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Artificial Intelligence and Retail

The robots are coming. What does that mean for you?

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the industry buzzword

Artificial Intelligence. The dictionary describes it as “A branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers”. This rather dry definition doesn’t begin to describe the way that this technology has captured the imagination of the public today.

It's hard to look anywhere at the moment without seeing some discussion of this technology - from self-driving cars to Google's latest announcement that the Google Assistant will soon be able to make calls FOR you.

Sometimes heralded as a modern-day miracle and the harbinger of the 4th Industrial Revolution, sometimes seen as an existential threat to our very humanity, it’s hard to deny that Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is reshaping the world as know it.

No longer the technology of the future - it’s already here

We already use AI in so many forms in our everyday lives - whether it's playing music on Alexa, or organising a ride share. Almost all of us interact with AI in our businesses as well, from optimising SEO to placing Facebook Ads or accepting payments through an AI-driven payments service like Stripe.

How we reach our customers, whether we like it or not, is being shaped by powerful algorithms. Like AI, the dictionary definition of an algorithm (a list of rules to follow to solve a problem) does not capture the way in which these powerful, sometimes almost-mysterious forces have come to have such a huge impact on how we do business.

Companies of all sizes will use AI

With AI technology rapidly developing, and 72% of businesses looking to develop AI to create a business advantage, retailers of all sizes will be looking to not just interact with AI, but to actively use it to help them gain a competitive edge.

Whether it's a department store using facial scanning software to assess customers moods, or a start-up employing an AI chatbot to help with customer service, retailers of all sizes are being offered more and more options to use AI to benefit them.

How will you be using it to create a competitive advantage?

One thing you can be sure of - with 47% of all companies stating that they have a defined AI strategy, your competitors will be working on how AI can help them grow their market share.

If you don’t know what options there are out there for you, now is a great time to be researching and thinking about AI as it relates to your business.

Find out more

This month's Future Retail event on Wednesday 23rd May in WeWork Holborn is all about Artificial Intelligence. We're going to be hearing from three industry experts who are going to help explain the ways in which Artificial Intelligence is changing the industry. They will also explore ways that all retailers, large and small, can use AI to grow sales and cut costs.

Hear from experts

We have three industry experts in the AI field ready to share their thoughts at the upcoming event.

Katharina Vandamme-Eybesfeld is the founder of BECOCO. Using AI technology that analyses imagery and matches it to your body shape, BECOCO is transforming personal styling.

Maria Flores Portillo is the General Manager at Persado. Persado uses AI to tailor communications to customers so that they receive the messages that resonate with them.

Karina Van Den Oever is a Principle at Elixirr Consultancy. She is a retail expert and AI specialist, having previously chaired a discussion at Retail Week Live on this topic.

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