The Valuable Application of AI in Retail
As part of eComp’s digital transformation event series last week the eComp retail panel members met for their second dinner and the topic for discussion was the valuable application of AI in Retail. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic in commerce marketing and is one of the fastest growing technology trends today. Experts believe AI will have a huge impact on our daily lives, our interactions with one another and the broader economy. Clearly however there is a lot of hype right now around AI and many technology vendors are jumping on the bandwagon talking up how their solutions use AI. The facts we do know is that AI powers powers the search and recommendation engine at Netflix where they affect 75% of interactions by viewers, we do know that Gartner estimates that customer service chat bots will power the vast majority of service interactions in just a few years and this will provide real tangible benefits to a Retailer’s level of service and will lower the cost to serve their customers dramatically. The Bot, it never sleeps, it never makes you wait and it has access to a wealth of data that a human could not possibly view and interpret. The Bot can be scaled up and scaled down on demand without overtime arrangements and it doesn’t care about zero hour contracts – what’s not to like if you are the CFO looking to control costs or the CMO focused on improving customer communications and interaction?
At our event we heard from two super interesting speakers – Jonathan Epstein of Sentient.ai on how artificial intelligence is accelerating and automating web site optimisation and the personalisation of customer experiences as well as Imran Choudrey of IBM on the cognitive building blocks of Watson AI. Both presenters talked about how their platforms makes it possible for Retailers to create efficient and consistent customer experiences whilst automating time-consuming tasks that allows marketers to spend time and valuable resources on human tasks that currently we cannot get machines to carry out. Further, the key AI provides is making sense of data patterns and then providing mechanisms to improve experience at scale. When you consider that 90% of the data collected ever was produced in the last two years, the challenge that AI can solve is unlocking this data which is way beyond the capability and resource that humans can throw at the problem. We spoke about how the cloud has really provided the backbone for AI to emerge as the enabler to solve these complex problems, partly due to the sheer computing power available in the cloud and the relative low cost of it.
Mark Adams, Partner at eComp spoke about how innovation and adapting new technology to solve complex business problems is an important building block of digital transformation. There are a number of these building blocks that AI can support across customer experience, data and analytics and operations. Therefore bringing AI into your organisation can allow you to transform more quickly and that every Retailer should be looking closely now at the use of AI powered tools and technology. Our next event topics are:
- GDPR and what UK Retailers need to do to prepare for the new legislation – 19th October
- Achieving board engagement for digital transformation – Jan 2018
- How agile is your organisation research results – Feb 2018
For more information on our Retail panel or to join and participate as a speaker in our future events contact firstname.lastname@example.org