AI’s impact on retail – Examples of Walmart and Amazon

Published February 23, 2018   |   

Artificial Intelligence or AI is expected to be in major demand by retail consumers due to its ability to make interactions in retail as flawless and seamless as possible. Many of us do realize the potential of AI and all that it is capable of, along with the support of Machine Learning or ML, but don’t realize that the implementation of artificial intelligence in certain segments has already begun.

AI in Retail

The future for AI and the complicated computer processes involved behind it is really bright in the field of retail. AI currently has numerous data sets working along with computer visualization methods to ensure that the users get the most seamless experience when it comes to AI in the workplace. There are some interesting facts that pertain to the use of AI in retail. Here we have some of them to build the insight into what you can expect during the feature;

  • It is expected that customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.
  • According to a report by Business Insider it is said that customers who interact in online opinions and reviews with retailers are 97 percent more likely to convert along with the retailer during this phase of change.

With such promising figures on the card, one cannot help but notice the wave of change that has already started in the field of retail. With work already in progress, major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart have made advances that are expected to dictate this transition to AI in retail. We will be looking at these advancements, and will see how they can work out in the future.

Walmart’s Shelf Scanning Robots

You might have heard of shelf-scanning robots being tested by retailers, but we’re just about to witness one of the most interesting advances in the deployment of these robots. Walmart, which is one of the biggest physical retail chains across the world, is planning to extend the tests for its shelf-scanning robots across 50 additional stores, including some from its native land of Arkansas.
The machines, which have been deemed to be the future of shelf scanning, will roam around the aisles to check all factors including pricing, misplaced items, and stock levels, to assess the level of stocks within the store. This would not only save human staff all the hassle of checking these trivial details by themselves, but would also mean that they can focus on other more important details. The machines will require technicians to be present on site to handle the situation in case of a technological impairment, but the robots are currently fully autonomous to handle their tasks themselves. These robots will be using the concepts of 3D imaging to roam around aisles, dodge obstacles, and to make notes about the blockages in their pathway.

Amazon Go

Amazon Go is the latest wave of technology in retail that is expected to lead the way to the future of AI in retail. The basic concept behind Amazon Go is that it is a new kind of store that flourishes on the concept of no checkout requirements. Consumers who walk into a store can take whatever they want without having to go through the hassle of lines and waiting for checkout.
The checkout free shopping experience in Amazon Go is only made possible through the use of the same technology that is currently in place behind computer vision, sensor fusion, and self-driving cars. The technology automatically detects all that is being taken and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. Shortly after the consumer leaves, they will be sent a receipt and charged through their Amazon account.