Putting AI in Retail



The human brain is more than just an organ – it is a complex system that helps humans to analyze information and take simplified decisions in various situations. But it cannot always gauge all the possible outcomes of a decision and hence our decision-making ability gets limited in certain circumstances. But what we cannot achieve with the powerof our brain is today being achieved by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is much more than neural networks and complex algorithms; it involves enabling machines to take appropriate decisions in all possible circumstances.

With the huge amount of data being transmitted from electronic devices every day, it becomes imperative for the data-driven organizations to collect and identify a pattern in them. But, what exactly could be the advantage of collecting and analyzing data? Well, to predict the future it is necessary to understand the past and the present.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of Artificial Intelligence is physical retail. It is facing immense competition from e-Commerce portals, which not only provide user-friendly shopping experiences but also come up with relevant suggestions for future purchases. The need of the hour for physical retailers, therefore, is to revamp their business processes and come up with innovative measures to provide a more than satisfying customer experience along with an efficient stock management strategy. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help achieve both. Here is a brief overview of how AI can help drive transformation in physical retail.

  1. Collecting relevant data: Data collection forms the backbone of AI. According to some of the industry stalwarts, “there can be no direct leap to artificial intelligence if substantial and relevant data is not being collected”. Most of the physical retailers lack the indigenous technology to collect and process large chunks of data by themselves. But that should not be considered as a hindrance to AI as there are efficient retail solutions like ETP V5 that can help them collect and process relevant and authentic data.
  2. Personalization: AI can be thought of as a complex algorithm that consists of all possible ‘if-then’ conditions. These conditions can be identified in various ways such as shopping cart analysis, payment preferences and surveys among others. The analysis performed can be used for managing product assortment, customer-specific promotions, and other loyalty programs. Personalization will ensure repeat footfall, which in turn will ensure a healthy bottom line.
  3. Supply chain and inventory management: If a retailer is able to collect relevant data, it becomes easier to maintain a healthy supply chain along with an efficient inventory management system. If the retailer wishes to sell the right product to the right customer at the right time and place, managing inventory across all channels becomes most important. This is indeed a mammoth task that can be eased out using an efficient Omni-channel Retail Solution like ETP V5 which can identify hidden patterns in the customer’s buying behavior and provide relevant suggestions to maintain the right inventory. Maintaining and managing supply chain and inventory are the backbone of a profitable retail venture.

AI has started revolutionizing the way in which physical retailers go about taking business decisions and with the enhancement of customer’s technical abilities, it can be safely claimed that AI will play an important role in the future of retail.

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