How Future Retail will take care of you...


Nothing is more precious than our time and we are doing everything possible to maximize it. Our tolerance for sales/marketing interruptions is at an all-time low. Commercials, Advertisements, Sales Calls all take away our time and train of thought.

If you’re not adding value to the purchaser’s experience, you will soon be out of business!

Of the new technologies driving ERP3.0 & Industry4.0, arguably at the start of the purchaser experience sits Artificial Intelligence (AI). Over the last few years, AI technology has made some accelerated advances across multiple industries. While it may not be so obvious to the end purchaser, AI has been applied in the retail sector quite successfully, given the benefits it can bring to the businesses.

let’s start by explaining AI

As the name suggests, it’s taking human intelligence of mapping out what equates to billions of “if this, then that” happens. When you think about it, it is really a highly detailed and complex methodology, capable of resolving each scenario at an amazing speed, care of very fast computers (the artificial bit). In other words, AI takes a Big Data set about something, runs it through AI algorithms such as neural networks and then produces a model that can provide answers like a real human. The answers that are given are based on whatever AI was able to learn about the matter from the dataset. The more detailed the dataset, the smarter the AI!

With this intelligence, a retailer can do a variety of things to benefit his own business.

For example, retail AI can learn about customers, their preferences and their behavior to get to know them. And, in the recent years, it can get to know them so well that it knows what they need and when they need it.

Given AI knows, as a result before even the purchaser knows, based upon their subconscious buying patterns and behaviors, AI can produce new and or previously used products, while they are browsing. Therefore, the shopping experience continues to improve, not only in saving the purchaser time but of course in making the seller money! If AI knows what the purchaser needs before they do and can issue a coupon for a given product, this will trigger them to buy an additional item that they didn't think of and at the same time improve revenues.

recently at the physical stores

Recently at the physical stores, even AIBots have been tested in the US at various locations and have attracted huge footfall increases coupled with dramatic revenue upturns.

In addition, the physical stores may even feel a little like shoplifting! The new AI wants the purchaser to skip any form of checkout, allowing them to walk right out the door. Grab a SmartCart (an ordinary grocery cart with an AI video camera attached) that tracks what goes into the cart, tallies the total along the way and syncs that with payment information on the shopper’s mobile phone.

There's so much more AI can do for retail businesses. The examples listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. Whatever part of your business you can provide data for, AI can extract truly valuable intelligence. It can be used to improve your inventory turnover, optimize your stock, predict future revenue and a lot more.

As a result of the above, according to data, 54% of companies reported they are using or plan to add AI in the future and the largest group of these respondents (20%) expect to add AI within the next 12 months.

The most popular applications for AI — among both existing retail users and those that plan to use AI within the next 12 months — are personalized product recommendations (56%), customer service requests (41%) and chatbots (35%).

Of those planning to implement AI, 13% plan to build their own technology, 60% will buy existing technology, and 27% expect to blend "build and buy.”

Beyond customer facing AI as part of an overall ERP3.0 strategy, sits the Industry4.0 initiatives that moderninze their infrastructures. These are regarded as the top initiative for 17% of respondents this quarter, followed by customer experience (CX) (16%). Inventory, logistics and fulfillment (15%) follow behind.

All you need now is to surround yourself with great people, in order to drive that strategy home!

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