In this article you will read about,
- why retail benefits from artificial intelligence,
- how it makes it easier for customers to make purchasing decisions,
- and how it will make life difficult for shoplifters in the future.
2.58 million tons – that's how much food is wasted by German wholesalers and retailers. Of this, 2.4 tons – over 93 percent – is avoidable. This was the result of a study by the WWF in 2015. One way to waste less is through the use of artificial intelligence. This is because precisely monitored supply chains, shorter routes, and more efficient goods handling stabilize cold chains in retail, among other things, and allow delivery quantities to be determined more accurately. And AI doesn’t just make retail more sustainable. Customers can also benefit from many advantages when it is used in the right way – with huge potential for greater customer satisfaction. In online shopping, for example, the technology helps to tailor the offer precisely to individual needs. This includes design recommendations for fashion purchases, smart chatbots that respond naturally to questions, and augmented reality previews that lead to fewer returns.
In addition, artificial intelligence can support retailers in the future in areas that seem unexpected at first glance, such as calculating customer occupancy data and walking routes or preventing shoplifting. "May I see the contents of your bag for a moment?" – along with cursory glances into the shopping cart, such questions could soon be a thing of the past at the supermarket checkout. Instead, AI evaluates anonymized camera images quickly, easily, and reliably. If the system detects suspicious behavior, staff are alerted directly.
The industry is aware of the benefits of artificial intelligence: according to a survey by the German economics ministry (BMWi), just under a third of companies were already relying on AI at the start of 2020 (32 percent), and just over a third (36 percent) intend to purchase the technology within the next three years.
Ralf Hülsmann from the A.I.-Team at T-Systems shows what exciting application scenarios will be available to retailers in the future.