Retail And AI: Revolution Of A Field

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AI is changing the retail world diffusely and profoundly. It’s possible to say that retail is going to be entirely changed by Artificial Intelligence.

Numbers and data are a significant asset to have a path to reach business goals on a quality and quantity basis.

Let’s find out how!

Is AI Changing Retail?

The answer is: definitely yes, AI is changing retail. It’s already doing it. AI is changing most of the familiar objects and services around us, so why should retail be different? Maybe it’s more challenging to recognise because we’re surrounded by retail every single day and it’s hard to spot any subtle change.

First of all, customer journey is changed. Now it’s more useful to describe it as a funnel, as this article clearly explains:

“Actually, the decision-making process is a more circular journey, with four primary phases representing potential battlegrounds where marketers can win or lose: initial consideration; active evaluation, or the process of researching potential purchases; closure, when consumers buy brands; and postpurchase when consumers experience them.”

Why Are Data So Useful?

Let’s face it: machines are better than us. We’re not aspiring to a Matrix-based reality, of course, but sometimes AI can act better than us, in a very profitable way. Machines are way better than us in elaborating and analysing a massive amount of data.
AI has an analytic approach because it can complete just one task at a time. Machines are perfect for repetitive tasks and accurate measurement of results.

Retail is going to adopt more and more AI-based technologies because it can really boost any company – retail or not.

Six Models To Think About

In its latest study, IBM believes that “Retail will increasingly adopt intelligent automation technologies. […] The study focuses on the convergence of humans and artificial intelligence (AI) in the retail industry, and specifically how automation can help reduce human error and improve the customer experience.”

The research covered “1,900 retail and consumer product representatives across 23 countries to determine how AI is revolutionising retail”.
IBM identified six ways for retail to use AI:

  • Supply chain planning (85%)
  • Demand forecasting (85%)
  • Customer intelligence (79%)
  • Marketing, advertising and campaign management (75%)
  • Store operations (73%)
  • Pricing and promotion (73%)

“More than 70 percent of retail and consumer products executives expect their companies to be engaging in intelligent automation across the value chain by 2021”
[The coming AI revolution in retail and consumer product.]

woman applies makeup in front of a mirror

Some Examples And Some Fun

This kind of use of AI can also be amusing!
Don’t you believe us?
Let’s illustrate a few examples:

  • Sephora Color IQ: an app capable of scanning customer’s face and gives some advice about the foundation and concealer shades. It helps reducing customer’s stress and costs of the perfect match.
  • Dynameet, an Italian slow food restaurant, has MAX, the virtual assistant. MAX can reply to customer requests. MAX is using our semantic system and the NLU (Natural Language Understanding) and NLP (Natural Language Processing) algorithms to understand context and intention. In this way, the customer can use open questions to request, for example, his vegetarian meals or most of the classic “where is the toilet?”. The same algorithms are in GhostWriterAI.


Is AI going to change retail?
It’s already happening. Customer journey is more like a circle and retail is going to adopt more and more AI-based technologies.

How AI is useful for retail?
According to research by IBM, AI is changing the retail world in at least six different ways.

Can we already find some examples?
Yes, from makeup to food companies. Sephora launched an app that can give some advice about makeup colours and products. Dynameet has MAX, a virtual assistant capable to reply to customer requests.


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