Daisy Intelligence Founder and CEO Gary Saarenvirta
The adoption of AI has been rapidly increasing across numerous industries. The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a need to automate core business processes today. Even as we begin to come out the other side of the pandemic, the momentum of AI adoption has not slowed and has only continued to increase. Now, the retail industry is set to lead the charge in AI adoption – with retail even set to overtake banking in AI investment, according to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal.
Retailers have recognized the growing imperative for AI technology and AI is rapidly becoming the key strategy for success in the post-pandemic space – setting up 2022 to be a year of significant transformation and digitization.
Rather than running full steam ahead into automation, adopting AI should start with a journey of building trust. Until there is trust in the recommendations AI is making, there will never be successful implementation across an organization.
The journey starts with using AI to evaluate what has already been executed and showing where AI can be used to make improvements. AI can then be used in a forward-looking manner to improve upon current retailer generated plans by making alternative recommendations. Third, AI will be used to come up with the plans independently and retailers can review and handle any exceptions or last-minute changes. In the final stage, where trust has been earned through success, AI can operate autonomously with predetermined governance and exception handling.
Ultimately, the AI journey is where retailers will realize the greatest success. AI has become an imperative in the industry and retailers who intend to remain competitive and lead the charge must get started on that journey today.
2. Maximizing Efficiency and Automating Core Business Processes
It is unlikely that circumstances will revert to what they were pre-pandemic. Customer demand for a seamless omnichannel shopping experience will not go away, and many of the new, innovative business models and companies that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic will successfully become a part of the retail landscape.
As such, unless retailers offer a specialty service that is unlike anything else in the market, they can only differentiate themselves from the competition by maximizing efficiency and optimizing core processes. Adopting AI, which eclipses human ability in decision making tasks, such as deciding the optimal mix of promotional products, is a way to achieve just that.
Retailers who fail to adopt AI won’t be able to compete on a price competitive basis with those who are applying AI. To continue to survive long-term, retailers must make maximizing efficiency and automating core processes with AI a priority.
Leveraging AI in the merchandise planning process will not only enable retailers to execute decisions more efficiently – driving increased sales and margins – but will also ensure that customers experience better on shelf-availability of products, an assortment of products that meet their needs at competitive price points, and targeted personal offers via online channels.
Retailers who have made AI a strategic priority will gain market share and experience greater customer satisfaction and customer loyalty compared to those who are not investing in AI.
Retailers have recognized the growing imperative for AI technology and the race to automation will not be short-lived – making 2022 a year of significant transformation in the retail space. Thus, retailers who intend to be industry leaders and ensure their long-term survival must embrace AI technology.
Ultimately, AI is the leading key to success post-pandemic and getting started on the journey to implementation today has become an imperative to compete.