Adopting AI Technologies in Retail

Adopting AI Technologies in Retail

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have the potential to shape the future better than any other innovation today. Businesses that have not recognized AI will find themselves feeling left behind soon.

AI and ML seemed like they were ultramodern approaches people would never be able to apply to the actual world. But now, these technologies can be seen everywhere in the field of business. AI is not always a robot but a computer with an ability or facility to think, sense, track, and follow human actions.

It creates revolutionary changes on the cycle—from assembly to post-sale customer service interactions in retail business and it is being integrated through sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) activities, manufacturing, logistics and delivery, customer recommendations payments, and payment services.

A renowned clothing retailer, Rebecca Minkoff, applied AI machine learning system to collect their client information. She leveraged “Alexa,” an AI solution produced by Amazon. At a recent conference, Uri Minkoff, the co-founder of the luxury brand, asked Amazon's Alexa a question regarding the most purchased spring collection item, and Alexa answered him in one second. Alexa is a perfect case study for machine learning with AI integration.

In another case study, major retailer Target installed a machine learning system that could identify the customers with pregnancy. The system collected data from women who registered with the company’s baby registry and predicted specific details about the status of a woman's pregnancy. The predictions helped anticipate the prenatal vitamins a woman would possibly purchase.

Walmart has taken a new initiative to practice AI in the organization with facial recognition software that possesses the ability to determine customers’ level of frustrations when they are at the check-out counter. If a customer appears with a highly frustrated face, the customer service representative can easily tackle the situation by talking to the customer and thus improving the customer service.

People thought AI and machine learning were a dream for a distant future. But now, the future is here; it is time to think about the most effective ways of integrating these technologies into today’s retail.

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