A report issued by the National Retail Federation and IBM, “The coming AI revolution in retail and consumer products: Intelligent automation is transforming both industries in unexpected ways,” takes an in-depth look at intelligent automation, how it is currently being used, and what the future holds for AI applications in retail. With 40 percent of retailers currently using intelligent automation and more than 80 percent projecting use by 2021, it’s clear that this form of AI is on the cusp of transforming retail.
According to the report, with intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI) is infused into automation, enabling machines to learn and generate recommendations, and to make autonomous decisions and self-remediate over time. This takes AI a step further than allowing computers to analyze data and make decisions, but relies on machine learning for computers to be able to truly refine and improve their learning over time for even better decision-making.
At the moment, the most popular applications for intelligent automation in retail involve internal processes that leveraging existing in-house data sets to make decisions. Consider, for example, pricing optimization on a regional level, in which AI is used to set prices based on factors like seasonal demand, weather conditions, shopper profiles and local preferences.
However, within five years, retailers expect to significantly expand their use of intelligent automation to include more complex processes, multiple external data sets, additional systems integrations and external partners. As an example, 85 percent of retailers said they expect to leverage intelligent automation for the purposes of supply chain planning and demand forecasting by 2021.
As retailers prepare to advance their use of AI/intelligent automation, there will be challenges along the way. As with any new technology or process, risks abound and successful outcomes depend on careful planning and flawless execution.
When considering challenges associated with the expanded usage of intelligent automation,
44 cited integration capabilities with existing processes and systems as a major challenge. Another 34 cited lack of resources to execute effectively as a challenge.
Serving the top retailers for more than 35 years, Telaid thrives on complexity and is positioned to help retailers integrate complex technologies like AI with the expertise and support required to make the project a success. From serving as an extension of your IT team to ensure you have plenty of available resources and expertise to successfully complete the project. We also know how to ensure the integrity of your infrastructure to support AI in a secure, optimized way. We can also help from the fundamental planning phases, ensuring you start with your business objectives and what you hope to improve, the money you hope to save and the benefits associated with the use of automated intelligence.
As you take this enormous step on your journey to the digital transformation, take time to plan and enlist the right resources to ensure your project is a success.