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10 Brands Converging AI Into Retail and e-Commerce

Mehreen Siddiqua Feb 12, 2018

The convergence of AI into retail is making waves. It offers better customer experience, adds relevance and personality and enables a brand to connect with its audience across all platforms.

While businesses are planning to implement Artificial intelligence in the coming years, it’s the retail sector that seems excited about the prospect. Some brands have started to experiment with AI to deliver better customer experience. Others are planning to implement it in the coming years. They realize that ecommerce offers a competitive landscape and the brands that will thrive with success in coming years are the ones that can harness the latest tech. Are you ready to venture towards the future of AI?

Let’s check out how some brands have implemented Artificial Intelligence.

Amazon adds automation to grocery shopping

Leading from the front is amazon when it opened an AI backed grocery store called Amazon Go. The store does not have any checkouts and this seems to be an attempt towards automation. The customers who use this app can have an entire shopping experience without waiting in long checkout queues. Their stores without checkout counters are designed to detect objects customers pick. The sensors work in co-ordination with image recognition and the amazon accounts are charged as soon as you exit the store. While Amazon Go is still recovering from tech glitches, the idea of automated shopping has created acceptability in consumer’s mind.


Neiman Marcus accelerates image search

This American department store has coupled image search that allows their customers to click pictures of items anywhere and match it to find if any similar product is available in their inventory. It was an excellent approach to enable customer engagement. Besides this Snap, Find, Shop feature, they have used AR in their store that allows shoppers to compare different outfits in a 360 degree view of themselves.


Disney adds magic to SKU organization

Not surprisingly, Disney is one of those few brands that have integrated Artificial intelligence to organize product SKUs and are on their way to create Artificial neural networks. They have launched an ecommerce site, shopDisney that employs AI and machine learning to organize product categorization and site searches for the user. They get relevant product recommendations that are tailored for a wider audience.


Paypal stuns frauds

Paypal is one of those brands that are interested in defeating bad guys at the con using artificial intelligence. After several scams targeted Paypal users, they have decided to detect fraud and manage possible risk with 3 types of modern machine learning algorithms. The system identifies purchase patterns by studying thousands of purchases in the past with fraudulent nature. The idea is to identify the difference between a genuine purchase or that from a list of stolen accounts. As ecommerce continues to grow, the issue of theft will continue to linger but Paypal is a working example for retail brands concerned about data security and theft.

StarBucks barista goes mainstream

Not far behind in the league of brands that experiment with emerging tech is Starbucks. This time, they intend to imbed AI backed voice activated apps from the likes of Siri. The virtual assistant will be a mobile device companion called My Starbucks Barista. It will allow user to place an order by simply tapping a button and talking to the virtual barista. While the order is prepared in the nearby store, you can pick up your drink without waiting in long queues.


Lowe’s sci-fi geek

The famous home improvement retailer brand known Lowe’s has been testing store mapping robots called LoweBots in some of their locations. They are walking sales guides equipped with natural language processing that allows them to process and respond to general queries such as “where is hardware section?” They also have built-in sensors to detect people standing idle and inquire them if they would require help.


Sephora launches beauty advice chatbot

Sephora is home to elaborate range of cosmetics and beauty products and the online shoppers are often intimidated by the idea of product search. For instance, a typical product search query could give about 200 results but Sephora experimented with chatbot giving beauty advice and product suggestions to ease their purchase decision. It’s an incredible sales tactic using AI that seems innovative and garners better engagement.


Macy’s quick answer bots

Macy’s also appears to be ahead of the curve since they adopted Microsoft’s AI to optimize shopping experience and solve customer issues across all channels. The virtual agent answers the general FAQs and make suggestions but if they are unable to give any further answers than the customers are transferred to Live agent for further assistance thereby making the customer experience swift.


Mehreen Siddiqua

She is a millennial with a sense of humor that she embodies in visuals. A Digital Marketer focusing on Social Media Marketing by profession, exploring diverse avenues and ventures in tech while honing entrepreneurial skills. Currently she is the communications coordinator and strategist for Arpatech looking into e-commerce, consumer behavior and digital business models.