AI and the future of Retail
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence by machines especially computer systems, including learning, reasoning and self-correction. In every walk of life where technology is replacing human efforts, AI is laying the foundation of autonomous decision making.
Speech Recognition, Expert Systems and Machine Visions. Moreover, there are some more applications that work on artificial intelligence like Image Recognition, Chatbots, Natural Language Generation and Sentiment Analysis.
Going deep into insights of Artificial Intelligence, it can be seen that there are two types of AI that you can identify effortlessly from daily routines i.e. Weak AI and Strong AI.
Weak AI is designed and trained for particular task. For example: Apple’ Siri.
Strong AI is designed in such way that when it is used even in an unfamiliar task then it can be able to find the best solution without human intervention. Complex algorithms are used in strong AI to make efficient in all types of scenarios. For example: Speech Recognition.
AI is making its place everywhere these days. When you are sitting on your sofas at your home and using your cell phones, there are numbers of applications using AI just like image recognition for unlocking the screen, speech recognition in google search, Office Graph and many more.
AI in Retail & e-commerce:
Brick and Mortar Retail stores and e-Commerce have been at loggerheads with each other and with increasing market share and convenience of online buying, the retail sector is bound for some serious innovation. To keep retail stores relevant, AI is doing the heavy lifting by combining customer, stock, inventory insights and producing customer experiences that are not possible online.
However it’s easier said than done. Walking into a shopping center without having exact idea of where to go and where pick the basket from, we are bound to start reconsidering our decision to visit the store. Being lost and just roaming around, going floor to floor to find the customer support window to maybe get more frustrated, makes online support seem much better.
To tackle this and to make sure that this does not happen, a retailer like Lowe’s have been using AI robotic technology in their stores since 2016. A technology named as LoweBot is an autonomous retail service boy that travels all around the store to be there and help the customers with their queries. LoweBot not only helps customers but also the customer associates by doing their work like customer’s nominal QA so that they can focus on other tasks around the store.
Isn’t it incredible that you can interact with LoweBot by speaking as well as by using its touchscreen to ask questions and to get perfect responses? LoweBot can walk alongside you and lead you where you want to go. Lowebot is also the solution to long queues.
To make shopping easier and stress free, Caper has successfully created AI shopping cart that helps customers in every way possible. Caper is intelligent enough to see, scan and log the items in cart. The cart has a weight sensor as well. Moreover, the cart has a touchscreen through which customers can interact with the cart and in return, the cart even provides meal recommendations and navigates through the easiest route to different sections of the store. There is more. The incredible feature in this cart is that it has a card slot where you can insert your card or debit card to pay the bill without standing into a long lane and even going to the register.
Many stores are now tracking customer locations inside the store and where they spend most of their time. By using special computer vision technology, it is possible to track the body language of customers. It is possible to understand behavior of customers and link them with the products they are more prone to buying. In fact this is being done in restaurants.
Then there are other innovations like predicting the stock inventory in stores and shelves that stores are tracking to make sure customers get the products when they need.
Most of the retail stores have started training their employees on the AI applications. Sooner or later AI is going to become the ultimate retail sector’s requirement.
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