AI in Retails

Taras Tymoshchuck
Nov 6, 2019 · 5 min read

AI in retail

Artificial intelligence (AI) captures the world, penetrates into all spheres of business and our life. AI is no longer a futuristic technology that promises to transform business. It is an online tool that can help retailers manage costs and make their brands more relevant to consumer needs and create a more personalized experience. It is believed that retail trade is now in decline due to the development of online stores. People find online shopping increasingly attractive. There they can get acquainted with other people’s reviews, order goods online and receive it for home delivery on the same day.

Many analysts have come to the conclusion that the days of traditional retail are coming to the end, but Erik Thorsen, a representative of Nvidia, is sure that the portrait of the buyer has changed, and stores also need to implement changes. In the modern world, only those trading networks that use modern technologies will be alive.

Pepper robot

9 years ago, the telecommunications company SoftBank from Japan, together with the French robotics manufacturer Aldebaran, created the Pepper project. The final product is a humanoid robot that is capable of interacting with customers and understanding human emotions. Pepper has already gained popularity in Japan, where he interacts with clients as a consultant. At the time of this writing, this robot is present in 140 SoftBank outlets. According to Softbank Robotics America, the pilot launch of this robot in b88ta stores in Palo Alto and Santa Monica caused a 70% increase in visitors in Palo Alto. Moreover, sales of the Neo-pen in Santa Monica were increased, which is also attributed to Pepper.

Pepper Robot

In terms of retail operations, AI can help reduce costs and increase efficiency. For example, providing intelligent services to customers using bots or personalizing the shopping experience, with more specific inventory recommendations based on customer preferences, artificial intelligence can reduce labor costs. It can also increase brand relevance by predicting customer buying trends based on shopping patterns and social media messages.

AI was also used in the Ave clothing store, where the company received a 98% improvement in customer interaction, a 20% increase in the number of visitors and a 300% increase in revenue.


Conversica software is a sales assistant. It’s a good assistant to automate and improve the sales process. Here, for example, is a use case from Star2Star Communications, which created its sales representative operating on the basis of Conversica. The representative got the name Rachel. It became the reason that 30% of potential customers responded to the company’s newsletter in just a few hours. Also, the sales assistant can be used to cross-sell or re-attract existing customers. The company Boch Automotive, located in New England, has applied the development of Conversica, which increased the average sales figure in the Toyota dealership center 60 times. And this is a month.

IBM Watson Cognitive Computing

The North Face brand has implemented technology from IBM to help customers determine which clothes will be better for them. The system was based on customer data, including geolocation, gender, season, activity, etc. For example, if a person travels around Iceland in October, the system will pick up one set of clothes for him, if he goes to work in Toronto in January, the set will be different.

Based on the published statistics, 60% of the clickability rate and 75% of the total sales conversion were achieved. However, we cannot say whether these results are normal for the company, nor can we determine whether they are stable or whether such a stir has been caused by the novelty of the program.

Gakushu — training program

Fanuc’s Gakushu software is designed for training and installed in robots in order to speed up calculations for a specific task. Gakushu robots study the manufacturing process and collect data used for training.

Robots are able to adapt to environmental conditions in real-time and change the production process based on Fanuc data. The learning process of the robot using Fanuc programs lasts approximately 18 cycles. After that, the sensor is removed, and the trained robots perform tasks independently.

The trained robots are controlled with an accelerometer to teach the movements and ensure their increased stability. The Tesla team acquired 600 Fanuc robots for their Fremont plant. And based on data from Bloomberg Businessweek, this company made an even bigger order to speed up the production of Tesla Model 3.

Domino robots (DRU)

A prototype of this formulation can keep food and drinks at the right temperature. DRU sensors help you navigate and determine the best route for delivery. This design uses robotic technologies that were previously used for military purposes. DRU appeared in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany. However, the company did not disclose the date when this development could be massively implemented on a commercial basis. It is possible that in the next 10 years, such technologies will develop at a rapid pace.

Amazon Drones

Amazon said it was going to work with the UK authorities in order to deliver small packages via drones. The company cooperates with airlines around the world. Amazon Prime Air is the future delivery system in which packages up to 2.27 kg will be delivered within 30 minutes.

Amazon is currently developing and improving the security and reliability of these devices. Amazon notes that they work with regulators from different countries, and so far mass commercial use of “courier drones” is not planned. Domino is confident that the autonomous delivery of goods will become a mass phenomenon within 10 years.

Many people believe that artificial intelligence technologies are being introduced too slowly into retail. We believe that the “boom” of artificial intelligence in commerce will occur in 5 years when most companies will create business-critical applications that will change the perception of working with clients and the conduct of business in general. The most recognized, most likely, will receive technology, changing interaction with customers. But the “fashion” of artificial intelligence in retail will be dictated by large companies that will find the best ways to apply these revolutionary ideas.

If you want to know more tech news — visit our Geniusee blog — :)

Taras Tymoshchuck

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