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How AI can change retail

"With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), brands are now able to offer a wide range of options that can impress customers and strengthen their purchase intent"

In the age of digital transformation, retail businesses are increasingly relying on technology to deliver exceptional customer experience. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), brands are now able to offer a wide range of options that can impress customers and strengthen their purchase intent. However, with so many options available today, it is easy for customers to drift away and for brands to lose value. Consequently, firms are putting a stronger focus on leveraging technology to retain customers.

Modern-day customer engagement is powered by AI algorithms and offers personalised experiences. Such capabilities also provide real-time insights into customer behaviour through massive amounts of data, which helps brands with decision-making around marketing strategies.

When segmented into different technical components, the AI-powered experience that brands deliver to customers is unique in several ways. While chatbots can bring a humanised conversational angle demonstrating care for customers, automated periodic notifications can keep customers updated about every product and service they are searching for. AI-enabled review responders can track real-time perceptions and assure customers appropriately to ensure positive associations. AI tools can offer targeted promotions in local marketing contexts, aligning to demographics, seasonality, local taste, and purchase patterns. Particularly in the retail space where brands are represented by stores that serve as engagement platforms, AI-powered capabilities can make the customer’s experience more personal, interactive, and efficient.

Today, AI allows for better tracking and assessment of in-store individual customer behaviour, displays digital signages for enhanced interactions, and uses sensors to understand customer actions better. AI-powered self-serving options further allow customers to feel empowered and refine their brand image. AI is also helping retailers in improving demand, optimise product placement, and make more informed price decisions. This is further resulting in customers connecting with the products they want, in the right place, at the right time. As it stands, brands are becoming increasingly mindful of the way customers perceive them, and hence are consciously making an attempt to enrich every touchpoint. The use of advanced digital capabilities has made it easier for brands to achieve this goal.

AI has started to revolutionise retail businesses. Engaging with customers and increasing revenue opportunities are becoming hassle-free. Brands are encouraging AI’s inclusion in front-end activities that involve customers. Teams such as marketing, sales, and account management are finding it highly beneficial. Retailers too are striving to understand the ways in which AI can be utilised in areas such as demand forecasting and inventory management.

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