Artificial intelligence can help even the fussiest customer find just the right product, in a fraction of the time it would take without any technological assistance.
While AI has been used in various businesses, including retail, to improve efficiencies, the technology has also been employed to help stores improve the customer experience by providing more personalized service.
Through advanced gesture recognition, retailers can determine the popularity of an item by analyzing shoppers' facial and hand gestures.
Software analyzes the way shoppers react to a certain item and determines whether the item is a potential sales buster — or a dud.
Just as an online recommendation engine analyzes a shopper’s movement within a site, gesture recognition software "learns" how an item affects a shopper, and can assist the retailer in finding an item that is perfect for a particular user.
Understanding shopping patterns
The ability to know what merchandise has been viewed and ultimately rejected is crucial if traditional retailers want to compete against the likes of Amazon.
Digitally native retailers understand customers’ purchase and shopping habits, because their machine learning models see all the data.
Brick and mortar retailers are far behind in understanding customers' shopping patterns.
Gesture recognition can arm retailers with predictive power.
By analyzing customer data created by interpreting human gestures using mathematical algorithms, retailers can discover which customers are most likely to buy certain products.
As AI advances, businesses will shift from gathering predictive data to prescriptive intelligence.
Once retailers understand why customers buy a product — or why they do not — the next step is to gather intelligence so marketers can illustrate the reasons why shoppers should buy a product.
AI has the potential to amplify and augment retailers' creativity, by providing not only necessary data, but also freedom from time-consuming, mundane tasks.
The key for brick and mortars is to employ AI in ways that provide in-store assistance to human retail associates.
For example, AI that is integrated into inventory systems can quickly and accurately answer repetitive questions such as stock requests, store hours and directions.
Sales associates can then focus on helping and closing deals with customers.
Such tasks can accumulate and chip away at salespeople's time, leaving them little time to create customer relationships.
Gesture recognition is no different in terms of its potential to enhance customer service.
Salespeople receive accurate insights quickly, providing them with the opportunity to react appropriately.
"AI assistants" can help provide associates freedom from mundane, routine tasks so associates can work on improving personalized customer experiences.
By making appointments, sifting through and prioritizing email and scheduling various tasks, an AI assistant allows the retail associate to shine in pursuit of customer satisfaction.