At Warblington Group, we’re always looking to showcase developments in the technological sphere, and this month we’re launching a series of blog post focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The first in the series is going to focus on how AI has been incorporated into the retail industry, and how it’s affecting their shopping experiences.

 

AI is most prevalent in search engines and recommendation programmes such as Google and Netflix, however you might not be able to identify how retailers use AI on their websites.

The most obvious example AI in the retail industry would be Internet giant Amazon. They collect data from shoppers worldwide, and recommend products based on their past purchases.

Consumers are all unique; we all have our own individual likes, dislikes, preferences and needs. Retailers are continuously monitoring these unique shopper qualities, and incorporating AI to help increase sales and maximise brand awareness.

There are three main ways they do this, and these are:

  1. Personalised recommendations based on previous purchase or search history
  2. AI chatbots that aid with website and physical shop navigation
  3. Intelligent apps utilising AI to help customers find specific products in store.

American retail chain Macy’s has previously tested artificial intelligence in 10 of its’ stores across the country. Users of the “Macy’s on Call” can type in different questions (i.e. where are the iPhones in this store?) and the app will be able to respond.

AI in retail might not be as widely utilised or developed, but changes to the systems are coming. One of the relatively new forms of AI is machine learning.

 

What is machine learning?

Machine learning allows computers to understand and develop their knowledge without having to be programmed.

Retailers can use machine learning to create a fully bespoke shopping experience. Companies that have an online store gather vast amounts of data about their customers, and machine learning helps to identify purchasing patterns.

For example, in the past you may have received an email reminder about a product you left in your online basket a few weeks ago. It could be said that this is a personalised service; but everyone gets the same generic template.

Retailers that use machine learning are going to be able to send their customers a more personalised abandon basket email. This not only creates a feeling of inclusion with these potentially lost customers, but also increases their brand awareness and revenue.

 

Statistics on Retail AI

  • By 2020, customers will manage 85% if their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human (Source: Gartner)
  • 32% of executives say that voice recognition software is the most widely used AI technology in their company (Source: Narrative Science)
  • 80% of enterprise executives say AI makes workers more productive and creates jobs (Source: Narrative Science)
  • Lack of technology is limiting retailers to offer superior customer experiences (Source: Infosys)
  • 96% of consumers expect retailers to inform them of new products (Source: Infosys)

 

As you can see, Artificial Intelligence is having a substantial impact on the retail industry. Businesses can offer their customers a highly personalised service, thus increasing revenue and promoting brand awareness.

What do you think? How do you think that AI is going to effect retailers? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so let us know in the comments below. Likewise, to keep up to date with the latest news and topics from Warblington Group, like us on Facebook here or follow us on Twitter here.

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