“If you don’t have an AI strategy, you are going to die in the world that’s coming”, warns eBay’s CEO Devin Wenig.
Retailers looking to compete with the likes of Amazon and Alibaba recognize their operations need to become smarter and faster- and are integrating technology into their business to achieve this. A recent CB Insights report looks into the evolving retail landscape and predicts this shift is already altering the face of the commerce.
Time consuming yet essential manufacturing tasks like cutting and sewing can now be handed over to vision-based robots. Autonomous sewing worklines promise to eventually produce garments with little to no direct human labor. The shift to autonomous manufacturing will enhance the speed of production, efficiency and reduce costs for retailers.
to Inventory Management…
When it comes to warehousing and fulfillment solutions, startups are building smart technologies to handle orders from beginning to end- from robots that pick up, grip and handle items to apps that deliver inventory notifications. Companies have also started developing their own automated solutions to sort, store and manage their product inventory and in turn, profit from selling these in-house products to other retailers.
and Customer Experience…
To improve both online and physical shopping experience, technology is becoming the right hand of retailers.
From personalization and virtual try-on experiences to shipping recommendation software, companies like eBay have (unsurprisingly) gone all in when it comes to powering online shopping activity with AI. The report also reveals the growing trend of brands partnering with startups to support their artificial intelligence strategies, noting Twiggle as a company retailers look to in order to enhance their site search.
for Shipping & Logistics…
Consumer demands are unforgiving when it comes to shipping and delivery. In a world of real-time notifications, sellers and consumers alike insist on keeping close tabs on their products- from where their products are, to when they’re bound to arrive. To offer better visibility on the transportation of goods freight companies and startups alike are investing in data science and AI solutions. In addition, drone deliveries are no longer something of the future- it’s a just a matter of time before buzzing deliveries will be ubiquitous.
and Omnichannel Strategy.
Don’t believe the retail apocalypse proselytizers who swear the future of retail is solely online. Physical retail is far from dead and e-commerce is still growing- and these facts are not mutually exclusive. In fact, CB Insights’ report sheds light on how Alibaba is successfully bridging digital and physical retail spheres to enhance sales- through artificial intelligence, of course. Technology that offers insights into consumer behavior, no matter the channel, can help retailers build an omni-channel experience that will keep their brick & mortar stores alive and encourage consumer loyalty online.
The future of commerce is here- and it includes new friends like robots and drones. If you’re a retailer looking to be in business in five years, artificial intelligence is your best bet to not only survive- but gain competitive advantage and thrive.
Find the full report here.