Top 5 advices for AI in retail
The topic of technology and, in particular, the artificial intelligence retail industry, if not all minds, then certainly many news pages. Some professionals, like Soft Bank’s Masa San, believe in the point of singularity, or, more simply, in the future, when the computer becomes smarter than a person. Microsoft believes that retail will soon be indispensable without artificial intelligence. And some, like Saxo Bank analysts, predict an AI cold war and a sharp slowdown in development and investment as early as 2020. In general, everything is complicated.
Therefore, today we decided to figure out what place new technologies occupy in the life of a buyer, retailer and manufacturer, and where is the line between a beautiful presentation and real business results.
What retail processes need to be digitized?
We want to emphasize that digital transformation is a complex process. Therefore, it should not be considered in the context of individual initiatives. Businesses need to completely rethink how they operate.
Our work with retail companies is based on four main principles:
- Interaction with the customer.
- Optimization of business processes.
- Employee interaction.
- Product transformation.
An interesting model is when a retailer creates a digital product for their own needs. And then it, as a service, can be offered to other companies. If the product really turns out to be in demand, the retailer will earn on it.
So, for example, the American retail chain Kroger began to use digital shelves. This is convenient – employees no longer fiddle with pieces of paper, price tags are not lost, prices are automatically updated. And then Kroger began selling its shelves to other retail chains. It turns out the Retail-as-a-Service model.
Is it possible to do without artificial intelligence in retail?
No. There is a lot of data in retail: production, delivery, warehousing, sales. And this is without talking about external data, which can also be used. A person cannot put it all together and analyze it, artificial intelligence can. For example, there is a cognitive service that reads the buyer’s reaction to products or to communication with a consultant – the Heedbook project. How many pairs of eyes does it take to follow this?
At the same time, Microsoft has been working in the field of artificial intelligence for almost 30 years and annually invests about $12 billion in this area.
How do brands and retailers keep people’s attention?
Thanks to the development of technology and globalization, the world has become very fast: new information is generated and distributed more rapidly every year – people have more choice, which complicates the decision-making process. Therefore, people need to be helped in this process. In modern business, the buyer is still often tried to convince of something. But in fact, it is important to create conditions in which it is easy to choose.
Where is AI heading?
We are entering the era of coexistence of man with artificial intelligence – he is becoming part of our community. Neural networks evolve with use, and in the near future, as a result of this development, many professions will become a thing of the past. We recently created the Vera Voice project, which can copy. Any voice – timbre, intonation, manner of speaking – we can copy and we can have a dialogue with such a virtual interlocutor. And I am responsible for the “education” of this artificial intelligence. How children are brought up, so you can work with AI. It is important to be responsible and think not only about how to make artificial intelligence smarter – it is important to make it kinder.
What three technologies would you like to see in the near future?
I would like artificial intelligence to think not only rationally, but also to have associative thinking. For example, I would understand what poetry is.
I would like the blockchain to allow promoting content without distributors.
You can’t trust a loved one on the network – suddenly his page was hacked, you can’t trust the media, because information can be fabricated. Therefore, we need protection from fakes.
Our enterprise software development company has a lot more to tell you. Join us on the blog.