Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Should retailers fear AI or is it now essential?

Blog
23rd August 2017

For a long time, I have talked about artificial intelligence as an enabling tool that should help to improve the customer experience. It’s a technology that helps customer service advisors and retail associates do their job better, rather than a tool that removes the need for them to even be part of the customer relationship.

But AI has taken on something of a mythical quality. Leading executives such as Elon Musk of Tesla warn that systems may eventually run out of control and become more intelligent than humans. These warnings have also been echoed by scientists, such as the physicist Stephen Hawking, who once claimed that AI could be the end of mankind as we know it.

But executives in industries like retail don’t need to fear AI. Technology systems at present still focus on specific tasks. Even if they have the ability to learn and improve, a system designed to analyse customer behaviour in a supermarket will not attempt to form a new government!

This interesting article published in Retail Touchpoints analyses some of the areas where retail executives should be exploiting AI systems today:

  • AI is better than humans at ploughing through data and seeing patterns. This frees up people to actually be in stores meeting customers, not hidden away working on administrative and reporting tasks.
  • AI can examine years of data and determine spikes and trends better than the ‘gut instinct’ of store managers.
  • AI can connect several disparate data sources to help decision-making. For example, by connecting sales patterns to weather records, it is possible to see exactly what people buy when the sun shines or a storm hits town. Connect that to weather predictions and you have a powerful ordering assistant.
  • AI and machine learning systems can be used to capture all customer enquiries with the correct answers, so associates can access a highly powerful knowledge system that has the answer to every question a customer has ever asked – only a completely unique enquiry could beat the system.

There is still a lot of noise around the use of AI, but it is a maturing technology that can really help your team interact more effectively with customers. Combined with supply chain management in retail, it can become an essential tool for ensuring that stock levels are always maintained at a level that is just right, rather than too low or high.

What do you think of the potential of AI in customer service? Leave a comment below and let me know, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


David Turner
Article by: David Turner

News & Insights

Service Provider
Solution Designer
Technology Enabler
Whitepaper
The HUB #12 – Diversity In Business – January 2020

Cheers to the new year! And with the new beginnings, we are not only happy to present our 12th edition of The HUB magazine, we are also delighted to welcome our new readers into the community! In our latest issue, we take a look at one of our strengths as Webhelp: Diversity! And because we are a community of more than 55, 000 people who work from 36 different countries, what does diversity...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Webhelp Spain plants 1,000 trees and creates a new forest

This initiative is part of an awareness campaign to reduce the use of plastic Webhelp Spain is promoting and encouraging the reduce of plastic in its offices. And with the savings, they have made a donation to Bosquia to plant 1,000 trees and create the Webhelp Woods. Helena Guardans i Cambó,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Blog
Digital assistants: more than just a home bot

Artificial intelligence and machine learning opened the doors to a new innovation that promises to make everyday life, whether at home or at work more convenient: digital assistants. Voice activated devices quickly became the new must-have piece of intelligent furnishing in many households. Digital...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Webhelp acquires PitechPlus – a leading software solutions expert

The Webhelp Group announces the acquisition of PitechPlus, a Romanian company that designs, develops and deploys custom - made software solutions, particularly in the areas of sales digitalization and process automation. PitechPlus already supports major European companies in their digital strategy...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Load more
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook