What Role Does AI Play in Retail?

What Role Does AI Play in Retail?

By: Retail CIO Outlook | Tuesday, June 11, 2019

FREMONT, CA: The opportunities created by Artificial Intelligence (AI) are potentially life-changing. These are not the technologies of tomorrow, but today in the retail industry. The retail sector has found creative ways to utilize it. Some such methods are:

1. AI-Powered Visual Search

Visual search has been the most common but significant development in the e-commerce sector.

Customers can browse through options with a reference image, and the application powered by AI will suggest items that can be bought from the reference pictures, along with similar styles and colors. Some large retailers have the option to immediately re-direct consumers to the e-commerce website. Luxury brands have the option to find an outfit from a snap. The customer needs to upload a picture with outfit inspiration and similar pieces with details like availability, or material changes are shown. 

2. Stock Optimization

Although there is nothing new in keeping the store inventories filled, with the increasing e-commerce sites, there has never been a need for speed while stocking up. A popular retailer recently got on board with the AI-powered replenishment optimization tool. It takes into account an entire range of parameters, including weather forecasts and public holidays to automatically analyze sales and stock information from the retail stores. This technology is in no means limited to the grocery sector. In case of fast fashion, where numerous products in high volumes move in and out if the warehouses rarely touch shelves. 

3. The Use of Chatbots

Various large retailers use chatbots as live agents in customer service lines to assist shoppers with products. Many brands have an official AI-driven chatbot agent using microsites to cut down the browsing time. Many customers have expressed that having a chatbot is much useful than a human being. Chatbots not only cut costs but also provides support all around the clock.

4. Personalized Marketing on the go

With the refining of AI technology and intelligent systems, the application directs customers toward the stores and even specific sections inside of it. The app works with geo-location tagging to detect precise locations and guides the customers to the particular section of the retail store. It makes the smartphone a personal shopper on the go.

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