Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made significant advances over the last few years, and its emergence has taken the business world by the storm.
And the retail industry is taking full advantage of the AI capabilities to keep costs low, increase sales and ROI.
Retailers around the globe are implementing innovative technologies to increase automation or augmentation of the retail process.
Here are examples in which AI technologies are being integrated in the retail industry, broken down into sub-categories:
Sales and CRM Applications
Example: Pepper Robot
Pepper is a humanlike robot that can interact with customers and can understand human emotions. Pepper was developed in Japan, in 2010, by SoftBank with operation partnership with robotic manufacturer Aldebaran.
Pepper has already become very popular in Japan, and he is used as a customer service greeter and representative in 140 SoftBank mobile stores.
SoftBank launched a pilot program in California, in Palo Alto and Santa Monica, and results showed that Pepper increased 70% of foot traffic in Palo Alto, and 50% of sales in Santa Monica were credited to Pepper.
Our pal Pepper was placed in hip retail stores, as well, and retailers found a 98% increase in customer interaction, 20% increase in foot traffic, and a 300% increase in revenue.
The beloved AI creation can boost sales and customer engagement. Although it might be an expensive investment, in the long-term Pepper can decrease the number of staff you need.
Example: IBM Watson Cognitive Computing
IBM Watson Cognitive Computing technology collects and stores consumers’ shopping habits giving it the ability to predict their purchasing and make recommendations to the customer as to what else they should buy next.
It has been found that due to the predictions made by IBM Watson online sales have increased by 70%.
The retailer, North Face, implemented IBM Watson’s Cognitive computing technology and found that based on 55,000 user’s data collected, there was a 60% increase in click-through rate and 75% total sale conversion.
Example: Brilliant Manufacturing
General Electric’s (GE) created the Brilliant Manufacturing software to make the entire manufacturing process, from design to distribution and services, more efficient – saving the company money over time.
Companies that use Brilliant Manufacturing software during the production have reduced defective products and waste productivity.
Logistics and Delivery
Example 1: Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU)
Domino’s Pizza doesn’t only make pizza’s it’s also getting into the artificial intelligence game with their Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU), a prototype delivery robot.
DRU keeps food and drinks at the appropriate temperature, and its sensors help navigate the best travel path for delivery.
Domino’s Robotic Unit is still in the pilot testing phase. It has not been launched to the public as of yet, but he is expected to be your new delivery boy soon.
Example 2: Amazon Drones
July 2016, Amazon partnered with the UK government in delivering small parcels via drones. Prime Air, is a delivery system that will deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.
Similar to Domino’s Robotic Unit, Amazon’s Prime Air has not been launched yet. It is currently being tested in various international locations, in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Israel.
Image a world where we can order an item, 5 lbs. or less, and it arrives at our doorstep minutes later.
Example: Amazon Go
Amazon is revolutionizing the concept of shopping, both online and for traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon has created a grocery store, called Amazon Go, which has a check-out-free technology that allows customers to shop and leave without the need for a cashier.
Amazon Go was designed to make the whole shopping process automated. Customers use the Amazon Go app to check in before entering the store and sensors throughout the store track objects that the customer picks up and puts in their basket. Then, the customer will be automatedly charged when they leave the store.
Today, there is only one Amazon Go store, in Seattle, Washington, but this could be the future of shopping. We may no longer need cashiers to check us out.
Think about all the time this AI technology is going to save for us.
Maropost Marketing Cloud – Da Vinci
Our favorite AI technology of them all is Da Vinci, which is featured in our Maropost Marketing Cloud (MMC). MMC tracks user actions, habits, and behavior across all channels and aggregates that into a unique user profile.
Da Vinci’s algorithm will then take the unique user profile to determine relevant content and product recommendations for that individual. Da Vinci will also automatically define the optimal time to send each email based the person’s purchasing, browsing, and email habits.
The use of Maropost Marketing Cloud will improve Marketing ROI by 63 times!
As the years go on the use of Artificial Intelligence will become predominately stronger, and it will revolutionize the retail industry. With all of the competition and the change in the market, AI is becoming crucial to stay on top of your game and improve customer experience.