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AI is one of the newest innovations.
AI stands for artificial intelligence. It refers to computer programs that respond to stimuli as if they were human.
These programs learn from past experiences and adjust future actions based on those experiences.
With the help of AI, retail operations become more streamlined and targeted toward the customer’s needs.
Here are eight ways I think AI will change the retail industry.
1. AI will help the retail industry predict customer behavior.
While most retailers know what their customers want, they may not know when or how much they want it.
With the help of AI, retailers can predict customer behavior to serve them better.
For example, if a customer buys a certain product at a certain time every year, an AI program can track this.
It can notify the customer that the product is available at that time of year so they can visit the store and buy it.
Retailers can also use AI to study their customers’ buying habits. Learn what products they like and don’t like.
This information helps retailers determine the stock by product.
2. AI will make the CX starting before entering the physical store.
Customer experience is a must and has to be flawless.
Retailers are always looking for a way to make it memorable.
With the help of AI, retail companies can bring the CX to the next level.
One way could be to take advantage of new technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Despite the growth of shopping online, many shoppers prefer to see, feel and touch items before buying.
Using AR, shoppers will visualize products in 3D on their smartphones.
Also, VR will let them experience shopping in virtual stores without leaving their homes.
Then AI can provide them with the option of ordering the articles online or scheduling an appointment at a nearby store.
The customer experience will begin before they reach the store.
3. It will make shopping more enjoyable for customers.
With AI’s help, retailers can offer their customers a different shopping method.
For example, an AI chatbot can be the perfect salesperson.
It could guide customers through a selection of products.
Starting from a few questions can lead the customer to the perfect choice.
Connecting all the information and data, It can suggest add-on and complementary items.
The average ticket value will increase.
It would make shopping more enjoyable while increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
4. It will change how businesses operate in other ways too.
AI can help retailers in many other ways besides improving customer satisfaction.
It can improve processes and reduce costs.
For example, AI can check inventory to identify the sale of each product.
It will be easier to manage excess and make forecasts.
Another way AI can help businesses is by providing employees with data.
The use of this data can help to manage their time and workloads more efficiently.
It will ensure that every employee has what they need to get work done.
It is important because employees who feel overwhelmed may become less productive.
Thus, it may impact customers, who may feel dissatisfied.
5. Retailers will need extra skillsets to work with artificial intelligence.
As mentioned above, retailers are already using AI for various purposes. Especially customer service and marketing.
Retailers need employees with a new set of skillsets to implement artificial intelligence.
Those skills need to go beyond those skills needed for technology-related positions.
For example, retailers will need employees who understand how technology works. and how they can use it within their business models.
They’ll also need employees with strong analytical skills to analyze data collected by AI systems. and determine which action should be taken.
These skills will be necessary to implement AI systems successfully.
6. Artificial intelligence will enable retailers to offer personalization at scale.
Personalized experiences are usually reserved for companies with a significant amount of customers.
Yet, artificial intelligence enables companies to provide personalized customer experiences at scale.
It means businesses can offer this type of experience even if they don’t have many customers.
AI allows them to collect data about their customers’ preferences.
Then it can use that data to provide individualized interactions with each customer.
Retailers can use AI to determine which products specific customers like based on their purchase history.
Based on this information, retailers can recommend products that interest these specific customers.
Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool for marketing.
In fact, according to a study by Adobe, companies that use artificial intelligence are seeing an increase in leads and conversions. compared with those that do not use AI in their marketing efforts.
7. AI will lead to better supply chain management.
AI can help retailers improve the efficiency of their supply chains. AI can collect data to predict future inventory levels and customer demand.
By predicting demand, AI can help retailers reallocate supply chains to accommodate additional customers.
AI can also help retailers improve the efficiency of their inventory management, and it can predict when products are about to run out and signal for restocking.
Retailers who use AI can manage inventory levels more efficiently and avoid waste, increasing profit margins.
You can read a very good example of the proper use of AI in my post on Shein’s Strategy
8 AI-based security and loss prevention measures
As AI becomes more advanced, it will become useful in security and loss prevention efforts.
It can collect data and learn from it, allowing it to spot patterns and abnormalities.
It can help retailers mitigate criminal activity, theft, and loss.
For example, it can flag unusual transactions helping identify fraudulent activity such as credit card fraud or fraudulent returns.
AI-based security and loss prevention measures can help retailers protect their assets and inventory from theft.
AI is one of the newest innovations.
With the help of AI, retailers can enhance the customer experience by collecting data and learning from it.
It can lead to better supply chain management, employee training and development, security and loss prevention measures, and more.