AI Services Can Rejuvenate Retail and Help Take On eCommerce
Despite the rise of eCommerce, retail is by no means on its way out. Consider the Reliance acquisition of Future Group’s retail chain of 354 stores, piping Amazon to the post. Reliance has its fingers dipped in telecom, owns and operates retail stores, and also plans to power thrust its online Jiomart to prominence. That tells you something about brick and mortar retail operations. The future group sold because it had made too many acquisitions and the lockdown resulted in mounting debts. That also tells you something. If the company had invested in artificial intelligence technologies with the help of an AI solution provider the situation may well have been different. AI development services can rejuvenate brick and mortar stores. Just consider the possibilities.
Anticipate Trends and Make Informed Decisions
Just how important a role artificial intelligence plays in retail can be gauged from the fact that the AI in the retail segment is expected to grow to $14.05 billion by 2023. Unforeseen circumstances such as COVID-19 can hit retail operations.
This is precisely what happened to Future Group. Lockdown resulted in closed stores, a situation that was not anticipated. With AI solutions from AI development services, such retail operators can anticipate the trend, play at what-if, and then use AI to find alternative means to dispose of inventory through other routes to customers. This also means using AI to keep track of customers and their preferences and initiate an action plan that will keep goods moving to buyers through alternate routes instead of lying in warehouses.
Going a step further, AI can help you keep tabs on changing customer preferences, listen to their voices across social media and searches, and avoid stocking inventory that causes losses.
A Rainbow of Customer Experiences
Why are retail stores still flourishing? One possible reason is that shoppers crave the human touch and like to physically search for and find products. Here again, it is easy to enhance their experiences across the shopping spectrum in a variety of ways.
Computer Vision with AI
Keep track of customers, their individual preferences, and use the innovative computer vision technology to track and analyze behaviors of customers in stores in order to gain insights or know what products customers are eyeballing and then push notifications to their mobiles on relevant items. Computer vision with AI offers lots of possibilities such as creating heat maps, knowing the path of the customer’s journey, knowing which items are returned, and knowing strategic product arrangement, for example.
Personalize assistance by welcoming customers based on past shopping patterns, guide them to the right sections, accept requests for information, possibly offer AR/VR experience, and even help with fast checkouts. One of the biggest bugbears of retail shopping is that shoppers have to line up at the checkout counters. AI systems can help shoppers make payments for individual items they pick and place in their carts.
AI indirectly can drive customers to your stores through programmatic ads. Suppose a customer is reading online about specific items of interest. Your programmatic ad shows up, inviting him to step in and buy and gain benefits.
Bundled items are quite welcome since they offer a price advantage but what two items would be a good match? Use AI solutions to find out which products move slowly and which are in demand so that you can pair the two together or use AI to mix and match items that are selling the most. While doing it manually could be time-consuming, the use of AI can help you put together items fast from existing inventory. You can sell off items and customers get price benefits. A Capgemini study of 400 retail executives shows that AI in retail could help them to save as much as $ 340 billion with AI contributing 80% through improved supply chain processes.
Bundling goes with pricing and pricing with AI solutions from AI development services can help you to get pricing just right to convince visitors to buy.
The Supply Chain
The supply chain is the other side of the AI coin for retail operations. It is crucial to ensure that your shelves are never empty and, at the same time, you are not overstocked. AI solutions providers can design supply chain systems to ensure fast delivery, freight cost optimization, route optimization, and improved efficiencies to reduce overall costs and investments. Surveys show that 49% consider AI will reduce supply chain cost and 44% expect it will improve productivity as well as revenues. A lot can be done by integrating 5G, IoT, and AI for managing the supply chain to reduce costs, remain competitive and yet boost profits.
Fraud Prevention and Detection, Theft
Retailers lose substantial amounts through credit card frauds and in-store theft. AI solutions for retailers also address this issue by use of computer vision, face recognition, and credit card fraud attempts to minimize losses in terms of money and reputation.
This is just the tip of the iceberg where AI in retail is concerned. A lot can be done and the first step to get started is to use an AI solution providers to rejuvenate and revitalize your retail, helping it to overcome stiff eCommerce competition.