Retailers must catch up with how recommendation engines are redefining customer experience, how retail business value chain transformation is shaping up, and how AI can enhance the supply chain aspects of their business.
AI retail- The brick-and-mortar retail industry is not in a good moment right now. Much of the turmoil in this industry comes from the fact that consumers are seeking a richer and indulging retail experience that reduces friction – much like what they have now become used to as they shop online. Consumers also expect traditional retailers to capture the essence of their individuality – who they are, what they like, and how they prefer to consume information. Retailers need to understand and align themselves with the expectations of the consumers in order to increase profitability and customer loyalty. They need to not only be aware, but also go full throttle for adopting technologies such as AI for influencing and revolutionising customer behaviour.
Retailers need to explore use cases pertaining to exponential technologies to address the disruption that their industry is going through. They need to catch up with how recommendation engines are redefining customer experience, how retail business value chain transformation is shaping up, and how AI can enhance the supply chain aspects of their business. And as I mentioned, awareness is simply not enough – they need to assess and adopt these technologies on a war footing to survive in the world we live in today.
The data-powered disruption of retail
Data in the retail industry is increasing exponentially in terms of volume, variety, velocity – and more importantly – value with every passing year. Smarter retailers are increasingly aware of how every interaction between the business and customers holds the potential to increase customer loyalty and drive additional customer revenue. Retailers that adopt AI today have the potential to raise their operating margins by as much as 60 percent.
But just having the data and building reports that summarise customer behaviour at an aggregate level are not enough. Insights are important, no doubt, but retailers desperately need systems that can make actionable decisions from the data. Insights into average user behaviour is simply too broad. Retailers need to now create a meaningful dialogue with each individual customer that honours their shopper’s preferred level and mode of engagement.This requires more than summarised reports. It requires technologies powered by AI – the ability to minutely understand every customer individually and take actions that each individual customer expects.
We now live in a time where data-driven decisions are extremely pervasive and useful. So much so that the worlds of ecommerce and traditional commerce are seamlessly merging. Every company is now omni-channel. Whether you think of Walmart buying Flipkart to boost their online presence or you take Amazon purchasing Whole Foods to bolster their brick-and-mortar presence. It is not about the web, the app, or the store – it is about having all of those. With the quantum of data available, we’ve seen an extraordinary few years in the retail industry – in the sense that data is actively deconstructing and rebuilding what retail will look like tomorrow. Traditional incumbents need to pay heed to the warning signs signalled by their defunct counterparts and aggressively embrace the data-driven disruption of retail.