The influence of technology in all existing industries is noticeable. Although the retail industry is referred to as one of the non-traditional industry that has different operations and working standards but still is highly affected by technological advancements. Innovation entered in the retail industry by replacing the traditional accountancy management with desktop Retail POS systems. Soon after retailers shifted to these accountancy methods, new updates in technology forced the retailers to further improve their operations and maximize their profits with cloud-based POS software. So how do you think that technology will stop now from getting updated? Artificial Intelligence is constantly interfering with the retail industry and is supported by the retailers because it has become one of the main sources of their competitiveness. Recent researches have shown that for the majority of the retailers, investment in technology is their highest priority. More specifically, 58% of Chinese retailers have already transformed digitally along with 40% of the U.S retailers. Whereas, those retailers who refused to shift from traditional desktop retail POS to online POS system have lost their potential customers because they were expecting new updated services for having the desired expectation. In response to this reaction of the consumers, the majority of the retailers around the world have adopted this trend. Going online is not a piece of cake for retailers. It requires a retailer to offer 24/7 accessibility to the customers and remain responsive to their queries.
But how exactly artificial intelligence is making the retail industry competitive? 6 ways discussed through which AI is helping the retailers in staying competitive are discussed as follows.
Improved Online Shopping With Integrated Product Images, Description And Reviews
AI is targeting the most important concern of the retail industry i.e. customer experience. Cloud-based pos system for retail stores has become the necessity of the retail stores because customers have started demanding exceptional shopping experience. For fulfilling these expectations, AI has improved the online shopping experience of the customers. It has completely eliminated the need for customers to visit the store for buying any product by integrating the product image along with its description. This helps the customers to have the complete idea of the product through the website. AI has the ability to classify the products, interprets and also understands the image that helps the customers in finding the things which they need but don’t remember the name. AI has made the concept of virtual retailing workable.
Improved Shelf Intelligence
Product setting and placement in shelves is an important concern for retailers as it affects customer buying behavior and store’s revenues. If the products are not placed correctly, they might get ignored or left on purpose by the customers. But analyzing the correct shelf for the products has been an issue for the retailers. AI is managing all these with its shelf intelligence. The technology tracks the activities happening in all the shelves by taking pictures from in-store installed cameras, robots or mobile phones. Not only this, but AI also alerts the management if any item went missing or if shelf needs refilling.
Improved Pricing Strategy
The cloud-based POS systems designed for retail stores have the flexibility of suggesting relevant products to a customer by analyzing their past purchase history. And if they are new customers, then updated POS software solutions can recommend most relevant options to them based on their gender and age. Recent updates in AI are helping the retailers in determining the competitive prices. Do you know how? AI depicts the outcome of different pricing strategies that enable retailers in developing attractive promotional offers. It also enables the retailers to conduct competitive analysis for comparing products, promotions, and prices of competitors. Eventually, these real statistics based advertising strategy improves customer attraction and overall sales of the retail stores.
Improved Voice Product Search
AI has analyzed one more gap in the customer’s physical store and online shopping experience. Retail stores have different labels of their products with different pronunciation and spelling. Majority of the people prefer visiting the store rather than buying online because they can explain their need for the sale’s person for referring to a particular product. AI has made it possible for the customers to search for their required product easily with the voice search option. It has eliminated the need of typing the queries or request of customizations while ordering online. And also encourages the customers to inquire about their placed order i.e. their delivery status, arrival time and etc. Do you know why this feature of AI has become important for you as a retailer in order to sustain? Check these statistics for getting a clear view and understanding!
Improved Logistics and Supply Chain Management
The profitability and productivity of the retail industry is highly dependent on its supply chain management. That is why AI has focused on this particular area and allowed greater contextual intelligence that provides the relevant information required for reducing the operational costs and inventory. The issued report by DHL and IBM has highlighted the features of AI including intelligent robotic sorting, al-powered visual inspection and etc that are improving the logistics of the retail stores and making them responsive to customer requests. These new technologies integrated into Retail POS are also facilitating the retails stores with improved production planning and factory scheduling by offering them the tracking of real-time sales.
Having the right number of employees in the store at the right time is crucial for the sustainability of the retail store. In both of the cases, over-staffing and under-staffing affects the operations and overall profits of the store. This is because over-staffing will make it an expense whereas; under-staffing will affect the customer experience. AI has made this all manageable for the retailers. There are seasons and special events when the ratio of store visitors is comparatively high than normal days and vice versa. But how to analyze the number of staff members required to hire? AI is working beyond the human capacity with its memory and efficiency for providing best and accurate solutions with proper justifications. By using the past data and customer response to such events, AI has the ability to guiding the retailers regarding the staffing concern. It uses predictive models that are based on historical traffic, sales trend and marketing efforts made in that certain period of events in order to assist the retailers for dynamically hire staff for their store. Ultimately this reduces the hiring expense of the retailers while ensuring to give exceptional experience to the customers.