Research&Markets predicts that retail enterprises will spend $5 billion on artificial intelligence technology by 2022. Analysts also believe that retail companies will be able to increase their profit by 60% due to the application of AI systems by 2035.
Currently, Russia is already integrating AI into its retail industry. It helps to boost revenues of trading companies and optimizes in-store purchases. Let’s figure out why artificial intelligence is used in retail and how customers and sellers benefit from it.
Advantages of AI in retail
Today, there are a lot of retail companies on the market. Super markets and average stores establish both large corporations and small enterprises. Therefore, customers can easily find appropriate goods in the 21st century. However, entrepreneurs have to take greater efforts to attract clients to their shops. Artificial intelligence technologies help to compete for buyers’ attention.
AI systems are able to:
- calculate the best possible price of products given the demand and consumers’ behavior;
- entice clients to permanent shops and prepare tips for visitors of online trading facilities;
- predict personnel requirements and arrange work schedule for employees;
- offer the most preferable scenarios of product promotion;
- manage logistic supplies;
- give forecasts about shopping behavior, etc.
Let’s consider in detail some case studies of AI system application in retail.
Nowadays, it is the wireless Internet and mobile phones that help to allure clients to permanent shops. Therefore, the Wi-Fi router installed in the outlet is integrated with a special module. It collects phone numbers and МАСaddresses of gadgets connected to its network. Afterwards, obtained information is analyzed and compared with various customer databases. Based on received data, retailers form virtual images of clients whom they will send a certain kind of advertising.
Valtera jewelry shops in Moscow and St. Petersburg activated Wi-Fi mobile phone scanners. They recorded МАСaddresses of smartphones. Acquired information was compared with the database of loyal customers. Realizing that a person whose МАСaddress was in the base passed close by the outlet, the system sent them SMS with recommended goods and special offers.
The AI system was operating in a test mode. As the result, the experiment succeeded. A conversion from messages into purchases was 1.4%.
L'Estoile used the same pattern to attract buyers. Its experience was successful as well.
AI systems are able to analyze arrays of data so that retailers can predict consumer behavior. Thus, one is developing online interfaces that hold users’ attention longer.
Due to machine learning, L`Occitane has found out that Russian consumers accept decisions on the order page of the website for more than 13 seconds. Then, specialists introduced changes in company’s regional portals. Consequently, the retailer managed to increase sales from mobile devices by 15%.
Rive Gauche uses the AI system that determines the chances for loyalty card holders returning to the shop with an accuracy of 47%. In 33% of cases, it correctly defines two products that the customer will buy within the next 14 days.
Online sales tips
Artificial intelligence is extensively used to create tips for online store clients. AI systems analyze users’ requests and offer various goods based on them. Such an approach allows retailers to boost profit and allows customers to find required products faster.
M.Video applies Detectum’s AI system. It analyzes inquiries and preferences of shop clients. Relying on this information, artificial intelligence shows users recommended items.
Due to the application of AI technology, the level of conversion from search queries into purchases grew by 15%. Moreover, the number of customers utilizing the search on M.Video websites increased by 25%. The total sum of their purchases was 30% of entire sales volume.
AI to assist buyers
Now, algorithms simplify the search for required goods, help to choose clothes and food, make orders in Internet stores. This makes the shopping process quicker and more efficient.
The AI system by Yahoo! Research and National Technical University of Athens helps people to dress up in a total look. Users load their photos on the service. The algorithm recognizes clothes on the image and searches for similar things in the database. Eventually, users receive tips on where to buy alike elements of clothing.
Stanford’s AI system recognizes people’s clothes on the photo and defines what fashionable details they use in their image.
Such virtual assistants as Alice by Yandex and Alexa by Amazon can order necessary goods on the Internet at user’s request.
Point Inside has designed a chatbot that assists people via a mobile app in finding various goods and services, information desks, WCs, places for getting online purchases in large stores, shopping malls, and airports.
As of today, the integration of artificial intelligence into retail is one of the ways to satisfy the requirements of both trading platforms and customers. AI systems allow the first ones to increase revenues and attract more clients. They help consumers to find necessary goods more rapidly and spend less time on purchases. The Russian retail sector has not yet adopted artificial intelligence on a massive scale. Nevertheless, advanced companies have already managed to appreciate advantages of these technologies.