can reduce human error and improve the customer experience.
Based on feedback from the survey participants, the research identified six ways that the retail space plans to make the most of AI. These areas include.
#1 Supply chain planning (85%)
#2 Demand forecasting (85%)
#3 Customer intelligence (79%)
#4 Marketing, advertising, and campaign management (75%)
#5 Store operations (73%)
#6 Pricing and promotion (73%)
From helping customers find the perfect coat and using robots to scan shelves, to personalising skin care and creating fitting rooms of the future, AI is already been used extensively in all types of retailers across the globe.
Here is what several retail experts had to say about how AI is changing the day-to-day activities of businesses across the entire retail industry.
“AI has opened a world of possibilities for physical retail. The next few years will see continued enhancements to both customer experience and operations, especially with developments in checkout-free technology,” notes Frank Beard, convenience store and retail analyst at Boston-based tech company, GasBuddy.
“AI’s biggest benefit to retailers will be the analysis of all the wealth of data they have,” notes Chris Miglino, co-founder and CEO at Srax, a digital marketing and data management technology company.
For Matt Glickman, VP of customer and product strategy at cloud-based data-warehousing startup, Snowflake, all retailers are at risk of being disrupted right now. If you don’t develop a direct relationship with your consumers, you will not survive in world where businesses like Amazon have such a strong hold on customers. “This disintermediation is critical to get data about your customers. With this data, AI can be used to create customised recommendations and products, which is all expected from consumers today.”
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