Today, retail operations teams are reactively responding to challenges rather than proactively responding with confidence. Here are one of the biggest challenges retail brands face and how AI can help retailers get ahead of the curve.
Painpoint 1: Delayed Logistics
With global supply chain disruptions causing chaos in 2021 and now in 2022, expecting to staying in stock 24/7 is no longer possible. Sure its obvious that not having product in store means you’re losing customers, but what have retailers been doing about this?
The inability to forecast demand and the increasing use of click-and-collect services, for example, has led to an increase in the number of orders retailers are receiving that are being delivered on a later date: 94% of US retailers say they were significantly hit by delays in supply chain which has been leading to greater losses in customers and decrease in customer satisfaction than any other metric.
AI Solution: AI improves logistics planning
While data analytics is nothing new, retailers have been using both AI algorithms and image recognition together to improve forecasting and forecasting accuracy to the individual store level.
Not only has this enabled companies to build better distribution networks and warehouses to keep closer to just in time inventory, it’s enabled better dynamic predictions for informing customers of shortages to alleviate concerns.
Painpoint 2: Increased Competition in Retail
The average lifespan of company listed on the S&P 500 is 18 years, compared to 61 years in 1958. But who were the best retail companies that survived?
The retail landscape is changing quickly, and the biggest brands are upping their game. More competition is entering the scene due to the ease of creating online shopping experiences and Amazon alone has expanded its operations into dozens of new business lines, and has been acquiring competitors at a rapid pace.
In 2018, Amazon launched its Amazon Prime Wardrobe service, enabling customers to try on clothes before they buy them. These services represents a significant challenge for retailers as customers gain many of the formerly unique benefits of brick and mortar through online shopping.
With 66% of customers saying that shopping technologies and innovations have improved their experience, becoming a digital innovator has become essential in succeeding in the retail space.
AI Solution: AI provides an edge over competition through unique experiences
Retailers are staying a head by taking cutting edge AI technology to create automatically generated visual content and shopping experiences in stores and online.
From contactless clothing demos to interactive exhibitions and AI chat companions, retailers have been increasing their digital capabilities greatly. In fact, with 95% of retailers say they plan to increase their investment in digital in 2022 alone. Are you?
Conclusion: Innovative retail brands are adapting with AI
Retailers have been challenged to adapt to the changing retail landscape, but these difficulties have also provided opportunities for the smartest of brands to stand out. AI has provided retailers with the tools to compete with e-commerce, enhance their in-store and online experiences, and provide a higher level of personalization.
Retailers are expected to make significant investments in AI, with over 95% of retailers saying they plan to invest in their digital capabilities as it provides them with invaluable insights that can be used to make better business decisions.
We’re using AI to use it to make our operations more efficient, enable personalized experiences for our customers, and better understand our customers’ needs and preferences. With tools such as Zensors on the market, its clear that AI is not a simple replacement for staff or a temporary patch for a problem, but now an actionable tool that staff works alongside and the future of how we make business decisions.