The future of retail continues looking grim, as more brick and mortar stores close their doors. While the internet and automation are typically to blame for these closures, the same technology could be the solution for physical store locations. After being in the retail industry for more than 30 years, Winsor said that artificial intelligence or Retail AI solutions and machine learning are tools retailers must use to get ahead—and to stay open.
How businesses stayed open in the past
“Data-driven retail is not new. Technology has been around to help companies understand their business from a data perspective before,” Winsor said. “The data just hasn’t been as individual and accurate, as the way that machine learning can help you do that.”
To make forecasts earlier, retailers would just look at day-to-day and weekly transactional information and draw assumptions from that, Winsor said.
As technology progressed and convenience became a priority, online stores became the main way to shop. Since technology seized the shopping experience, it also took over the method retailers draw conclusions and estimates about their services. If retailers refuse to advance and familiarize themselves to an evolving trade infrastructure, they will unavoidably be left behind.
The three ways Retail AI Solutions help retailers
With AI, we’re dealing with machines that can simulate intelligent behavior or imitate intelligent human behavior. One of the most popular ways leading brands are using AI today is through machine learning.
“The difference is that with machine learning, systems can recognize patterns from clean data sets, and with proper management, learn from that data to assess and even predict outcomes and improve performance over time,” Solis added. “This helps retailers learn how to personalize engagement, offers and next best action, as well as guide product and service development.”
1. A better understanding of customer behavior
Machine learning helps retailers understand their customers and predict future behaviors. With retail AI solutions, companies can gather updated insights about customer behavior to act fast. Speed to market activity is immensely valuable in the retail market and AI can provide that support to the companies.
2. Forecasting with AI
Retailers are using AI and automated machine learning to operate their demand forecasting to understand the actual quantity needed today based on the demand from the customers. Not only will this increase accuracy, but it increases operational efficiency, saving both time and money for the organization. The usage of AI is going to really increase the accuracy because retailers are taking in, learning from the past and predicting what the quantity needs to be in the future. Operational efficiency is absolutely key in the retail industry because we’re talking about an industry that is operating its business on very low operating margins.”
3. Streamlining product supply and development
Machine learning and AI can play a noteworthy role in determining a retailer’s supply and development plans.
Machine learning can answer key questions such as are retailers selling the correct products now based on the customer’s demands and expectations? And are the products priced at the right level? And are they the right products in the right assortment in the right stores—in the right location?
How we are helping retailers with AI
We are helping one of the largest MFS company in Bangladesh to get outlet-level insights the market never knew it could get. We take outlet photos and data from retailers and registered general crowd with our customized AI-enabled software, then apply AI and advanced analytics. So, they get outlet-level data on Google Maps–
- POS material occupancy/share of voice (visibility)
- Consumer offtake
They can also ask the market anything, directly through the software to get market feedback faster. Ask their questions to retailers, consumers or field force, and set a value for answers and a timeline for responses. They can even choose to ask specifically to a target group—by age, gender, locality, or profession. This is the level details and insights our client can produce through our AI-enabled retail technology.
Contact us today to know about how we can create Retail AI solutions for you.