The retail industry is being transformed by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Retailers, today can use AI to engage with their consumers and run sales and marketing plans more effectively, from utilising computer vision to modify promotions in real time to employing machine learning for inventory management 

To compete in the current highly competitive landscape, merchants must respond to customers in ways never seen before, all while reducing waste and inefficiencies in their operations. You can acquire the data, but making sense of it all needs some real brains and technology. 

 
More than just linking things AI is at the heart of digital revolution in retail. It’s all about turning data into insights, which guide actions that lead to improved business results. The use of AI in retail, such as machine learning and deep learning, is critical for providing these insights. For retailers, this means great customer experiences, revenue growth prospects, rapid innovation, and smart operations—all of which help you stand out from the competition.
 

When most company executives or managers think about machine learning in retail, they think of automated operations like stocking shelves or checking out, as well as helpful in-store robots and chatbots that answer queries and recommend items. 

 

 

Machine learning’s effect in retail, on the other hand, is growing all the time. In retail, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are no longer about physical automation and direct labour substitution. The existing retail experience with data and decision-making is being transformed by AI and Machine Learning. They’re becoming more important in terms of customer experience (CX), mass personalisation, and market segmentation, and they can’t be overlooked. 

 

 

Here are a handful of the finest AI retail applications: 

  1. Apparel and Fashion Product Visualization 

 A significant portion of eCommerce returns occur because customers believe the product appears different in person. Retailers may assist customers in better understanding goods by displaying them on models that they can relate to, in realistic proportions that are comparable to their own. 

Retailers spend between $100 and $1000 per product on photography and digitalization throughout the world. The high expense of visually visualising products also implies that the goods are more likely to be incomplete and inaccurate. The time to market is likewise exorbitantly long and costly. 

Instead, shops may utilise Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to create automated on-model fashion photography and drape the same garment on models of all sizes and ethnicities standing in various positions without having to shoot everything manually. This may save photography expenses and accelerate time-to-market while also boosting shopper engagement and conversions and lowering returns. 

  1. Personalized Shopping

Shoppers in 2021 don’t want to be bombarded with unnecessary goods on every page. Instead, they’re searching for one-of-a-kind collections created with their preferences in mind. They want hairdressers to tailor the whole appearance to their particular preferences. Personalizing hundreds of looks for each customer, on the other hand, would take a full army of stylists working for days. 

Based on each shopper’s visual style preferences, an AI styling assistant may curate looks, mood boards, outfits, and collections for them. Every consumer receives customised style suggestions for every product they look at, boosting the number of products in their basket while also providing a positive shopping experience. 

 

  1. Assistive technology (virtual or digital)

Customers’ in-store experiences are being improved through the use of touch screen panels and robotics in retail shops. Customers may get helpful information on product locations from AI in-store robots, which is just one of the advantages of deploying AI virtual assistants inside businesses. 

As a result, AI assistants for shops may help them save money on their workforce. This retail AI application enhances customer service, saves money, and draws new consumers. 

 

  1. Chatbots for better customer service

The retail business has been transformed by artificial intelligence. Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence allow merchants to communicate with their consumers in a secure and effective manner. Retailers can process hundreds of consumer enquiries concurrently with Chatbot software. 

 

  1. Retail Robotics

From form of independent machines detecting spills at Giant Foods Stores to self-driving shelf-scanners verifying goods in Walmart, robots have made their hallmark into retail. In some Lowe’s shops, a “LoweBot” can answer basic concerns about where to locate products and assist with managing inventory. These robots relieve professionals of mundane duties, allowing individuals to focus interacting with customers. 

Robots patrolling shops collect data only at “top of the funnel” based on what is on shelves — and what’s not. Continuous scanning provides them a more complete picture of consumers’ shopping experiences. Shelf inventories, for example, show what’s in plentiful supply, what’s running low, and what’s out of stock, most of which suggest customer preferences and behaviour. 

 

 

CONCLUSION 

Retailers now require not just automation to gather data across touchpoints and channels, but also the unification of that data in order to communicate to customers in a single voice. A consumer should be able to go from online to offline and back online without difficulty. This means that data collected on a website should be accessible to sales associates in-store, and items purchased in-store should be utilised to enhance website suggestions. Data cannot be separated into compartments. It should work both ways and contribute to a full picture of each shopper. 

Intelligent retail automation can radically alter how retail teams operate thanks to the power of data If automation takes care of efficiency, retail employees will have more time to think creatively and offer great experiences both online and in-store. 

Customers may enjoy the excitement and the enchantment of shopping anywhere, at any time, when retail becomes genuinely efficient and immersive. 

Dinesh Chintamreddy