German discount supermarket ALDI operates an AI-powered autonomous supermarket in Utrech, The Netherlands.
As far as store management, using computer vision AI, retailers can get a real-time picture of on shelf-inventory, understanding which items are running short and need to be replenished, reducing out-of-stocks, and improving customer satisfaction, as well as improving their operations and efficiency.
“This technology can also help improve the ordering forecast, using in-store customer behavior, leading to a higher availability not only in the store but also in the warehouse,” Ziv said.
For example, computer vision AI systems can alert retailers about items that are misplaced, whether it is a single item, or a whole shelf that is not compliant with the store planogram, she adds.
Additionally, using computer vision AI and machine learning, retailers can improve their carbon footprint by optimizing store hours, monitoring stock levels to avoid overstock and understock and tracking expiration dates — significantly reducing waste. In regard to reducing food waste, AI can predict which products are likely to go to waste and proactively donate or repurpose them, Ziv said.
“AI can analyze data from suppliers to identify the most sustainable options, reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain,” she added.
Ziv said the future of AI improvement will reside with:
- Improved customer experience: AI can provide personalized recommendations and offer real-time support, improving the customer experience and driving sales.
- Increased efficiency: AI can automate routine tasks and provide insights into operations, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
- Better inventory management: AI can predict demand, manage stock levels and optimize the supply chain, reducing waste and improving overall efficiency.
- Improved data analysis: AI can process vast amounts of data, providing insights into customer behavior, market trends, and supply chain performance, enabling retailers to make informed decisions.
- Personalized marketing: AI can analyze customer data to provide personalized marketing and advertising, increasing customer engagement and driving sales.
“Retailers using AI will be able to manage their store more efficiently, and improve their offering to customers, leading to better financial results and more returning customers,” Ziv said.
What’s next: As AI grows across retail, two issues arise: consumer data privacy and consumer understanding of AI usage. As evidenced by the growth and trendiness of ChatGPT, consumers are intrigued by AI, but they aren’t necessarily aware of the potential consequences and misinformation that comes with the emerging tech. ChatGPT’s success brings AI into daily conversation and activities for consumers, which lowers the barrier of entry for retailers.