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Artificial Intelligence in Retail – 10 Present and Future Use Cases

Artificial intelligence in retail is being applied in new ways across the entire product and service cycle—from assembly to post-sale customer service interactions, but retail players need answers to important questions: Which AI applications are playing a role in automation or augmentation of the retail process?

While many AI applications have yielded increased ROI—this case study of AI in retail marketing segmentation is one example—others have been tried and failed to meet expectations, shining a light on barriers that still need to be overcome before such innovations become industry drivers.

Additionally, the AI creation spent time at hip apparel store the Ave, where the retailer experienced a 98% increase in customer interactions, a 20% increase in foot traffic and a 300% increase in revenue.

New England-based Boch Automotive also employed Conversica software, which it attributed to a an average 60-sale increase per month at one Toyota dealership.  It’s no longer a secret that IBM’s Watson is providing a slew of order management and customer engagement capabilities to eCommerce retailers. In 2016, 1-800-Flowers.com launched Gifts When You Need (GWYN), which the company calls an AI gift concierge.

1-800-Flowers Chris McCann spoke to Digiday, noting that within two months, 70% of online orders were completed through GWYN.  Above is an example of the North Face’s conversational interface, which prompts users with a series of questions related to their purchase. It’s safe to say that similar systems like the one above could be built with simple if-then rules, and no machine learning whatsoever.

General Electric’s (GE) Brilliant Manufacturing software, in part inspired by GE’s relationships with client manufacturing companies over the past two decades, was designed to make the entire manufacturing process—from design to distribution and services—more efficient and hence save big costs over time.

An operational supervisor sitting behind a computer can now identify in real-time a floor-based problem that arises in workflow, rather than spending time making time-consuming walkthroughs of entire manufacturing facilities.

ability to adjust to real-time environmental conditions and adjust motion can (according to Fanuc) result in up to 15 percent cycle-time improvements in spot welding.  Once the robot’s learning process is complete (about 18 cycles later), the sensor is removed and the trained robots are then able to complete a task autonomously.

Tesla has employed about 600 Fanuc robots at its factory in Fremont, and according to Bloomberg Businessweek put in a significant order for more robots back in September 2016 in an effort to speed manufacturing efforts for the next slated delivery of its Model 3 in July 2017.

In July 2016, Amazon announced its partnership with the UK government in making small parcel delivery via drones a reality.  The company is working with aviation agencies around the world to figure out how to implement its technology within the regulations set forth by said agencies.

Similar to Domino’s DRU concept, it seems possible that autonomous delivery of goods and food by air could be rolled out at scale within the next decade.  Amazon’s touted brick-and-mortar locations, known as Amazon Go, employ check-out-free technology that allow customers to shop and leave  Customers use the Amazon Go app to check in, but thereafter the entire shopping experience is designed to be automated.

Fraud and payment security are a massive area of AI investment, and there are plenty of fraud / security companies worth looking at. Sift Science is one of many companies applying machine learning to detecting user and payment fraud –

 Our retail executive guests using AI expect that the relatively stodgy committees in these large companies is likely to be extremely critical, safe, and bottom-line focused (for more insights from machine learning industry executives, visit our AI podcast interviews channel).

Role of Artificial Intelligence in Retail Industry

When we are praising AI and its role for transforming Retail, it is wise to validate the praise too- For understanding the need for AI in Retail, here are some reasons stating why retailers are turning towards AI- When one questions what are the benefits of artificial intelligence, below is a list of companies as examples that are showcasing how AI created a benchmark for them along with making their strong presence in the market among users.

As per the report presented by IBM which surveyed 1900 retail and consumer product companies that too across 23 countries, 85% of the retail companies are planning to implement automation for the supply chain by the year 2021.

Tech giant Amazon was the first company that has explored the potential of AI in the early 2000s and around 35% of the company’s sales showed a great high in the graph due to AI innovations.  There are many more examples in the list that made can us awestruck, so without further ado, let’s check how Artificial Intelligence in retail industry will get a transformation.

Product sold at a lower price than the MAP is the sign that business is badly affecting by market force and thus lowers the reputation of a brand in the eyes of the customers.  On the other hand, tracking sellers who violate MAP protocol is another required task to follow.

M do use AI for analyzing store returns, receipts, and loyalty cards in order to predict future demand whereas, on the other hand, Morrisons partnered with BlueYonder, one of the leading AI solutions providers for optimizing stock forecasting and replenishment across its 491 stores is making the use of AI.  Artificial Intelligence in retail industry can also help in determining the price by identifying the outcomes of different pricing strategies in order to choose the best one.

The algorithm tags products and sorts them into different product categories in order to display things that a customer is looking for.  The process shows how AI and machine learning work together to offer great results in the end while enhancing the overall experience for the users.

There are numerous brands like Kohl’s, Tesco, Costco, Walmart, Target uses either Amazon or Google AI-based technology and smart devices for serving customers.  With the help of voice search, customers can simply add things they want to have in their shopping bag along with knowing estimated arrival time and current delivery status.

AI certainly opening gates for mobile app development companies too for developing such applications.  No doubt, employing robots and AI-powered technology in stores will help in diminishing lines along with reducing the number of employees required while saving the operational costs too.

Platforms like Personali makes it easy for retailers to leverage behavioral pattern of users while reaching customers with an individual approach.  iBeacon is another concept that is also reshaping the future of Retail marketing in a great way.  This is all about how the integration of Artificial Intelligence in retail market is changing the retail section be it in the form of applications or be it in the form of other devices.

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