Dynamic pricing, hyper-individual online offers or programs with which customers can try out clothes or make-up: artificial intelligence makes it possible. That’s why this technology is one of the most important future trends for retailers.

The research institute EHI and Microsoft have investigated the use and perspectives of artificial intelligence (AI) in retail. Almost one third of the surveyed retailers already use AI. A further 36 percent want to introduce this technology in the next three years. The respondents agreed that artificial intelligence will significantly change the retail industry. This technical solution is becoming increasingly important, especially in the area of predictive data analysis. These so-called predictive analytics help, for example, textile retailers who, thanks to trend forecasts, can offer the right product at the right place at the right time. “The retail industry is currently in the process of developing Smart Stores and is actively looking for solutions to inspire customers with personalized offers and reinvent retail processes with KI and IoT,” says Xenia Giese, Industry Solution Executive Retail & Consumer Goods at Microsoft Germany.

Artificial intelligence so far often only in pilot projects

This means that it is not yet possible to determine whether these new technologies will be widespread in the German retail sector. Many of the technologies are used primarily in individual pilot project branches. For example, customers can pay in a to-go store of the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn via tap-to-go. The customer touches the electronic shelf display in which the product is displayed with his customer card. The money is automatically debited from his bank account. At H&M in Times Square, New York, a voice-activated interactive mirror suggests outfits to customers that can be bought immediately. At the Steigenberger Hotel in Frankfurt, Smartwatches support the service staff with housekeeping and the maintenance of rooms, suites and conference rooms. However, most solutions for artificial intelligence run rather unnoticed in the background. Companies analyse their customers’ data, compare it with other parameters and create added value for the company. These can be targeted offers for selected customers, dynamic pricing or the optimization of the product range.

Otto relies on artificial intelligence for customer evaluations

The online giant Otto is leading the way. The Group has already implemented dynamic pricing. However, the company mainly uses artificial intelligence for customer ratings and search optimisation. Otto, for example, has introduced what it says is a unique product rating function at the outset. There, customers can filter out the most important aspects from the ratings on otto.de according to keywords. The algorithm developed by Otto itself searches for the most frequently mentioned points in customer reviews. “The topic of artificial intelligence will continue to shape the online trade of the future. Our goal must always be to create real added value for our customers with the help of innovative technologies. The new filter function for product ratings on otto.de is therefore a good example of the smart use of machine learning methods that will make the shopping experience on otto.de even better,” says Marc Opelt, Otto Marketing Director.


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Link: EHI and Microsoft asked dealers about the most important future trends – artificial intelligence is far ahead.

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