Ongoing pandemic has brought drastic changes in the retail industry with respect to consumer behavior. People have started to adopt a new normal at home. Since people are not allowed to step out of the house due to pandemic, online shopping has become a day-to-day activity to satisfy their needs.
A study called PYMNTS 2020 report shows that the most used device for online shopping is mobile devices. 72% of consumers are using mobile devices for online shopping. Compared to last year, the online shopping rate has increased by up to 143% this year as of April 2020.
Growth of online shopping has accelerated according to the reports and big e-commerce players are meeting the new norms to fight against COVID-19 with minimized contact. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the retail industry is adopting new approaches for better customer experience, increased sales, and most importantly ensuring the safety of employees.
With leading brands using AI in the store, AI in the retail industry is going to hit US$19.9 billion by 2027. Neiman Marcus, a department store makes the shopping experience for customers easier. Company’s Snap.find.shop. the app is AI-powered. The app helps the customer to choose products that match closely with the photographs. With this app, the company makes it easier for customers to find items through visual search.
Macy’s On Call app offers a better shopping experience for customers. An AI-driven chatbot helps customers for inventory checking as well as to navigate around the store. AI bot easily detects if a customer gets frustrated and alerts the associate in the store to help.
AI helps to make services ease for the customer. IoT is more framed to a data-driven approach to handle core operations in retail. Auchan Retail Portugal has 34 supermarkets and hypermarkets across the UK has recently announced the deployment of autonomous robots for optimized shelf monitoring. These robots go around the store 3 times a day and take photographs of every shelf and aisle. The photographs are then converted into reports, with the help of IoT, that helps the employees in resolving, managing, and prioritizing shelf issues.
Recently Amazon has roll-out cashier-less grocery stores. The Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping concept are powered by AI, IoT, and computer vision. With the help of sensors and cameras in the store, the cutting-edge technology is able to identify the type and quantity of product a shopper has picked up from the shelf. Once the shopping is done, customers can “just walk out” and the purchase amount will be deducted from their Amazon accounts.