With a large number of buyers moving to online
shopping in the last decade, sceptics had predicted that retail was heading
towards a dead-end. Today, even the likes of Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket and others
brimming with online shoppers, retail stores seem equally packed. As new
technology is evolving at super-fast speeds, this industry is already
witnessing leapfrog innovations that is improving the overall retail experience
and business processes.
We can credit big data analytics, machine
learning and artificial intelligence for opening up a new world of
opportunities for physical retail. If you’re an existing retail owner or plan
to start one soon, power up your retail business with AI tech.
We’ve listed down a multitude
of AI possibilities that will benefit your retail business:
1. Smart stock management
AI can help retailers predict demand for products
on the basis of sales history, response to store-specific promotions, seasonal
requirements, location-based demands and a host of other parameters. Store
managers will be able to decide stock requirements based on intelligent
predictions and avoid shortage or excess stock pileup. Also, this will enable
better streamlining of stock purchase and return management. All in all saving
a lot of money and time for the business.
Stores can now deploy AI-powered assistants to
help customers find what they’re looking for. From providing details related to
making of the product to break-down of ingredients, calories present and upselling
of complementary products, the virtual assistant will provide all the support
required up until billing. Customers get a personalised walk-through without
having to speak to a customer support executive.
3. Virtual billing mechanism
Amazon has already experimented with
a no-cashier store. And it could soon become a common occurrence as technology
takes over. Today, customers are comfortable making payments using their
digital cards. It is no longer mandatory
for retail outlets to have cashiers, stock up on exact change or deal with long
billing queues. This will save stores a lot of their logistics costs including
expensive billing machines and software systems, the frequent human errors and heavy
4. Track customer satisfaction
AI-powered software allows stores to address
customer grievances in real-time, helping improve the overall customer experience.
IBM is also developing an in-store software for facial recognition. A
particularly distraught or annoyed customer is immediately offered personal
assistance by the store manager.
5. Influence customer behaviour
AI will empower customers to use customer data
more efficiently to encourage long-term loyalty. Basis a customer’s previous
shopping history and responses to offers and products, they will be offered individual
recommendations that will increase the chances of conversion.
While these tech innovations may soon intrude
into the personal space of customers, what can be agreed without debate is that
customers can soon expect high quality retail shopping experiences. So if you’re
a retailer, it is time to seriously consider the integration of tech with your
business, specifically AI.