Revolutionising Retail: Generative AI’s impact on bridging the human-tech divide

AI-powered customer service can significantly enhance business processes

By Mohammed Sleeq

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 9:51 PM

In the ever-evolving world of retail, the online shopping experience has often lacked the vital element of human empathy. This deficiency has been associated with high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and minimal customer loyalty. However, with the advent of the new AI era, the gap between people and digital brand interactions is finally closing, ushering in a transformative wave that redefines the retail landscape.

The rise of Generative AI, capable of creating original content spanning audio, text, images, and video, marks a distinct technological revolution. Unlike previous industrial revolutions that merely automated repetitive tasks, AI now infiltrates domains traditionally tied to human cognition, creativity, and intuition. This transformative shift carries implications for the job market and raises concerns about privacy, security, and the integrity of digital media.

Nevertheless, Generative AI offers substantial advantages, particularly in boosting human creativity and democratising innovation. Globally, the AI retail market is projected to reach USD 40.74 billion by 2030, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 23.9 percent between 2022 and 2030, driven by increased digitisation in the retail sector.

One of the primary challenges in retail is blending multiple ideas to enhance e-commerce experiences — an area historically considered a product of human creativity. Generative AI tools, exemplified by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, have emerged as a solution. Over 50 percent of retail respondents actively employ AI technologies in their daily operations, according to Gartner, indicating a growing interest in Generative AI within the sector.

Complementing ChatGPT, personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, along with AI chatbots for customer service, have gained prominence. These solutions have the potential to revolutionise retail by introducing personalised customer service and engaging marketing strategies. Leveraging machine learning, natural language processing, and advanced algorithms, these technologies bridge the gap between humans and machines, enhancing shopping experiences with knowledgeable and human-like interactions.

Leading brands across diverse industries are prioritising personalisation. Netflix employs AI algorithms to recommend tailored content, enhancing user engagement. Nike utilises AI-driven customisation to provide hyper-accurate shoe-fitting recommendations. Amazon, an e-commerce giant, employs AI to personalise product suggestions, boosting customer satisfaction and sales.

AI-powered customer service can significantly enhance business processes, creating a positive feedback loop resulting in improved service, higher engagement, and greater customer satisfaction.

The scalability of Generative AI is a game-changer. Unlike human customer service teams limited by time and resources, AI can interact with numerous customers simultaneously. This allows brands to maintain personalised interactions at scale, even during peak shopping periods, strengthening customer loyalty.

The Gen AI revolution heralds a new era of scaled, empathetic customer engagement. By harnessing AI’s power, brands can address online shopping challenges, foster closer relationships with customers, and drive sustained growth. In the digital age, AI adoption is essential for success in the ever-evolving realm of Retail 5.0. Remember, the true potential of Generative AI lies not in replacing humans but in supporting them to uncover previously unimagined solutions.

The writer is COO of Unifonic

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