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Retailers Harnessing Their Power Through AI, ML, Data Analytics And Other Advanced Tools

By Aaradhya Khanna, CTO & CMO, Gem Selections, Khanna Gems

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Aaradhya Khanna, CTO & CMO, Gem Selections, Khanna Gems

Known for skills and experience in social media optimization, entrepreneurship, and gemology, Aaradhya has gained leadership success in marketing after joining the industry just 10 years ago

The entire retail sector is transforming towards a more digitized adaptation of the entire marketing, sales and even inventory management systems. The use of minimal manpower with the application of data analytics and AI management tools in the operational mechanism of the retail industry, is a revolutionary step which will ease out the working mechanism and allow the employees to work on more value adding services than merely operational ones.

Data driven AI and ML tools are enabling the retailers to become more customer centric and increase their customer satisfaction ratio especially in the times of Covid-19 when everyone wants to have everything at the tip of their fingers virtually, without the need of them stepping outside. With the use of data analytics tools, retailers are able to filter customer data and cater to their specific needs thereby also enabling them to monitor the productivity of their employees who are currently in a work from home environment. AI has also enabled voice detection and data recording and disseminating tools that help in monitoring and gauging the way the entire marketing and customer-employee management tasks are being carried out.

As for reports by the Mordor intelligence, the retail growth will increase up to 35 percent by 2023. Another data provided by the Global Market insights state that the application of AI in retail will increase up to USD 8 billion by 2024 and owing to the vast audience that India caters to there will be a huge contribution of the Indian retail industry in the global growth.

“Data driven AI and ML tools are enabling the retailers to become more customer centric and increase their customer satisfaction ratio especially in the times of Covid-19 when everyone wants to have everything at the tip of their fingers virtually, without the need of them stepping outside”

Some of The Major Emerging Trends in The Retail Industry

Customer data is all that matters in the retail industry and with the application of AI, ML, deep learning and NLP, the retailers are able to get real time customer data helping them to analyze customer specific needs, anticipations, and shopping experiences. Some major technology being used by retailers today include-

1. Beacon Technology- This is a customer attraction tool used in stores across the globe wherein a low energy Bluetooth technology is harnessed to make up-to-date announcements for discounts, sales etc. in store. The technology has been applied in several Apple stores, Google stores etc. Starbucks is even using the same Beacon technology for payment assistance at their outlets.

2. Hybrid Technology- Amazon Go is the biggest example here, wherein Amazon outlets are running without the need of any manpower at all. This is happening with the help of technologies such as deep learning algorithms, computer vision, sensor fusion, and data-driven radio frequency detection to keep a complete track of the customers entering, shopping, and leaving the store. The entire process from entering the store to exit is handled virtually and the exact shopping amount is deducted from the buyer’s amazon account.

3. Knowledge Dissemination Tools- With easy-to-use knowledge detection and dissemination tools, AI has enabled retailers to pass on a uniform message to its customers without any confusion or chaos. The AI enabled knowledge detection tool, detects the keywords, and helps the employees in answering the employee queries if and when needed.

4. Inventory Management Systems- Unlike earlier, now retailers can have a decentralized inventory based on the geographical locations. This enables the online retailers to dispatch goods from any location of their store, enabling them to continue the online sales, despite conditions like lockdown or any other critical instances where a particular store has to be closed.

5. IVR Systems- There remains no chance for a missed customer query with the application of new AI technologies by the retailers. In case if a customer query is left unanswered by the employee for half an hour, with the application of AI tools, it will automatically be directed to another employee and if the same issue persists, the query will be forwarded to the Escalation Manager. The key point that makes the process even more effective is the IVR system which helps the management to keep a check on the tone of the conversation between an employee and the customers. This helps the retailers in developing enhanced customer service operations.

With so much and more happening in the space of AI and other fast pacing technologies, the retailers can highly benefit with the applications of these tools that will change how the Indian retailer system works in the coming years.

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