Application of AI driven process in retail will not only help retailers acquire new customers, but also boost repeat business. Increased accuracy in personalized communication to the customers along with tailored recommendations and offers will compel shoppers to strengthen their loyalty as they will begin to associate the retail brand with personalized, relevant experiences. Having realized this, retailers are looking to invest and use AI heavily in this coming year
According to a research, global spending on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in retail is expected to grow nearly fourfold over the next four years, from $2 billion in 2018 to more than $7 billion in 2022. This is expected to happen as retailers look at new avenues to boost their efforts to offer personalized customer experiences. As such, retailers will heavily invest in AI tools that will allow them to differentiate and improve the services they offer to their customers. These tools, ranging from automated marketing platforms that generate tailored and timely offers, to chat-bots or voice assistants that help to provide instant customer service, will be in the radar of retail brands.
Progress in AI and machine learning in the recent years gone by and those to come will be exponential. The combination of AI, cloud, Big Data have already begun the transformation of the retail industry and this will reach new levels in the near future. As AI leverages big data to personalize experiences, retail companies are looking at these applications to garner robust competitive advantages. As per the report, retailers’ spend will be the strongest in the customer service and sentiment analytics area to understand customers’ reactions to the products purchased and the service received, all being possible with the application of AI in analytics. This will prove to be the breakthrough for retailers looking to improve their customer experience.
AI will also be able to help in actually predicting the purchasing behaviour as well as the needs of in-store customers. This means that sales staff can have this kind of information handy and will therefore have an idea of what a customer is looking to buy before they even ask for help. This will be a huge step in predicting the customers’ needs in advance and being able to serve them aptly thus revolutionizing customer service at the store.
AI driven insights would also be leveraged to not only design new product ranges but also to plan and create marketing and promotional campaigns and offers. Optimizing product pricing and discounting with the help of AI will prove to be beneficial to retailers. Further AI-backed demand forecasting is also increasingly becoming an essential tool for retailers. Understanding customer demand and accurately planning and managing inventory has become critical, especially during mega shopping events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day and Chinese New Year. Demand forecasting with the help of AI will definitely empower retailers to be prepared for such big events in advance.
Mentioned above are some of the applications of Artificial Intelligence in the retail business and as time progresses, these applications may get further enhanced and there may be new ones that retailers may want to use and fuse into their businesses to further enhance their customer experience across channels.