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5 ways to leverage the power of ChatGPT in retail

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ChatGPT has various uses cases in retail across customer experience, supply chain and market research

Artificial intelligence (AI) bot ChatGPT has been making waves across the world with its powerful capabilities. Developed by the company OpenAI led by chief operating officer Sam Altman, the language model can respond to questions and compose various written content, including articles, social media posts, essays, code and emails, in a human-like way. And this is what is truly transformative about it.

“The transformative AI-led tool, ChatGPT is truly revolutionizing the way businesses interact with technology, and hence, is being leveraged by businesses across industries. While this phenomenon has taken the world by surprise, retailers should definitely jump on this bandwagon,” Mukul Bafana, co-founder of Omuni, an AI-based platform for retail technology said.

Here are some of the many ways ChatGPT can be utilized in retail and how it can transform the shopping experience for both customers and retailers.

  1. In customer service operations

ChatGPT can be applied to retail customer service channels to provide immediate, automated, 24/7 support. With 70% of AI-powered chatbots functioning only in the retail sector, ChatGPT is the key solution that transforms the way consumers interact with a brand, according to Atyab Mohammad, chief technology officer at Wigzo, an omnichannel marketing automation platform.

“ChatGPT can be integrated into retail systems to provide personalized and engaging customer service. Thus, retailers can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue,” said Ankit Gupta, director of Exporters India, a B2B (business to business) marketplace that connects businesses.

“Implementing chatbots to provide timely assistance can lead to increased engagement and retention,” said Prem Bhatia, co-founder of Graas, a technology solution provider.

  1. To automate

ChatGPT can also help retailers to reduce customer support costs by automating routine queries and standardizing responses, which can free customer service representatives so that they can focus on complex issues.

“A key benefit of AI adoption is automation, which can improve efficiencies in areas such as customer support. By leveraging its capacity to receive, analyze, interpret, and summarize input data, it can streamline decision-making processes and minimize the need for manual intervention, particularly in the case of customer feedback and survey results,” added Bhatia.

Automation can also be applied to optimizing product descriptions, images, and recommendations, leading to significant improvements in efficiencies.

“Retailers have the opportunity to leverage chat-based GPT technology in order to automate numerous manual tasks. At Ace Turtle, we are actively utilizing ChatGPT to generate product descriptions for our upcoming seasonal offerings across esteemed brands such as Lee and Wrangler,” said Amit Kriplani, chief technology officer of the tech platform Ace Turtle.

  1. For personalized recommendations

Retailers can leverage ChatGPT for personalized recommendations and content to garner visibility at every consumer touchpoint.

“One of the main benefits of using ChatGPT in retail is its ability to provide personalized recommendations to customers based on their past purchase history and preferences,” added Gupta from Exporters India.

“This level of personalization can help retailers create more targeted marketing campaigns, resulting in higher customer engagement and sales,” he added.

“ChatGPT can be used to create personalized email communications and targeted ad copies, which can boost conversions,” observed Bhatia.

Praful Poddarchief product officer at Shiprocket, a shipping logistics service provider feels that ChatGPT can be used to get deeper insights into customer preferences and behaviour. “In today’s data-driven world, when all the big brands are exploring different ways to analyse bank of data, it becomes imperative for small retailers to unlock this data in a way that creates a direct business impact.”

  1. For supply chain management

ChatGPT allows real-time communication and decision-making within supply chain management. Its ability to anticipate needs and suggest solutions is poised to transform the way businesses approach supply chain management. 

“Especially in the case of supply chain management, ChatGPT will help with seamless order tracking, inventory management, and effective demand forecasting. At a time when retailers are struggling to deliver on consumers’ need for speed, ChatGPT is the retailers’ bet to deliver the ultimate brand experience,” said Mohammad from Wigzo.

According to Poddar from Shiprocket, “One way a business can leverage the power of ChatGPT is by integrating it into its fulfilment network. These AI-led solutions will prove to be an asset to retailers by enabling them to monitor, control, or even scale costs. By analysing patterns and trends, businesses can make informed decisions about inventory management, shipping routes, and more.”

  1. For market research

ChatGPT’s ability to understand the context and provide relevant information is proven to be a valuable resource to collect, analyse and understand market trends. It can hence be used for in-depth market research.

Experts see value in using ChatGPT to identify competitors, gather, sort, and present data, build and define audience personas and provide suggestions to leverage untapped market opportunities.

“Retailers should encourage their teams to start using this tool more in their day-to-day working—even simple strategies like switching your Google search behaviour to searching on ChatGPT, will enable comfort with the technology and opportunities for more use cases,” said Poddar from Shiprocket.

Before you ChatGPT…

Although everyone is gushing over what’s great about ChatGPT, there has been some considerable pushback as well. Retailers need to be aware of certain challenges and limitations to its implementation.

“ChatGPT is still at a nascent stage when it comes to accuracy, responsiveness, and pricing,” pointed our Bafana from Omuni, explaining that accuracy in terms of understanding consumer queries, responsiveness in relation to how prompt the responses to consumer queries are, and pricing in terms of the cost of its implementation.

“Retailers should be also careful in deciding what is confidential, sensitive, or private data that should be exposed to ChatGPT/OpenAI. This is because this data is stored by ChatGPT for its learning models and can potentially violate a company’s data and privacy policies,” he added.

“Although technology such as ChatGPT can greatly improve the retail customer experience, it cannot completely substitute human interaction. Therefore, retailers should meticulously craft the user experience and establish a smooth transition process to human agents when needed,” added Kriplani from Ace Turtle.

Also, users need to ensure that they have the necessary infrastructure to support ChatGPT. This includes having a robust IT infrastructure as well as a team capable of managing and maintaining the technology.

“One of the main challenges is ensuring that the data used to train the AI model is representative and unbiased,” said Gupta from Exporters India.

“Another limitation is the potential for generative AI to generate inappropriate or offensive responses,” he added.

To mitigate this risk, Gupta suggests that retailers must carefully monitor and audit their AI systems to ensure that they are generating appropriate responses.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT (chat generative pre-trained transformer) is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology developed by an AI research and deployment company OpenAI. ChatGPT uses the GPT-3 language model, a neural network machine learning model and the third generation of GPT.

The platform is designed to provide human-like conversational interactions and was released in November 2022. It is built on large language models (LLMs), which are advanced machine-learning models that can understand and generate natural language.

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