Many New Jersey retailers are now exploring the potentials of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), recognizing several benefits that are hard to pass up. Most retailers have used traditional analytics for decades, so it makes sense to take it up a notch and leverage technology to easily generate actionable insights for business managers and owners. Furthermore, AI and ML can do more nowadays than simply crunch numbers; they can completely change how you run your retail business.
What are the top uses of AI in retail?
You can maximize AI for your business's various tasks, including the following:
- Cashier-free checkouts
Self-checkouts are ubiquitous around the US, but AI-powered cashier-free checkouts can provide your retail business with an extra layer of security and your customers with greater ease and comfort.
Amazon is one of the first retailers to implement this. Their Amazon Go and Just Walk Out technologies allow shoppers to simply put the items they wish to purchase in their carts and take them directly to their car. Checkout tallying is done in real time, as shoppers add or remove items from their cart, and payments are automatically taken from their secure digital wallets as they walk out of the store.
- Customer service chatbots
Chatbots have the distinct advantage of seamlessly integrating with a retailer’s inventory management system, something human customer service agents may have trouble with. A well-programmed chatbot will be able to immediately provide customers with information about product sizing, alternate styles, stocks, and more.
In addition, a chatbot can free up your customer service workers so they can focus on tasks that shouldn’t be left to robots, such as serving VIP clients and offering more intimate assistance to customers.
- In-store e-assistance
In lieu of paper price tags, some retailers now use smart shelf tags that customers can scan on a special display to see not only a product's price but also nutritional information, video ads, or promos. Another way AI can provide e-assistance is by helping customers find items in different languages.
- Automated price optimization
Nowadays, most price optimization activities are done at a higher rate due to the fast pace of business. This matters greatly because optimized prices allow a business to attract the most customers and be in the best position to maximize revenues. But because market conditions can change daily, so can the optimal price for retail products.
Your retail business can leverage AI to ensure your prices are always at the optimal level. AI can help predict cost and price changes brought about by fluctuations in utility and commodity prices. It can also be used to monitor changes in your competitors’ pricing, which can allow you to adjust pricing for and promotions on your products accordingly.
- Machine learning in product categorization
AI can also be used in the subtlest of time-saving ways. Case in point; LovetheSales.com’s AI-powered product categorization system. Sellers simply upload product photos onto the e-commerce platform, and the system automatically recognizes, classifies, and even suggests a price for each product.
- Visual and voice searches
Ideally, products should be easily searchable in retail, as any difficulty can result in the loss of a sale. But it’s rather common for shoppers to have a hard time identifying the specific product they are looking for. Fortunately, AI and ML can be set up to recognize products that customers may be searching for.
Customers can upload photos to AI-powered visual search systems to look for items of similar color, shape, and patterns. On the other hand, customers can also use voice-powered AI systems like Amazon’s Alexa to search for products at certain grocery and retail stores.
- Virtual fitting rooms
Not everyone is comfortable with going out and trying on clothes that other people may have already fitted. And aside from hygiene and health issues, many shoppers simply don’t have the time to go out and bounce from store to store to find clothes they like. In these instances, virtual fitting rooms allow remote customers to see how clothes fit their particular body type. Many retailers even allow customers to “wear” the article of clothing virtually and in real time using their smartphone camera.
You can elevate your retail business with AI and ML, but before you can deploy such a system, make sure your hardware and software can do the job. Our experts at Online Computers will provide you with honest feedback and thorough insight to get your AI-powered system up and running. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.