Predicting Future Demand:
Retail has continued to push back against e-commerce, thanks to new technology that has drawn shoppers back in. AI technology will enable marketing departments to analyze store returns, receipts, and loyalty cards to predict future demand for apparel and accessories, as well as manage inventory. AI, combined with in-store Wi-Fi, can help optimize planogram location and displays by correlating traffic patterns to purchases.
Intelligent data has long been a silver bullet for e-commerce companies, and now brick and mortar retail has access to the same technology. On the hit TV show, The Office, Robert California said something very profound. He stated that when consumers want to buy something, if they know what they want and at what price they are willing to spend, then they go to the internet to look for it. When they want personal service or aren’t sure want they need, they’ll go into retail stores and are willing to pay higher prices. In an era where e-commerce has devalued personal service, companies who can combine the best of in-store technology with amazing customer service are going to be well prepared to thrive in the future.
Discovering Patterns in Customer’s Behavior:
By using AI and Machine Learning technology, brick and mortar retail environments can learn more about their customers. When provided with sales reports, Machine Learning can discover patterns in customer’s buying behavior and learn what they buy together (and when). Based on this information, AI can provide you with suggestions on what items to put next to each other in your store to get your customers to purchase additional items (and increase units per transactions). These recommendations are not just assumptions as they are based on previous behavior, so they are guaranteed to perform.
Acquiring More Customers:
AI will also enable retailers to study likely outcomes of different pricing strategies so they can come up with the best promotional offers, acquire more customers, and drive sales growth. Instead of wondering “why did sales spike last week?,” AI and Machine Learning will be able to correlate microtrends (promotions, economic data, weather, time of year, etc.) with sales of certain products.
Controlling Inventory Costs and Saving:
One final component of retail that we wanted to mention around AI is inventory management. Controlling inventory costs can make or break profitability of a retail business. Using AI technology to analyze past sales data to inform you on how many units of a new product to order by predicting customer patterns.
Next-generation retail stores are continuing to leverage new technology to operate more efficiently and make better decisions. Using AI and Machine Learning is going to be a key component for success retail businesses in 2020 and beyond.
All Posts in this Series
Key Industry Use Case Edition: Introduction to AI and Machine Learning for Cloud-Managed Networking
How AI and Machine Learning Impact Cloud-Managed Networking: RETAIL Edition
How AI and Machine Learning Impact Cloud-Managed Networking: HOSPITALITY Edition
How AI and Machine Learning Impact Cloud-Managed Networking: EDUCATION Edition
How AI and Machine Learning Impact Cloud-Managed Networking: HEALTHCARE Edition