Artificial Intelligence is the hottest and most promising development in the tech landscape for a couple of years, now. According to market firm Tractica, global AI revenues will see a massive growth from just USD 643.7 million in 2016 to an excess of USD 36.8 billion in 2025.
Nearly all the market segments, industries, and business domains are actively interested in AI and are looking to harness the technology for business benefits. AI offers companies the power to reduce costs and make the shopping experience much more delightful and efficient for the end consumers. Naturally, how can the retail segment stay away from the promising technology?
The Retail-AI Syndicate
According to Global Market Insights, investments in AI by retail segment will exceed USD 8 billion by 2024. As more applications for machine learning, predictive analytics and deep learning technologies are experimented with success, digital disruption in retail segment is bound to happen at a much rapid pace.
Globally, AI experts believe that the technology offers a wide range of applications for the retail segment. In the coming year, retail will see greater infusion of AI-based solutions in day-to-day operations. AI will definitely change the customer service cycle in retail and both retailers as well as the consumers are bound to benefit from the AI-Retail syndicate.
The AI Impact
Artificial Intelligence can serve as a boon for retail companies that gather and possess customer data. AI can derive meaningful conclusions from massive amount of data and help companies to create personalized shopping experiences via highly-structured web shops, intelligent in-store bots and online chatbots. Let us see how AI will transform the retail experience for the shoppers in 2019.
- Digital Racks for Apparel & Fashion Products
With the help of AI technology, apparel retail brands can create virtual racks and trial rooms with gesture walls and touch-free monitors to find the right style, without having to shuffle through a pile. Customers can instantly see how a dress would look on them and can browse through recommendations based on their preferences and style quotient.
All this will not only enhance the shopping experience but will help customers to choose from millions of options, that is currently not possible due to space constraints inside a physical store. With AI, a store can be converted into a bustling repository of design and draping ideas that users can choose from. Also, stores will be able to gather deeper insights into consumer behaviour, optimising their product portfolio for much better retail experience delivery.
- Virtual Trial Rooms for Swift Decision Making
While shopping for a new dress or an apparel, trying out different options can get quite frustrating and time consuming. With the help of virtual trial rooms equipped with digital mirrors, customers can actually try dresses without having to change again and again.
Using a gesture and touch-based interface, a shopper can mix and match various outfits, accessories, shoes, etc. to finalise the perfect look, in no time. Not only for apparel brands, virtual mirrors can make it easier for cosmetic companies and beauty brands to portray how a lipstick shade or foundation would appear on real skin without forcing customers to apply the product.
- Robotic/digital assistance will be a reality
Using AI, smart analytics and natural language processing technology, retail stores can give customers the power to get instant support, inside the stores. By placing robots and touch panels, stores can help customers locate an item, get answers to their queries and find out how a product can make their life easier.
With the help of customer service bots powered by AI, stores can reduce their manpower costs and provide 24x7 assistance to the customers. Not only will it improve customer service levels but will definitely attract more buyers to the store in 2019.
- Behavioural Analytics Powered by AI-backed Surveillance
Using modern surveillance equipment powered by AI and computer vision technologies, retailers can capture and study customer behaviour inside stores. This will help them understand engagement levels with current store layout and optimise operations for higher engagement and revenues.
Video analytics can also improve in-store security and reduce the chances of theft. With the help of AI, surveillance footage can be monitored in real time and alerts can be sent to administrators, store owners for immediate action.
- Better Customer Support via Chatbots
AI-powered chatbots are enabling retail brands to engage customers, efficiently. With the help of chatbots, brands can handle thousands of queries simultaneously, without having to employ a large workforce.
Chatbots can be configured to answer questions, provide shopping suggestions and provide prompt support. Using a mixture of AI chatbots and humans, brands will be able to effectively handle customers and provide users with a better resolution of their problem. When customers will get prompt and personalized attention, they will engage deeply with the brand, paving way for enhanced customer loyalty.
All these scenarios are not just a fantasy but will be experienced by retail shoppers in the coming years. Artificial Intelligence will rule the retail domain and help brands become more customer-centric and efficient in retail operations. Is your retail brand ready to harness the true potential of AI? Consult our experts and discover how AI can help your brand in 2019.
Originally Published: https://www.tech21century.com/artificial-intelligence-in-retail-industry/