A Year in Review – Retail

A Year in Review – Retail

In the modern age, retail services rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize customer experience, forecast trends in sales, and supplement inventory management. By replacing what was once intuition with intelligence, retail services can supplement every aspect of their service and as more companies integrate AI into their DevOps departments, AI is no longer an auxiliary option, but rather a mandatory option to stay competitive. All things considered, Gartner’s research found that 77% of retailers will integrate AI into their service platform within the next year and in the next five years, Omdia predicts that retailer spending on AI will hit $9.8 billion, which is roughly 26.3% of the expected global AI spending.

The biggest barrier AI will alleviate is within inventory management. Companies like Amazon have integrated roughly 200,000 robots in their warehouses to help select and organize products to streamline shipping. Additionally, Walmart deployed scanner robots that are able to pinpoint locations of out-of-stock items and transmit that information to unloader robots to optimize what gets restocked first. By freeing up workers from routine tasks, employees can spend more time focusing on customer interaction and engagement. 

Within the scope of customer experience, most online companies have integrated a chatbot to help supplement customer questions and services. Built off of AI, chatbots can interactively answer frequently asked questions, recommend products, and collect valuable data from the customer prior to connecting them with an actual person. According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, retailers are expected to spend roughly $1.6 billion integrating chatbots and VR/AR by 2025. 

With the ability to close the gap between intuition and insights, more retailers will operationalize AI as a catalyst for their sales. 

Keep an eye out for The Data Standard’s full report on The State of Data Science coming January 6th!

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