Over the past 15 years, the traditional retail model has been dramatically disrupted by online retail. With the introduction of online retail, shopping is gradually being transformed from an offline activity to an online one. That was the first retail disruption, but it's not the last. Increasingly online retailers and offline retailers are evolving to provide an immersive, seamless, and personalised shopping experience. Customers don't want a fully digital experience while shopping; rather they want a digital shopping experience that is so seamless as to not seem like a shopping experience at all.
The key internal capabilities needed to ensure a successful digital shopping experience are personalization, automation and the unique identification of the customer across shopping channels. In this report, we discuss how AI and IoT are impacting the retail industry. Retailers that aim to remain competitive cannot afford to ignore the potential benefits of these technologies. AI, a technology that enables computers to make autonomous decisions, is a step forward in automation that is changing the retail industry. Retailers are using AI to analyze customer data, adapt how they interact with shoppers and predict demand in order to better manage inventory. Because consumers are bombarded with an unprecedented amount of information, being able to deliver highly personalized content for each individual customer is crucial to staying ahead of the competition. Meanwhile, the use of AI to anticipate demand and estimate when items will be returned should translate into more efficient business operations. Digitalization is the key that will unlock the future of brick-and-mortar retail, and the IoT is a crucial part of it.
More retailers are turning to artificial intelligence to help shoppers find clothes that fit their bodies, budgets, and personal styles. As one of today's hottest technology trends, AI translates vast volumes of retail data into rich, actionable insights so executives can make smart decisions faster. AI has evolved into a strategic asset in retail even as the sector faces overwhelming upheaval. AI guides retailers by delivering fact-based intelligence to help them better serve shoppers. This gives retailers a leg up in a market full of empowered consumers who expect omnichannel excellence, affordable fashions, and personalized marketing.
There has been a lot written about the future of retail, whether it's in an apocalypse, whether it's dying, or whether it's in a dip. People wonder if shrinking malls are a harbinger of things to come, and if Main Street and Anchor Stores will be subsumed by online e-commerce giants with same-day shipping. I've seen more than one headline talking about the'changing shape of retail.'
I've been to dozens of retail-related conferences in the past year, most of which were attended by retailers, brands and early-growth companies seeking to gain traction in the retail ecosystem. Over the year, I've seen a continuous increase in the number of AI-driven technologies and companies showcasing solutions for retailers. I've also observed growing interest in these innovations among retailers. Because as multichannel retailers continue to fight age-old problems such as inaccurate inventory, stockouts and overstocks, overstretched and undertrained store associates, and suboptimal pricing, advances in AI targeting these problems are proving their ROI. AI, or machine intelligence, is human-like or intelligent behavior exhibited by computers and machines that are "trained" by data to make autonomous decisions.