Retail Industry 2024: 3 Trends and Predictions to Watch
Members of this generation lean hard into experiences, preferring to frequent shops where they can tinker with tech or be hands-on with a new gadget. But they’re less inclined to crave physical ownership; downloading something digitally — a book, a game, a movie — meshes with both their digital proficiency and proclivity for a more sustainable culture. Another concern that bubbles up is that artificial intelligence will displace humans. Experts are not entirely onboard, noting that reassigning tasks that are repetitive and primed to be replaced by AI will allow humans to embrace more creative opportunities.
What follows are inspiring and exciting cases of the use of AI and machine learning in retail. AI algorithms analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activity, such as payment fraud or inventory shrinkage. Moreover, computer vision systems can analyze surveillance footage to detect suspicious activity, identify shoplifters or prevent fraud. By proactively identifying and preventing fraud and theft, retailers can reduce financial losses and minimize the impact on the bottom line.
What is the current AI in Retail Market size?
The two notable benefits of AI-powered checkouts are reduced customer waiting time and less effort from businesses in hiring shopping assistants. Anaplan’s predictive insights have been used for sales and supply chain targeting by companies such as AWS and Coca-Cola. The narrative around AI will always be hyperbolic, the realities far more nuanced.
There are many levels of AI taking over customer service at the physical storefront and online shopping site. It can monitor customer behaviour and measure customer satisfaction (using recognition of facial expressions). This will identify situations where the customer may need help and enable staff to respond faster.
What is artificial intelligence?
AI will most definitely shake up retail and be a major driver of structural change. At the same time, it also has to deliver clear returns and ultimately avoid becoming nothing more than a series of vanity projects. AI is already having an influence on retailers, but it’s mostly taken place behind the scenes.
Consumers are paying money — sometimes a lot of money — to buy virtual fashions they can display on social media. Companies like DRESSX add virtual fashions to customer-uploaded images, so they can “wear” the outfits on Instagram, Facebook, and other social platforms. Platforms like SmartDepart, from Indyme Solutions, use AI to detect shopping baskets as they approach exits and identify any that bypassed the store’s checkout system. AI algorithms can also detect merchandise in carts and track it through the store, checkout, and exit. If the system detects someone trying to bypass the checkout line, it flashes a lightbar above the store’s exit along with a customizable voice message aimed directly at the offender.
Smart shelving systems use computer vision and AI algorithms to monitor product availability, identify out-of-stock items, and ensure proper shelf replenishment. AI-driven pricing optimization algorithms analyze various factors, including competitor prices, demand patterns, and seasonality, to determine optimal pricing strategies for different products. These AI-powered solutions help Kroger streamline operations, reduce stockouts, and maximize revenue through data-driven pricing decisions. With the advent of chatbots and machine learning, AI has become even more sophisticated, enabling retailers to offer personalized customer experiences and optimize their operations.
Setting the right price can be a complex dance of analyzing competitor prices, understanding demand, and gauging market conditions. AI systems now automate this process by continuously scanning the market and adjusting prices in real-time to ensure competitiveness while maximizing profits. These bots are trained to answer frequently asked questions, assist in product selection, and even handle complaints. What’s more, with each interaction, they learn and evolve, ensuring a smoother shopping experience over time. With virtual try-ons, customers can see how a particular piece of clothing, accessory, or even makeup looks on them without physically wearing them. AI may also prove an effective way to manage many of the sector’s wider structural issues too.
The future of AI in retail
These methods help in proactively identifying in-store thefts and physical assaults. Retailers were forced to limit the number of in-store customers and staff to minimize in-person interactions. Many retailers began using AI-powered tools, such as chatbots, in-store apps and physical robots to adapt to these changes. Consumers’ cautious embrace of AI-powered personalization in retail offers a similarly nuanced picture.
The analysts noted that most SaaS companies reported revenue growth higher than their guidance in the September/October 2023 quarter. Some upgraded full-year CY23 guidance too, indicating a stabilising demand environment. Adobe’s guidance for FY24 (Nov-end) and Bloomberg consensus estimates suggest CY24 revenue growth for SaaS companies will be similar to CY23.
The supply chain and logistics segment held a significant revenue share in the market. Major companies are employing this application in their business process to make it smooth and efficient. Symphony RetailAI’s AI-based devices would facilitate a 360-degree complete overview of this data, allowing for much more efficient use and greater agility in all aspects of the supply chain. The advent of AI and machine learning (ML), exemplified by platforms like ChatGPT, has spurred a new era in retail personalization.
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