Transforming retail with AI and automation - Walmart robots Amazon Go store

#1 The retail renaissance: Leading brands use data and AI to win

By @ValaAfshar

A new study shows that retail brand leaders are rethinking the customer experience by investing in new emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality AR/VR, and engagement platforms to acquire new customer and grow revenue.

Managed and cloud service providers have an opportunity in AI-powered engagement platforms as, according to the research, these will be in high-demand from retailers in the foreseeable future, as they look at next-generation consumer experience initiatives.

Read the article for more information on how data and AI is being adopted by retailers and click here to learn about IBM’s Watson Customer Engagement platform.

 

#2 Automaton on aisle 6! Walmart is tracking its inventory with high-tech retail robots

By @sgvnbiz

American mega-retailer Walmart is setting the scene for future department stores and supermarkets, with the launch of shelf-scanning robots.

The smart-devices use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify where merchandise levels are low, prices are incorrect or labels are missing. This allows employees to spend less time assessing inventory levels, so they can spend more time assisting and serving customers.

The introduction of the robots is an example of how Walmart has recognised shifting customer habits and shopping expectations, seeing the store introduce the new ‘wow’ technology to improve the overall customer experience.

Read more on the robots in the article, and download our ‘Outthinking the future of retail’ eBook for free to learn more about the technologies your customers need to fuel their own digital transformation.

 

#3 Retailers race against Amazon to automate stores

By @nickwingfield, @paulmozur and @mcorkery5

A global race is to automate stores is underway. Several of the world’s leading retailers and tech start-ups are all focused on reducing labour costs and providing the ultimate customer experience by minimising shopper frustrations, like waiting for check-out service. At the same time, these retailers also want to prevent Amazon from dominating the physical retail world – like it does online shopping – with its Amazon Go stores.

Companies (like Walmart in article #2) are already testing shelf-scanning robots to help keep shelves stocked, as well as apps that let customers check-out with smart devices.

Retailers adopting these technologies are partnering with developers and service providers. For example, JD has teamed up with a developer to build unmanned shops, by putting readable chips in items to automate sales processes. And as automation becomes more commonplace in stores, the more opportunities there will be for service providers and developers to collaborate with retailers on solutions for the future.

Read the full article for more real-life examples of how retailers are bringing automation to stores and get the IBM eBook to learn more about what the future of retail looks like.  

 

#4 Is there life after Amazon Go for your local retail cashier? 4 lessons this technology offers

By @PerBylund

You’ve probably already heard about the new Amazon Go store that allows customers to simply walk in, select their items from the shelves, and walk out – with no cashier required – thanks to some sophisticated technology.

But, have you considered the effect that this shopping revolution could have on the future presence of shop attendants and cashiers?

Retail staff were once required to memorise prices and calculate customer check-out costs in their heads, now they scan barcodes and fill customer bags on checkout. But, as more retailers adopt the Amazon Go concept, and focus on automation, it puts into question the role of attendants and cashiers altogether.

Read more on the lessons we can learn from Amazon Go and the world of opportunities you and your customers should prepare for.

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