We’ve assembled eight interesting examples so you can see what’s possible and take inspiration for your own company.

1. Optimised operations

As you know, inefficient operations suck the life out of value chains and distance the customer from making a purchase.

Using machine learning to forecast demand and prevent stores from running out of stock will help manage inventory and keep things moving.

2. Improved decision making

Managing data at scale is a challenge for retail firms. It's not just ever-increasing volumes and velocity of data but, as they use more apps and do more in the cloud, there's a growing risk of data languishing in silos.

With machine learning and AI, companies can integrate data better and find the insights needed to boost revenue and customer satisfaction. .

3. Personalised experiences

‘Today's customers expect a personalised experience when they are shopping.’ - Erik Lindercrantz, Partner, McKinsey

Another opportunity to use AI is to give customers more personalised experiences, for example in ecommerce where data analysis can recommend relevant upsell products to increase sales.

4. Smarter store planning

A prominent US retailer used AI to cut the time needed to plan store space from six months to two weeks, according to Harvard Business Review.

By using machine learning and classification models, they also found patterns and insights that manual store planning missed.

5. Reduced equipment costs

Another way AI and machine learning can help is to improve how your business makes use of its equipment.

As an example of what's possible, a South African brewery used machine learning to gauge the performance of its coolers as they travelled between restaurants. This empowered them to better understand and manage downtime, and in turn, save money.

6. Enhanced customer communication

Did you know that nearly 40 percent of internet users prefer interacting with a chatbot rather than a live agent? AI is making them more responsive, useful and improving the way they interact with users.

There are many clear benefits to using chatbots in your business. For example, they can run 24/7 and serve a global market.

7. Better C02 management

With many companies pledging to reduce carbon emissions, it's good to see that machine learning can help here too.

How? By optimising the routes taken by your logistics network and reducing transport miles for logistics or deliveries.

8. Seamless checkouts

Amazon Go is the poster child for this deployment of AI.

It’s a new kind of real-world store from Amazon that gets rid of checkouts to give customers a smoother experience. You simply walk into the store, pick out the food that you want, and then walk out. The Amazon Go app handles the rest.

Embrace the future with us

The question is: could your company raise its game by using AI?

From providing personalised experiences to reducing equipment costs, we've covered some powerful ways to use AI. However, it can be hard to know which is the best opportunity and what the next steps for your business might look like. However, constant monitoring and staying up to date with technologies will allow one to make the most of what AI has to offer.