There are three key areas in which retailers are jumping on the AI bandwagon and riding it as far as it can go.Consumer buying habits continue to evolve, and that’s not a phenomenon that will be changing anytime soon. The rise of eCommerce has been well documented, as have the struggles of retailers that have come up short regarding responding to the changing times. Tech giants such as Amazon will continue to grow, but that won’t mean the end of brick-and-mortar as we know it.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as the competition is inspiring innovative retailers to make the necessary changes to bring the store of the future to the present. So how are some of them doing it? Enter artificial intelligence, and it’s being used in some incredibly exciting ways.
As the Motley Fool explains, there are three key areas in which retailers are jumping on the AI bandwagon and riding it as far as it can go. For starters, AI is leading to increasing possibilities when it comes to something as simple as video surveillance.
“For example, floor-level cameras can track traffic and where people are spending time in stores, and can predict information like age and gender by analyzing video of shoes,” the article reads in part. “...gathering consumer reactions to things on the shelf could help retailers adjust marketing strategies and determine what inventory will sell.”
On another front, retailers such as Target and Lowe’s are taking advantage of the data opportunities afforded by the use of AI to help reimagine how consumers shop, locate items in-store and even pay for their purchases. For Target, that means an exciting new point-of-sale system that’s expected to be in all of its stores by the end of this year.
“The new point-of-sale system will be able to search real-time inventory across the organization, arrange for shipping, and take payment from the customer,” the article explains.
As for Lowe’s, mobile LoweBots have been rolled out in select test stores, and this invention proves that the future is now for retail.
“LoweBots are able to answer simple questions from customers and locate items as they roam around the store,” the article reads in part. “The machines also keep track of inventory and track shopper patterns to help the company make better business decisions.”
AI is also helping retailers to make some serious headway into customizing shopper experiences. It’s all about convenience today, but all the bells and whistles won’t make a difference if you can’t get consumers in the door. A recent Gartner report explains some trends that are beginning to catch on in this area.
“One shows retailers using AI to pull data about customers from online profiles on websites like Pinterest to deliver personalized in-store offers to customers,” the article continues. “Perhaps a little closer to today's reality, though, is showcasing customer's custom orders to other shoppers to judge mass popularity, or monitoring online trends to customize in-store displays and inventory levels.”
Add it all up, and there are some exciting things on the horizon for retailers that are taking advantage of technologies such as AI.