• Nick Bozhilov

Like it or not retail is going digital

The retail sector has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. More companies understand they need to bring value to their customers by not only offering quality products on accessible prices but also by creating a shop experience fit for the modern consumer.

AI, Blockchain, smart platforms and many more are reshaping how the industry interacts with its customers. At the largest retail event in London RetailExpo 2019 it was hard to see a company that didn’t fit the IT category. All exhibitors and visitors were talking about how technology can help retail firms to stay on top and create the best customers’ value.

Retailers are not only using technology to better connect with their customers but also answer ‘what if’ questions.

Creating positive interactions with the consumer has always been of great importance for retailers but by using new technologies they can really understand why people shop the way they do. Many companies exhibited AI systems that can ‘read’ consumers and show their approximate age, their gender, as well as the way they move around the shop floor. By utilising the knowledge created by AI systems firms can optimise layouts, improve communication and bring people to areas of their shop that are seen as ‘cold’. All of that is done without jeopardising customers’ safety and anonymity – an important factor in todays’ society.

Retailers are not only using technology to better connect with their customers but also answer ‘what if’ questions. Business Intelligence systems can forecast high-demand and create the best labour schedules so work is optimised and there are no empty shifts.

The need for more technology is a direct result of the volatile environment retailers operate.

Customers’ habits have changed and relying on old methods of work cannot bring value. As supply chains grow even more complex machine learning is becoming a daily tool for managers. The way people on the shop floor work is also changing as new labelling solutions are entering the market like RFID labels that can tell the story of each item from the factory to the shop floor.

#retail #AI #retailexpo2019

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