Retail Reawakening: AI & the Customer Experience
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing many industries, such as automotive, marketing, and healthcare. Now, it seems that retail is going to be the next sector to benefit from the integration of artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence in retail is transforming the industry by playing an important role in several key divisions. From design to manufacturing, logistic supply chain, and marketing, AI has an a integral role in pushing these fields into the 21st century.
Thus far, AI software development has empowered businesses and their decisions with high-level information and data that is leveraged into upgraded retail operations and new business opportunities. In fact, according to Hitachi, it is estimated that $40 billion of additional revenue was driven by AI in retail in just 3 years.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI is described as, “the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.” (Investopedia, 2021)
In reference to retail, AI can combine a variety of emerging technologies and machine learning algorithms to automate many of the outdated manual operations in retail, gather key customer insights from collected data, and help your retail business develop practical plans based in data and analysis.
Solutions AI Brings to the Retail Sphere
AI is a term that is thrown around in several industries, but many people don’t know the full extent of what AI offers. When experts mention AI, they are referencing various technologies, including machine learning and predictive analytics that can collect, process, and analyze troves of data, and use that information to predict, forecast, inform, and help retailers make accurate, data-driven business decisions.
These technologies can even act autonomously, using advanced AI analytical capabilities to change raw data collected from the IoT and other sources into actionable insights. AI in retail also utilizes behavioral analytics and customer intelligence to collect valuable insights about different market demographics and improve various touchpoints in the customer service experience.
The AI Impact:
Artificial intelligence can serve as a boon for retail companies that gather and possess customer data. AI can derive meaningful conclusions from the massive amount of data and help companies to make personalized shopping experiences via highly structured online stores, intelligent in-store bots, and online chatbots.
- Digital Racks for Apparel & Fashion Products:
With the help of AI technology, apparel retail brands can create virtual racks and changing rooms with motion gesture walls and touch-free monitors to find the right style, without having to shuffle through piles of clothes. Customers can instantly see how an outfit would look on them and can browse through recommendations based on their preferences and styles.
With AI, a cookie-cutter retail store can be converted into a personalized customer experience with a plethora of options from which to use. Not only will customers have more options than ever with digital racks, but retail stores will be able to gather deeper insights into consumer behaviour, optimizing their product portfolio for much better retail experience delivery.
- Virtual Changing Rooms for Instant Decision Making:
While shopping for new clothes, trying out different options can become a hassle. With the help of virtual changing rooms equipped with digital mirrors, customers can try on new outfits without having to physically undress and change clothes every time.
Using a gesture and touch-based interface, a shopper can mix and match many outfits, along with accessories to finalize the perfect look in no time. Apparel brands aren’t the only sectors of retail that can utilize digital mirrors to aid customers. By using interactive, digital mirrors, cosmetic companies and beauty brands can help customers find the right shade of lipstick or foundation without the customer having to buy the product first.
- Immediate Robotic/Digital Assistance:
Using AI, smart analytics, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technology, retail stores can give customers the power to get immediate support while shopping. By strategically placing customer service robots and touch panels throughout the retail space, stores can help customers locate an item, get answers to their inquiries, and find out how a product can make their life easier.
With the help of AI-powered customer service bots, stores can reduce labor costs and provide immediate assistance to customers.
- Behavioral Analytics Powered by AI-backed Surveillance:
Using modern surveillance equipment powered by AI and computer vision technologies, retailers can capture and study customer behavior inside stores. This will help them understand engagement levels with the current store layout and optimize operations for higher engagement and revenues.
Video analytics can also improve in-store security and reduce instances of theft. With the help of AI, surveillance footage can be monitored in real-time, and alerts can be sent to administrators and store owners for instant action.
- Better Customer Support via Chatbots:
AI-powered chatbots are enabling retail brands to engage customers. With the help of chatbots, brands can handle thousands of inquiries simultaneously without having to employ a large workforce.
Chatbots can be configured to answer questions, provide shopping suggestions, and give quick support. Using a mixture of AI chatbots and humans, brands will be able to effectively handle customer concerns and provide users with a better resolution of their problems. When customers get prompt and personalized attention, they will engage deeply with the brand, paving the way for enhanced customer loyalty.
The New Normal for Retail:
Pre-pandemic, the retail sector already needed to be revamped, as the convenience and speed of online shopping outpaced the benefits of shopping in brick and mortar retail stores. The COVID-19 outbreak has since accelerated the monumental shift in shopping behavior and a surge in online shopping channels.
The only option for retail in order to regain the footing lost both pre and post pandemic is to own this new technological revolution and bounce back with more individualized and comprehensive options for their customers, both online and in-store.
The Future of Retail & Your Business
Artificial intelligence services & solutions can help your retail business grow, stay relevant, and beat your competitors. Automated processes, better insights for your business, and developed customer engagement will result in amplified revenue, and artificial intelligence retail solutions like chatbots, visual search, or voice search will dramatically transform your bottom line.
Dash Technologies is a leading AI service provider for the retail industry, even earning CIO’s Most Promising Retail Solutions Providers in 2021. We work collaboratively with our clients in order to find the best solutions for their businesses, and we can find the right answer for your business needs. Contact us today.
We’re technology experts with a passion for bringing concepts to life. By leveraging a unique, consultative process and an agile development approach, we translate business challenges into technology solutions.
Author: Dash Technologies Inc
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