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When Retail and AI Combine: An “Innovation for Retail” that offline marketers can’t miss

DIGITAL VENTURES June 02, 2018 7:21 AM


Recently, Digital Ventures shared about AI in different aspects. However, the topic that readers are most interested in is AI and the business sector that is viewed as having the most effect on us. Today, we chose a story about how AI is entering the retail industry and clearly affecting our lives and the economy.

“Attitude of the executives” is the main driver for AI to support retail businesses.

More and more AI is being used in businesses because of executives who view that AI will benefit the business. Infosys studied the effects of AI in the labor market in C-Level executives and found that 90% of executives are looking to see how AI can benefit their business. Also, 73% of interviewed executives believe that AI will make their business operations better. 

As a result, we see new AI solutions driving businesses. In the retail business, AI is used in sales, marketing, and manufacturing. Let’s take a look at how advanced AI in the retail business is.



Chatbot and Voice Assistant: A 24-hours sales assistant. 

Today, numerous retail businesses are moving into the online sales. This helps customers to easily access the stores via the internet. An essential tool for online shopping is the “Chatbot”. It helps stores continue their sales even when it is off business hours.

Nowadays, Chatbots have been developed to naturally and efficiently communicate with a human. With AI, Chatbots can increase new capabilities and perform tasks beyond just replying to a text. For example, they can store data such as the names and information of the customer, record sales order, and confirm payment. At present, there are several developers, both in Thailand and abroad, who combine Chatbots and AI.

Not only Chatbots, but AI is also behind another retail business tool such as the voice assistant. It works by using AI’s ability for Natural Language Process to help voice assistant better understand human everyday language. As a result, the system can more precisely interpret command that is vernacular language.

Today, several stores are using this system to offer customers a better shopping experience.



Innovative customer experience via AI and Augmented Reality (AR). 

Many products require several steps before arriving at a decision to buy, thus, merely asking may not be satisfying. Sometimes, customers need to try them on to get a better picture such as with clothing and accessories. This is where AI can work with Augmented Reality to create a simulation. For example, projecting a clothing on our body by calculation from our figure. This is a combination of technology that is becoming popular. McKinsay Company and Business of Fashion found that this year, 75% of fashion retailer is investing in AI to enhance their business.

AI as a social sales assistant: More in-depth market analysis.

Social Media is a powerful marketing tool of this era. This is because it is a source of news and a center of information that are beneficial for marketing plans. Here, AI becomes a social sales assistant who analyzes in-depth data of its users. An example is creating advertising plans that fit users by analyzing the information that users shared on social media. AI can analyze information for marketers to precisely forecast consumer behavior. 

The right pricing strategy with Big Data.

Not only can AI match products and customers via advertisement, but they can also plan the right pricing strategy using Big Data. AI uses Big Data to understand the popularity of the product, stocks, production capacity, to production cost, logistics cost, and profit. Then, it can generate the pricing that matches the sales strategy of the manufacturer. For example, it can generate a high price when demand is high and reduce the price when they need to decrease the stocks. This helps stores and producers efficiently define their pricing and take one burden off marketers.



AI and robots can enhance the manufacturing sector.

Not only is AI limited to sales and marketing, but they can also assist the manufacturing sector as well and this has a direct effect towards the ecosystem. For example, the robotic car manufacturer from Fanuc installed the Gakushu Learning Software. It is an AI that directly adds the ability to learn and analyze. This helped increase productivity speed by 15% which is a significant number for retails as they can produce more cars using lesser time per car.

Driverless vehicles: The future of logistics and e-commerce by AI.

In the e-commerce era, logistics connects manufacturers and buyers. We often picture the future wherein driverless cars can deliver goods. We may see both driverless cars on the roads or tiny robots in homes, all of which, require AI. Although in its experimenting phase, the idea of driverless cars delivering goods for retails prove to have high possibilities.

For more information about driverless cars and AI, visit AI, Machine Learning, and Data Science Can All Learn: So, how do they differ?