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AI can help Retail Industry to adapt to future of shopping

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Anoop Antony,Software Engineer

Quite possibly the retail industry has seen in most disruptions due to the expanse of the Internet, and just when the industry seems to have adapted to it, Artificial Intelligence emerges as a hurdle in sight forcing the industry to change its dynamics and functioning again, but rather than seeing it as a hurdle Artificial Intelligence can be the most significant tool at our disposal that can help the retail industry to stay relevant with the needs of the evolving modern customer and emerging technologies.

The emergence of Transactional Buying

The future of shopping will be binary, the traditional shopping as we know will exist, but a sub-category will emerge called transactional buying. Shoppers will not be interested in spending time buying groceries, milk, soap, toilet papers, baby diapers, etc. Instead, A.I assistants and bots will be doing this transactional buying for the consumers, essentially people will stop indulging in the shopping of things that don't excite them.

This changes the dynamics for so many consumer goods that will end up being bought by automation. Retailers need to strategize their efforts and investments in Artificial Intelligence to prevent brands and products from becoming irrelevant. 

The future of traditional shopping

When AI assistants and bots take up the mundanity of shopping, consumers' expectations and standards will be high from his experience from the shopping that excites him/her. Retailers will need to come up with innovative ideas to engage customers to form a profound relationship. Retailers must make use of artificial intelligence tools to have a deeper understanding of their customer, the more personal customer feels about the service he is getting, more are the chances of him/her coming back, in future 80% of the profit will be coming from the 20% of the existing customers, in short, customer retention will be the key.

Artificial Intelligence and Customer Engagement

Retailers will have to understand the expectations of the customer, why a customer is at the store, the retailer needs to be aware of where he can lose a possible customer and this knowledge is very profound but nuanced and beyond what a human can spot with naked eyes and sheets of paper. 

Retailers have to utilize the power of artificial intelligence to process the abundantly available customer data to predict a potential opportunity of sale and this can happen when the retailer knows what the customer wants. Retailers must create an interactive and engaging environment for the customer to feel that he is receiving attention at a personal level and artificial intelligence retailers can achieve this with far more efficiency and attendance than it is possible with human counterparts.

Artificial Intelligence can predict changing shopping habits

Retailers will have to accept the fact that the trends will change and shopping habits too. But artificial intelligence tools can help them stay ahead of the curve, based on the past data of customer's purchasing habits and consumer trends, retailers can get a heads up what's coming and they can plan their supply chain before a trend or customer demand is at the doorstep. 

Companies have to realize that the retail industry will always be on the verge of radical transformation either due to emerging technologies or changing consumer behaviors.  But for the first time, with Artificial Intelligence businesses have the tools to see what's coming and be planned rather than taken by surprise.

Retailers must realize what artificial Intelligence can bring to the table, and the right time to invest in Artificial Intelligence is now.


 

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