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How Artificial Intelligence Will Affect The Future Of Retail


Over the last few years, artificial intelligence technology has made inroads into a number of industries. While the end consumers may not be aware of its benefits, the retail sector is also taking advantage of artificial intelligence. Although high costs, unreachability, and proprietary systems have thwarted retailers, the largest players in the retailing have been quite active about it. Little wonder, then, AI can bring immense benefits to the actual businesses.

So how precisely can AI help retail store owners? First of all, AI technology takes a big data set about something, runs it through AI algorithms such as neural networks and then yields a model which can deliver answers like a real human. As it’s possibly understandable at this point, the dataset that AI learns from in the retail industry example, is the authentic sales data connected to the customer data. When this info is run through the machine learning procedures, an AI model is formed which gets actionable information about a business, customers and inventory which are not typically clear or recognized to the business owner. With this in mind, a retailer can do a number of things to benefit his own business.

For example, retail AI can learn about customers, their predilections and their conduct to get to know them. And, of late, it can get to know them so well that it knows what they need and when they need it. And it knows this before even they do. When AI is able to yield such information on the hover, there are many benefits that can be attained instantly for the business cash flow and the general experience. First one is to get the customer to purchase more. If AI knows what they need before they do and issues them a voucher for a given produce, this will activate them to buy an supplementary item which they didn’t come for while producing extra revenue for the business.

Another benefit would be cultivating your customer’s experience because if you offer them precisely what they need at a better price, you start building a personal selling relationship with your customers. Another area where retail AI can help significantly is how the items are substantially framed in the store. We’ve all heard stories how big retail chains order items to get us to buy more. And we perhaps all think there is some magic formula by which we can show our catalogue and get our customers to buy more. Nevertheless, there is no such formula. Even the same store with same items but on different location can have a totally unalike causes for its customer base. So, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.

However, what is available is the artificial intelligence technology which can help with this.

When provided with the sales data, machine learning can determine patterns in your customer’s purchasing penchants and learn what they buy together. Based on this, AI can provide you with recommendations on what items to place next to each other in your stockpile to get your customers to buy more. And since those proposals are based on real data provided by real customers that are essentially buying in the specific store, they are surely guaranteed to bring results and activate your customers.

There’s so much more AI can do for retail businesses; the examples mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of which part of your business you can provide information for, AI can extract really important insights that can be used to better your inventory revenue, enhance your stock, forecast future revenue and a lot more.

AI Is Revolutionizing Personalized Consumer Experiences

Personalized consumer experiences are used to trigger sales and to get repeat customers. AI is helping transform the way businesses are reaching consumers by integrating innovative digital technologies, such as gathering data on purchase history, using Chatbots to automate responses that imitate human interaction, and generating retail experiences. Consumer personalization is a ground-breaking way of reaching out to customers who want a pertinent shopping experience.

48% of customers believe it’s important to provide on-demand tailored promotions online, with 45% wanting similar options in store. They also want to learn and buy products however, whenever and wherever they want and are looking for better ownership than their retail counterparts.

Here are some areas where AI is helping with personalized experiences:

  • ChatBot Experiences — Chatbots are helping businesses engage with customers by allowing 24-hour customer service and personalizing recommendations.
  • Conversational Interfaces — Conversational interfaces like to use Amazon Echo or Google Home, allowing users to do a task, like asking about certain products by speaking a command. AI Technologies like Natural Language Understanding enables customers to speak to a machine to get answers to questions about products, to buy items online, or to autocomplete a search query.
  • Machine Learning — Machine learning helps companies provide customers with a more personalized shopping experience by recommending pertinent products or deals which are learned from the past shopping habits of customers.
  • Experiential-based retail model — This is an experience that integrates entertainment and technology with conventional shopping. Examples include pop-up stores, live events, live product demonstrations, interactive high-tech dummies.
  • Gеѕturе Recognition — It can personalize shopping experiences by capturing signals that are converted into commands using touchless computer monitors, allowing buyers to find the precise items that they are looking for.
  • Robots to boost foot traffic — Humanoid robots that can talk to customers, answer questions and give instructions are being used to boost foot traffic in stores to raise revenue.
  • Automated Cash Registers — Seen mostly in supermarkets and large retailers, automated self-checkout lanes have helped accelerate the checkout process, saving labor costs.

It’s important for retailers to personalize experiences to meet the expectations of consumers who are better informed about products today. User experience should involve customers in a way that inspires them to make a purchase because it is promoted specifically to them. Furthermore, experiences that are personalized shows consumers that a brand comprehends their needs and wants and taking care their specific needs means providing the best possible customer service.

AI Is Revolutionizing Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems require data to be able to generate customer-focused experiences and tactics. Valuable customer data can provide important information on customers to produce a marketing plan, offer valuable information that can curtail sales cycles and systematize marketing to customers. ­­

Conventional business acumen and analytics garnered from transactional systems helps in retail, while benefiting companies in many ways. Retailers can gain a better understanding of important metrics, extract valuable information, acquire revenue-driving intuitions, forecast future performance, make quicker and smarter decisions, and even produce self-service offerings.

Retailers are beginning to use video analytics software to improve customer service and security. The data collected helps find out how customers engage with a product and how they steer through a store. Surveillance results are helping to boost the design of the store for extreme exposure to products and perhaps increase the time customers spend in a store. Furthermore, video analytics will also be used to guard against security threats, including employees who do not conform to procedures. Using connected AI platform to CRM Systems automate responses to deal with basic customer queries. This helps businesses decrease issue escalation and customer complaints and boost consumer satisfaction.

Businesses benefit from Customer Relationship Management by improving interactions with existing and likely customers. By examining data and interactions, companies can improve relationships with customers and prospects. Through an improved customer experience that includes customizing offerings and ensuring customer satisfaction, CRM helps boost customer retention and drives growth of sales. Executing a CRM system is extremely important particularly in today’s highly competitive retail business where customers expect only the best customer service.

About the Author:

Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover. She is currently associated with ThriveTeam.

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