Artificial intelligence (AI) signifies a wide-ranging technology from computer science that builds smart technologies capable enough to perform tasks that would otherwise involve human intelligence. AI, in retail, can facilitate a connection between offline channel of sales such as stores with online channels such as e-Commerce websites in real time. AI can help retailers provide excellent customer experiences resulting in a competitive advantage. 

AI is causing an evolution in the retail landscape. From utilizing the vision of the computer to customizing designs in store operations, retailers can use AI to interface with their clients and work more efficiently. Mobile devices and tablets are progressively replacing traditional gadgets such as POS registers. This we believe is only the first wave. The next one will see an amazing combination of AI intelligence working with robotics. Here are some critical areas where AI could prove a game changer.  


1. Store Operations:  

AI powered store operations and other functions like image analysis for store audits and task management like the one offered by Outmarch can help automate various retail back office activities such as visual merchandising verifications, inventory, quality control and accounting. This reduces time spent by the in-store staff on day to day tasks. They can divert this freed up time to interact more with the customers thus enhancing the overall customer experience. 

2. Frictionless Checkout  

A great example for this would be Amazon’s – “Just Walk Out” technology. AI can identify the products the customer picks from the shelves and tag the same in customer’s virtual smart cart . At the POS, these items could be scanned and billed automatically directly  from the smart cart of the customer. 

3. Inventory and Stock :  

The AI powered inventory can analyze and identify anomalies in the retail chain.  Using RFID & camera vision technologies you can identify out of stock or low inventory products notify associates for restocking the shelves. 

4. Reduction in operating costs :  

With AI fulfilling online orders, customer demands and back office functions, business can reduce the dependency on human staff.

5. Demand forecasting :  

Predictive analytics of the AI systems can keep the inventory in shape with the right amount of stock in store. It can also help get additional business insights which may be typically missed. Also, by combining the transaction data with the vision analytics of the AI, valuable sales and business intelligence data can be rendered with ease.

AI can enable retail systems to function together and optimize all the aspects of the operations. All in all, these are exciting times within the retailing domain where innovation will drive sustainability and growth.