How AI is Transforming Retail

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Ai in retail face many challenges that would keep most business leaders up at night — changes in consumer behavior, shortages of staff and rising labor costs, increasing competition from online competitors, the melding of physical and digital sales channels and massive losses caused by theft. AI is a tool that can help with these issues.

Some retailers are using ai to monitor customer feedback, thanks to tools like generative AI, and to respond to customers directly via text or chat platforms to improve customer retention and reputation management. Other retailers are leveraging ai in-store to make their stores smarter and more efficient. For example, Tropical Smoothie Cafe uses an ai-powered kiosk to answer customers’ questions and deliver personalized recommendations. The technology also allows employees to focus on other tasks without disrupting the customer experience.

Smarter Stores: How AI is Shaping the Future of Retail Locations

Another area where ai is transforming retail is supply chain operations and inventory management. Retailers are embracing ai to track sales data and consumer preferences to predict demand and avoid stockouts and markdowns. In fact, Nike (NKE 1.38%) recently acquired an ai start-up named Celect to use in its 491 stores to reduce restocking mistakes and maximize sales.

Morrisons is deploying an AI-powered system called BlueYonder to optimize shelf placement and planograms in its stores, resulting in fewer out-of-stocks. And Lowe’s has a robot named LoweBot that guides customers to specific items and keeps tabs on the inventory in each store. In addition, AI software like Evercheck is being used to prevent fraud at POS registers by detecting and correcting errors before they cause loss.