The human race has evolved so far that it had trained its self-developed machines (and too by inculcating intelligence artificially) for the ease that it was looking through ages. Efforts are not minimalized or reduced but made smarter to achieve that efficiency which doesn’t have room for ‘ERROR’ either human or of any other type. Mitigating the risks and opening opportunities for growth – is the future talk, that interests all of us.
No matter how hard we try and go against odds, we (humans) are destined to tackle and overcome challenges and hardships. For an instance, in earlier times, we have to go miles by ourselves to search for knowledge (that needs to be available in the public domain) but now we are just a click away to access any kind of data from the space we commonly call as ‘Internet’.
That’s the power of technology which makes our lives easier so we can sip while reminiscing the past hardships. And now in a more complex and risk-free manner, we are expecting AI (Artificial Intelligence) to make us more comfortable and relaxed. For every task we perform on daily basis, we have reached a certain level of ease but it's just a simple human trait that we are always in search of ‘MORE’.That keeps us driving through the dimensions of time (somewhat literally).
Let’s get into a day in life with AI,
“It’s just six in the morning and I woke up by putting lights on through commanding my voice assistant enabled by my side. As I proceed to floss my teeth I know that the bread is in the pop-up and it knows that 8 is the time when breakfast I need. Within hour I’m ready to leave for the office and my newest whip had kept the navigation intact by itself. A thing I noticed that more the digits are getting added to our smartphones it getting smarter more than ever. It goes like the whole day. Not on joking sides, I keep people in my prayers who developed and integrated AI in daily lives of millions.” - Anonymous
THE RETAIL PART
And if we talk about today or near (decade) past, Artificial Intelligence is being adopted faster than ever. The pandemic has contributed to it significantly but it's not the only one who is driving it to the max. The adoption of AI to the human’s daily has been backed up by many factors with change in perception and experience behavior being the bullet fired from the round. A 2018 report showed that AI has impacted retail in the highest dollar fortunes as compared to different other sectors. A question from layman arises that “Why only retail benefit from AI? And why not any other industry?” it’s just because the retail industry offers a large room to make it boom. The ‘HOW’ part can be answered by the exponential rise of experiential retail and the shift of consumer shop behavior. In addition to potential value, retail has the most significant one. Digital, brick-and-mortar and phygital stores share their bit part in the rise of that value (in whole).
AI technology has created a race between brands and businesses of every scale. The impart factor within a brand is to uplift its run in the competition. The race ultimately creates an impact on the economy but we shouldn’t forget the hierarchy from Front Runners to Followers to Laggards. The benefits (in the retail context) also come in the same hierarchal way.
Hitting the right mark with supply chain management adds as the key to be benefited from AI deployment. For an instance, if we closely picture the banking scenarios artificial intelligence possesses a significant value potential as it does in retail. It has an upper hand in managing risk and creating marketing and sale opportunities in the (banking) sector.
THE IMPACT IT CREATES
In retail is tangible and scalable at the same time. Brands nowadays are very interested in knowing deep analytics about their consumers. How the headcount (both in-an-out of the store) creates an impact on the sale? How consumer is strolling in the store, its direction – either clockwise or anti-clockwise. Yes, the technology-driven by AI (here is what’s talked about) is a heatmap. Brands are investing heavily to know that behavior – it's just so accurate that it gives you a demographic headcount and the activities they are doing in-store.
Not only brands, even consumers expect brands to pre-determine their needs before they touch and feel the brand, and the count sums up to 51 percent*. Through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), brands are now able to mine consumer/purchase and clickstream data in real-time to provide appropriate, personalized recommendations to their target audience.
In addition to the rich datasets they make, it enables them (brands) to optimize pricing on both offline and online stores. The heatmap is the literal co-relator here.
Though this question shouldn’t have arisen at this time of the blog“Are Retail Leaders Ready to Adopt the Intelligent Automation?”
Recent research* says that 90% of retail business leaders routed their employees possess the skills of intelligent automation adoption. But the pandemic has slowed the pace. But on parallel lanes, many of them firmly believe that the adoption of AI is much faster in the industry than it should be.
Simulation from a study* that AI can add up to $13 trillion to global GDP by 2030 and it goes in direct relation to its adoption policy by the hierarchal companies (as discussed before adoption part) is the steamed impact over the years. ROI effectiveness will go accordingly for adopters and non-adopters as technology usually takes time to diffuse and to deliver perks.
The thrive factor also gets concurrent with the adoption as the acceptance and survival don’t come hand-in-hand, mostly. The need is to be developed and then that need is to be made household to penetrate deep in the ecosystem. Benefits come with another hand clap to increase that need. The transition will flabbergast the routine structure because of the fierce competition between the adopters and non-adopters of the AI. The laggards will eventually go off the game with time and the inspecting loophole would only be the timely investments and right decisions. Though this discussion on the developing impact of emerging technologies is open-ended (and shouldn’t be closed) being servitude to it is not correct.
*References from Mckinsey, HBR, and Forbes.