Modern technologies have already firmly entered our lives. They make life easier for us. However, if we are talking about various industries in which advanced technologies are used, then their significance is much more influential.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are not something from the future—it is a part of the present. One industry that finds multiple uses for these technologies is retail.
This year, the volume of AI in this industry amounted to about 8.5 billion dollars. According to forecasts, next year the volume will be about 10 billion dollars. In 10 years, the volume of AI in this industry will be over $45 billion.
The technology has a wide range of applications and every year retail companies discover new areas of application within the same industry. Since only large players in the market are now engaged in the implementation of artificial intelligence, in the future we will see how representatives of small and medium-sized businesses begin to actively adopt it. The big players that are using AI in retail are Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, NVIDIA, Intel, and many others.
We want to consider what value artificial intelligence will have for the retail industry in the coming year.
Service Quality Improvement
Since there are quite a lot of physical stores, they face huge competition from online stores. In this regard, both physical stores and online stores are beginning to resort to the help of modern technologies to improve the quality of service and earn a competitive advantage.
In these efforts, artificial intelligence is helping merchants provide their customers with a service that will not cause any negativity. Technology helps personalize the experience, that is, each client receives an individual approach. In retail, this provides an excellent competitive advantage, because it is important for each client to be the one and only.
Unfortunately, so far only large enterprises can afford the introduction of such advanced technologies, so small businesses are resorting to other methods of customer service. However, technology will become more accessible in the future. Already, many are turning to AI-based chatbots to provide 24/7 customer assistance.
Improving Supply Chain Efficiency
The advantage of using such cutting-edge technology is that it helps process and collect huge amounts of data. We’re talking about Big Data. If people manually processed it, the results would be long in coming.
However, for artificial intelligence, large amounts of data are not a problem. The importance lies only in providing quality data for processing. Only then can you be sure that the results will also be of high quality.
Amid the global pandemic, retailers were facing unprecedented challenges—particularly those associated with catastrophic supply disruptions, which caused sellers’ revenues to drop significantly. However, artificial intelligence helps find ways out of even the most deplorable conditions.
Next year, many more retailers will use AI directly to improve the efficiency of product deliveries. This technology, using various sensors, as well as the Internet of Things, can save retailers from problems with logistics.
The technology can process data on weather conditions, logistical routes, information from customers, as well as many other data. Based on such data, sellers will be able to choose the most optimal delivery options for goods, so that customers are satisfied.
In addition, next year there will be an increase in the number of sellers who will use artificial intelligence to predict demand in various regions. Many sellers are faced with the fact that they cannot predict which places and which goods there will be increased demand at various times.
Because of this, many warehouses are overfilled, which leads to increased costs, or underfilled orders for various goods that are in high demand. All of this results in retailers facing increased costs and little profit. However, AI helps analyze and predict such things with the help of which sellers will be able to boost their sales.
Focus on Repetitive Activities
Most of the tasks that full-time employees of companies in the retail industry perform are repetitive. Instead of focusing employees on the more important things, they have to waste precious time and energy on repetitive actions.
However, in the coming year, we may see an increase in the number of companies and merchants who will resort to process automation. We are talking about robots, as well as other assistants that allow you to leave staff members to do more important tasks.
AI-powered equipment can help manage online platforms, pack and deliver goods, process customer orders and carts, and much more. Instead, employees will be able to pay attention to the choice of effective strategies, including marketing ones.
Increasing the Number of Services
The use of this advanced technology, like any other, will lead to an increase in the number of services. Thanks to the fact that sellers will be able to automate a huge number of processes, specialists will be able to focus on the development of new products. In addition, artificial intelligence will create even more conditions for developing smarter products that will improve customer experience, lead to innovations, and much more.
In this matter, an important role is played by the data that AI will process. Since this technology does not just process data, but also makes predictions and provides information about possible improvements, retailers will be able to clearly understand what their customers want.
Moreover, it will help make forecasts for the near future. Retailers will be able to think through their strategies for the next several years. This will allow them to keep up with the times, surprise their customers, and satisfy all their needs.
An increasing number of sellers are beginning to resort to the use of CRM systems, as well as virtual assistants. With the help of AI, it is possible not only to find new methods to attract new customers but also to improve methods of retaining loyal customers. We are talking about unique customer service, personalized experience, and individual recommendations.
To date, in the retail sector, only large corporations are widely using artificial intelligence to perform various business processes. As many merchants are only just beginning to understand the benefits of using this technology, next year we may see an increase in the number of companies implementing modern solutions. This technology is driving better customer service, easier supply chain management, demand forecasting, and more.
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