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Dunkin', Stadiums Try Checkout-Free Shopping as Social Distancing Remains a Priority

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Now similar experiments are spreading as companies double down on plans to reduce social contact in stores. A survey published by McKinsey & Co. in July found that most consumers in the U.S. and China who changed their shopping habits during the pandemic expect the change to stick after the crisis. Get weekly insights into the ways companies optimize data, technology and design to drive success with their customers and employees. Giant Eagle Inc. recently hired cashier-free technology company Grabango Co. to introduce checkout-free shopping at a GetGo convenience store in Pittsburgh. And Mastercard is introducing its Shop Anywhere system, built on Accel Robotics Corp.'s computer vision technology, in the final quarter of this year.


Kroger enlists artificial intelligence to cut down self-checkout errors

#artificialintelligence

The Kroger Co. plans to roll out Everseen's Visual AI technology chainwide to detect and reduce customer errors at self-checkout stations. Ireland-based Everseen said its artificial intelligence and machine learning platform began deployment in Kroger stores in March and is slated to be installed at 2,500 stores in the coming months. The Visual AI platform watches video in real time to recognize regular processes and "intelligently" step in whenever something is amiss, Evergreen explained. For Kroger shoppers, the technology flags errors occasionally experienced at self-checkout and enables customers to self-correct or, if they're unable to rectify the problem, an associate is summoned to help. For example, if a customer scanning groceries at the self-checkout kiosk has an item that doesn't scan properly, Evergreen's solution identifies the non-scan incident and alerts a store associate via a mobile device to intervene and rescan the item.


Kmart Australia uses AI and AR to bring KBot shopping experience in-home

ZDNet

Kmart Australia has launched its KBot platform that uses a combination of augmented reality (AR) technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable shoppers to view products in their own homes. The AR technology, developed by Valis, allows shoppers to view products in 3D in their own homes, while a conversational AI developed using Oracle Digital Assistant platform can help answer questions, including product dimensions and features, and recommend related products by converting speech to text. "The immersive AR and AI experience was designed to bring joy and inspiration to our customers' lives, and with extra help from our AI chatbot personality -- KBot assist -- we have been able to make shopping easier for customers by sprinkling delight across the customer journey," Kmart head of digital Melissa Wong said. Accessible via the klabs.com.au on any AR supported Apple or Android device, the KBot solution has been integrated with Kmart's existing Oracle Cloud CX technology. "Digital assistants, and artificial intelligence more broadly, have reached mainstream adoption and are providing new and exciting brand experiences to customers," Oracle Australia and New Zealand vice president and regional managing director Cherie Ryan said. "The KBot is a truly innovative experience, seamlessly blending AI and AR to create an engagement that is both fun and functional."


Agoracom: Small Cap Investment - Loop Insights Inc. - Profile

#artificialintelligence

What if you could receive the same personalization and experience you get from online shopping, but in brick and mortar stores? Loop Insights is doing just that. Brick and mortar retail isn't going anywhere, but it does need to adapt to offer better in-store customer experiences. Loop Insights solves a significant problem for traditional retailers - big and small - who are losing customers to e-commerce retail. All e-commerce sites have easy access to company-wide connectivity, real-time insights, and personalized marketing.


Untangling the PlayStation 5 preorder mess, and where to get one

Washington Post - Technology News

The retailers then apparently decided to do what they do on Black Friday: Open up earlier than expected and let the mayhem commence. Geoff Keighley, the former journalist who now runs The Game Awards, shared breaking news about retailers opening preorder sites early Wednesday night. Sure enough, within the hour, Walmart's site opened up for preorders, which were gone within minutes. Other retailers like Best Buy, Target and GameStop followed suit.


Big Data and the Future of Retail

#artificialintelligence

The retail experience was undergoing a transformation even before the current pandemic forced massive changes in shopping behavior. A 2019 survey revealed that 92 percent of 1,400 retail leaders identified "reinventing the customer experience" as their top business priority. However, with the new reality we've all been forced into, the stakes for retailers are higher now than ever. To understand the changing needs of consumers and respond to those needs, retailers must leverage big data strategies based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. In a crowded marketplace, retailers must find ways to differentiate their brands through increased personalization, better customer service, and improved demand forecasting.


Artificial intelligence in the food industry - clickworker.com

#artificialintelligence

The food industry is already reaping the benefits of artificial intelligence. But the development is still in full swing. Numerous projects are being supported by the scientific community. These projects are opening up new perspectives and removing obstacles on the path to efficient food production and delivery. One thing that all projects have in common is that the use of AI optimizes the entire process and prevents food waste.


The enormous impact of AI and machine learning on e-commerce

#artificialintelligence

Australians love online shopping and continuously look for a great purchase experience each time they check out. As with any mature market, customers are spoiled for choice, and competition is fierce. After all, the competitor is just a click away. In a volatile retail environment, the value of a satisfied, loyal customer cannot be underestimated. Customer experience (CX) is now the new arena where customers are won or lost.


Today on Technology: Your Online Guidebook on Digital Transformation

#artificialintelligence

"Today each organization must know how to build its digital capability. Because now every company is a software company, every organization is a digital organization." Recently, an article published by the Harvard Business Review gave holistic advice on how in terms of a technology renaissance, we ought to not forget our humanistic side. A very unconventional beginning to a write-up which will solely speak about the whole nine yards of tech, but since digital transformation services are about bringing change to the existing reality, it'll cease to exist sans a touch of humanism. The latter half of the 20th century was the genesis of the'Age of Information' where progression was made from orthodox industrial techniques to the forever evolving Information and Technology. From analogue, everything turned digital. Let's understand it layer by layer. In simple terms, Digital transformation is the impact and influence of technology into each and every business vertical. And when we say technology, we mean digital. But it doesn't restrict itself to that. It's equally a colossal cultural change that thrives on experimentation, brainstorming, challenging metacognitive skills and coping with failure.


Can virtual fit technology step up and replace fitting rooms?

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The urgency to solve for virtual fit, once relegated online, has extended to stores, where the pandemic has made trying on clothing more complicated. Reopened stores are mostly contactless, meaning that fitting rooms are closed, restricted or just unappealing; 65 per cent of women feel unsafe trying on apparel in dressing rooms, according to First Insight. Thus, shoppers are left to guess size and fit -- and more inclined to adopt the buy-then-try behaviours that mimic e-commerce. The phenomenon has compromised a key value proposition for stores; fit is the top reason for online returns, which for apparel can be 40 per cent. "People are using their bedrooms as fitting rooms," says Haniff Brown, founder and CEO of fit-tech startup Fit:Match.