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AI: Turning Data into insights

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Artificial intelligence (AI) was one of the hottest topics of 2017. Last year AI conquered the complex game of Go, beat the experts in no limits poker and created life-like human faces, mimicked our handwriting and voice, and bought the first AI citizen into the world.

But AI has a reach that goes far beyond mastering complex games and mimicking human traits. For retailers it means harnessing the power of accelerated analytics, robotics and deep learning right through the retail operation – from in-store customer experience, to retail operations, supply chain and marketing analytics.

And in these uncertain times, retailers need to embrace technology to survive, or risk losing out to other retailers who will.

AI in Retail – Practical Applications

Let’s take a look at some of the  most exciting AI being used in retail today.

Pepper the humanoid robot, is charming the Japanese population. The customer service robot can interact with customers and perceive human emotions. These robots have a proven track record of increasing footfall and interactions by 50%+. Maybe the novelty will wear off, but it is still proving to be a great way to attract new customers to stores.

Amazon’s Prime Air Drone trials aim to deliver shopping to specific GPS coordinates. The autonomous drone will be able to deliver parcels successfully, even if it encounters an issue with the coordinates. Delivering parcels safely and efficiently in just 30 minutes.

And maybe the future autonomous cars – cheap and convenient transport to stores, especially in urban areas – could seriously boost footfall to stores…

So what’s AI got to do with Retail Operations?

Great shopping experiences are the result of every single detail being right. And getting the details right, in every store, every day is hard. Our customers use StorIQ to give them instant visibility of their store estate, enabling them to quickly review in-store executions standards and compliance to guidelines. But what if AI could help?

We’re currently exploring the use of machine learning to improve in-store execution by analysing photos from stores. Can we train our technology to identify which stores have executed their guidelines perfectly, and those which haven’t. We’re analysing thousands of photos to see if AI can classify images and identify patterns across a stores estate – this could make it much easier and faster for retail management teams to drive big improvements in in-store execution.

Introducing StorIQ Labs

At StorIQ we believe that the application of innovative technology to core retail processes can drive huge benefits – so we’ve created StorIQ Labs to explore these opportunities. We’re working on AI, but we’re also experimenting with genetic algorithms to optimise route planning for Area Managers – with productivity savings of up to 30%, this could have a significant impact for retailers managing large portfolios.

If you’d like to know more about StorIQ’s cutting edge research, or you have an idea you’d like to explore – head to our StorIQ Labs page, fill out the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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