How Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping The Retail Industry

January 15th 2020
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@eugenia-kuzmenkoEugenia Kuzmenko

Marketing Manager @ KitRUM

With 96% of Americans shopping online and the rise of AI lead cashier-less retail stores such as one of Amazon’s 15 Go stores, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a key element in the digitalization of in-store retail by personalizing the customer experience and creating a more engaged business-to-consumer interaction. For retail companies, AI creates an opportunity to bridge the gap between virtual and physical sales channels.
There are many ways in that AI-equipped technology is shaping the retail industry, here are what we believe are the most prominent so far: 

Self Check-out and Cashier-less Retail Stores

Self check-out kiosks have been slowly populating our bigger chain stores since the 1990s. These helpful stations were the industry’s method for easing the shopping experience, shortening lines and providing more service without the need to increase expenses by hiring more cashiers. Although there has been some pushback over the years, including increase and theft and anger over lost jobs, the cutting-edge technology of Artificial Intelligence has customized the experience shoppers have when in-store. 
We already know Amazon has begun taking over the world. They have revolutionized the online world, and have become The Beatles of internet business by integrating one and two-day shipping, drone delivery, and now their Go stores. What an amazing leap the future has unfolded by allowing shoppers to enter a store, grab what they need, and then leave - never having to wait in a line or stop to pay. It’s not quite as simple, however, as legislation has popped up in many States banning cashier-less retail stores for various reasons including to protect those citizens who don’t have bank accounts. Read this insightful article from the WallStreet Journal for a better look at AI and the cashier-less experience. 

ML-Powered Analytics Solutions

Businesses can predict and expect customer behavior through the use of ML-Powered Analytics Solutions, managing data and inventory more effectively and efficiently than the human eye can. Systems that depend on a machine learning approach can automatically feed on data, find patterns from both external and internal sources, saving both time and money. Huge brand names have benefited by these solutions, including Walmart and their new demand forecasting solution.

E-Commerce Excelling in Customer Experience

Although most commerce is done in-store, and the industry has incorporated technology into the customer experience, e-commerce solutions have increased the percentage of shopping done online. Customers have often perused the aisles of local stores to see their potential purchases in person before going online for the better deal, and now many e-commerce businesses have developed AI-backed strategies to tempt shoppers into making those final purchases, or from visiting in-store at all. Chatbots and Scan-n-Shop, data algorithms and voice-recognition have all personalized the e-commerce experience. 
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