Artificial intelligence (AI) and its concrete application are among the top trends in the tech world. Meanwhile, it has found its way into analogue and digital retail. As the IT provider SymphonyAI Retail announced in a press release, the AI market is expected to reach an estimated 36 billion US dollars in this industry by 2030. The AI specialist has analysed the added value of AI and automation, in which areas are mainly reflected in the year that has just begun.
AI-supported inventory and warehouse management
The industry will continue to face supply shortages and unavailable goods in 2023. Therefore, retailers must look at ways to convince with an always well-stocked assortment despite supply chain difficulties.
You benefit here, in particular, from two capabilities of an AI-based platform: it can map a current status and occurring changes in real-time and make forecasts for the future. This gives you precise insight into your stock levels and, at the same time, allows you to anticipate potential demand. This reveals possible supply bottlenecks for suppliers. The solution can thus recommend alternative suppliers so that retailers can avoid gapless shelves. Companies that support their supply chain management with AI systems have improved their inventory levels by 35 per cent and reduced their logistics costs by 15 per cent.
The omnichannel experience must be right
Over the past few years, consumers have preferred omnichannel shopping. They appreciate the overview and convenience of online shops, but want to take a closer look at and test products in stationary shops. Omnichannel shoppers tend to be more loyal than consumers who are only on one channel. The other side of the coin: they are more prone to shop at other retailers once the buying experience is poor. AI-based technology can help retailers respond to these new demands, target omnichannel consumers and keep them longer. For example, a customer insights platform collects and evaluates data that tells them a lot about their customers’ buying behaviour and needs. The results can then be used to build and manage the appropriate omnichannel strategy. The added value for the retailer can take various forms: through the combined physical-digital experience, loyalty programmes or individual special offers.
Picking up consumers with smart stores
The increasingly popular omnichannel retailing has set another trend: smart stores. They are the right place to merge the benefits of digital and analogue shopping. AI plays an essential role in such an environment, and they uncover nuances and changes in shopping behaviour. This enables retailers to improve the buying experience across the entire customer journey – for example, thanks to a needs-based assortment, an attractive sales floor or targeted marketing activities. In addition, using robotics and automation adds much value to brick-and-mortar retail in terms of convenience and forms the basis for smart, autonomous shops. Such a system not only automatically takes over individual shopping steps for the customer, such as payment, but can also notify retailers in real-time as soon as there are discrepancies regarding the stock, thanks to machine learning. They can take appropriate measures to ensure, among other things, that no stock shortages occur and that promotions are carried out as planned.