Artificial Intelligence to shape global retail over next one year, reveals new survey

The research also indicates that retailers see this new technology as complementing andenhancing their workforce and not eliminating jobs.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

BENGALURU: Retailers see Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Computer Vision (CV) as tools to augment and maximise their workforce, rather than to replace employees.

A new survey released by Honeywell on Monday reveals that nearly six in 10 retailers plan to adopt AI, ML and CV technologies over the next year to enhance the shopping experience offered within stores and online.

The research also indicates that retailers see this new technology as complementing and enhancing their workforce and not eliminating jobs.

Honeywell’s AI in Retail survey involved nearly 1,000 retail directors, and 38% of those surveyed are using these latest technologies for select use cases or regions, 35% are using them on a larger scale, about 24% are in a pilot phase or in discussions, and only 3% said they were not using these technologies at all.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents identified AI, ML and CV as the top technologies expected to have a significant impact on the retail industry over the next three to five years.

“In today’s retail environment, there is greater attention on the customer experience along with an increased need to innovate in a hyper-competitive environment,” said George Koutsaftes, president and CEO of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions.

“New technologies like AI, ML and CV have the potential to enable retailers to deliver personalised experiences, optimise operations, improve inventory management and prevent fraud – all of which enhance customer satisfaction and can lead to increased sales and profitability," he said.

Budget restrictions (39%), Difficulty in demonstrating business value (29%) and lack of internal expertise to maintain the technology (21%) are three primary barriers to widespread adoption.

“The importance of attracting and keeping customers and employees has never been greater,” said Koutsaftes. “As AI continues to evolve, expect an exciting future where innovative technologies unlock new levels of efficiency, engagement and satisfaction in retail.”

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