Retail in the time of AI

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“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.”  – Bob Hooey

The customer today is more powerful than ever and has become a key factor in the business decision-making of a retailer. Today’s shoppers are looking for meaningful interactions that bring them a sense of joy, happiness, and emotional fulfilment. What consumers are demanding is that their expectations be followed across all touchpoints of their Omnichannel journeys to help facilitate better purchases. Needless to say, seamlessness and consistency needs to be ensured across all channels – online and offline. The retail business has undergone tremendous transformation, owing to the proliferation of the internet with open government policies leading to more competition and data analytics.

Over the past decade, the conversation amongst technocrats has shifted from automation to AI and today more than ever, we are seeing AI’s dominance across various sectors. And retail is surely not on the backfoot. AI is not only helping retailers optimise their businesses better, but are also boosting profit margins and helping them target prospects accurately. In addition, AI has brought new-age capabilities to the retail sphere that are far more profitable than traditional practices. The erstwhile methods of clearing inventory, such as promotions and markdowns are passé. Deep learning is allowing retail businesses to keep in stride with fast evolving consumer behaviour and heralding an exponential reduction in opex.

BluePi is at the core of transforming retail journeys. By using connected data lakes that bring together data from disparate sources to unlocking multiple new ways of using analytics for addressing business challenges, BluePi is a saviour in disguise for all retailers, helping them gain a competitive edge in the market. Its customized retail analytics, customer & product dashboards and store analytics makes BluePi a handy tool to manage a robust retail management system. In addition, the state-of-the-art supply chain optimization by BluePi has laid a strong foundation for data-driven demand forecasting, automatic replenishment of inventory, markdown optimization, and predictive replenishment of the inventory on a timely basis. With these advantages, the retailer not only stays relevant but is more responsive to the current and future competitive pressures.

Retail is now more automated and further individualized than ever. As a result, consumer choice has become less chaotic but more variable. A peep into the future of retail unveils highly personalised and digitally assisted interactions that are tailored based on personal and data-defined personas. AI will be able to share predictive data based on past purchase behaviour and preferences aligned with forthcoming trends. These analytics can be applicable across a multitude of retail sectors, i.e. automotive, appliances, apparel & fashion, food & beverage etc.

An exciting and exhilarating journey awaits every retail business owner today and it all boils down to how quickly they welcome digital transformation to upscale their older methodology into retail science.

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