Why AI is becoming the need of the Retail industry?


Competition is everywhere, be it in the field of education, lifestyle, fashion, healthcare or in retail. And the need to show nothing but the best to the audience is the most important factor that is putting pressure on businesses to offer great services without any glitch or chaos. 

Also, no matter what, showing/serving something better than your competitor always gives a scope to get more attention everywhere. Sticking to the retail business, not integrating artificial intelligence is like serving less than what a customer actually expects to enjoy.

Apart from that, the arrival of supermarkets and eCommerce giant like Amazon, Alibaba are ultimate threats to the local retailer in the outskirts and in order to combat the challenges- integration of AI in the day to day functioning is the ultimate choice.

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. Also, retailers do believe that integrating AI will result in a 10% annual growth.

Integrating AI in retail is just revolutionizing…! Imagine having a machine or robot assisting the retailer while answering all the queries of the customers easily and effectively. AI integrated mechanism can also help in gathering all the necessary data from the customer’s feedback required to make changes in the services as per customer’s demands. On the other hand, AI-based mobile applications are making a fuss in the market that can help retailers and customers stay in touch at any point in time virtually.

And this is just the beginning, there is a lot more in the bucket that can reflect how AI is becoming the ultimate part of Retail effectively and efficiently. Let’s have a look at why AI is becoming the most needed part of AI-

  • Other than revolutionizing the Fintech domain, healthcare, AI is the must required technology that can carry the capability to revamp the whole Retail domain effectively.  Also, by using the same, AI can also help in reducing human error along with eliminating inefficiencies.  According to the report by Forrester, it is believed that AI will replace 7% of jobs in the U.S. by 2025.
  • Increased efficiency reflects higher profits for the company. This is the reason, AI is everywhere, starting from reducing the production cost- shipping costs that goes till providing more personalized customer experience. Report by Tractica, automation and AI together will increase global revenues from USD 643.7 million in 2016 to USD 36.8 billion by 2025.
  • No matter what, AI can never replace the existence of human but the technology can definitely assist humans to the core. Thus, by using AI in the retail industry, workers can focus on high-priority tasks that require more human attention.

Before going in detail, let us get a look at the companies who have employed AI in their product’s app-

  1. Sephora’s Virtual Artist app
  2. Olay’s Skin Advisor
  3. IKEA’s AI survey
  4. Target’s Pinterest Partnership
  5. Knorr’s Instagram integration
  6. Wheelys Moveable Market
  7. Walmart’s Supply Chain Optimization
  8. eBay’s Personal Shopper
  9. Amazon’s AI Fashion
  10. Alibaba’s FashionAI Platform

The examples are opening great opportunities to mobile app developers too. So, with the base ready, let’s have a look at those parts too-

                                    How AI is revolutionizing Retail

Enhanced Customer Service

AI can help retail companies by enhancing the overall customer experience by assisting retailers to sell products based on the consumer’s last purchase and search habits. Apart from helping online, AI can help in an offline way too by eliminating the need to have a salesman available in the counter while answering all the customer’s queries.

Data gathering

Companies can make use of AI for gathering and organizing massive customer data easily and effectively. Also, AI by evaluating the data can bring out apt conclusions and recommendations apart from offering a more personalized shopping experience for the users.

Furthermore, the product’s performance in the market can also be traced via AI by learning from the user’s past experiences.

Trial rooms

The role of Artificial Intelligence in retail does not limit here, the use of Virtual trial rooms is another good thing to cherish. Rooms that are integrated with AI is another addition or better say revolutionizing the retail domain in an advanced way.

Virtual rooms that are also equipped with digital mirrors that can make users try out different outfits without the compulsion to wear them and on the other hand, the smart mirror will show them how will they look exactly.

Campaigns for Marketing

AI algorithms can help retailers run marketing campaigns using customer-specific ads based on customer’s region, preferences, and purchasing habits, and the overall thing together will boost the conversion rate too.

Eliminating Out-Of-Stocks and Overstocks

Neither the excess of stocks nor the out-of-stock is considered healthy for the overall goodwill of the company.

The situation can be balanced by using AI as by using AI, businesses can identify the demand for a particular product based on-

  • Sales history,
  • Weather,
  • Location,
  • Promotions,
  • Trends etc.

Minimum Advertised Price

MAP is the price paid by the retailer for advertising their product. Also, MAP is the way that marks if a product is being sold below the actual price or not, which ultimately defines the product in the eyes of the customers and its overall reputation.

Furthermore, the integration of AI is helpful in the overall process of MAP as it prevents the violation of the MAP protocol violated made by retailers.

Price adjustment

AI in retail helps in determining the price of the product by identifying the outcomes of different pricing strategies for choosing the best one.

For effectively employing the practice, AI algorithms collect data that is based on competitor’s products, promotions, sales while collecting the data from local events too.

eBay is one such example that uses AI-powered pricing and inventory algorithms for defining the most appropriate price for a product along with informing sellers about it too.

Product Categorization

AI is also used for categorizing different products effectively. LovetheSales.com is the site that started the use of machine learning for categorizing the product. The algorithms that are made tag products while sorting them into product categories for offering things a customer is looking for.

A perfect mixture of AI and ML and their working.

Product Search

Searching a product through voice is made possible by Artificial intelligence. Brands like Costco, Walmart, Target, Tesco uses either Amazon or Google AI-based technology and smart devices for serving exactly a customer wants.

And on the other hand, through voice search, customers can fill their carts along with getting access to track the status of the product and delivery status.

Visual Product Search

Retailers when integrating AI in the retail domain made it easy for customers to upload images in order to find identical or similar products they are looking for.

Through AI-based algorithms, the technology scans the uploaded picture along with analyzing colors, shapes, patterns for bringing out exactly a user looks for.

Cortexica is an example that has developed image recognition technology that provides 95% accuracy whereas American Eagle Outfitters is another example that offers visual searches in its mobile application.

Cashier- Free Stores

AI in retail shops will certainly reduce the human error along with eliminating the need to employ more number of employees in the shop which will result in saving the operational cost too.

Amazon is one such example that looks up and follows the same concept. Its app called Amazon Go with Just Walks Out Shopping Technology automatically react to customer’s action just by taking or returning the product.