2017-03-29 00:00:00Business TrendsEnglishLearn how artificial intelligence in retail stores can change the way your company does business in the future.https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/ca_qrc/uploads/2017/06/Customer-Making-Payment-at-Counter-in-a-Retail-Store.jpghttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/business-trends/ai-for-retail-business/AI for Your Retail Business

AI for Your Retail Business

3 min read

Artificial intelligence is making waves in the tech community, but it’s often overlooked by retailers. AI has tremendous potential to change the way retail companies do business, as well as how consumers interact with both online and brick-and-mortar stores. With so much fierce competition in the market, using the latest business technology is one of the most effective ways to stay ahead of the curve, and it’s become abundantly clear that AI will continue to play an increasingly prominent role in all aspects of life. Now is the time to start researching and implementing effective AI strategies for your retail business.

Gather Data

The phrase “artificial intelligence” conjures images of sci-fi robots and supercomputers, but the reality is that AI is surprisingly usable, even for the layperson. Utilizing strategic retail software can help you make more informed decisions. For example, Signpost’s Mia software works around the clock gathering valuable data that you can use for marketing, to better understand the needs of your customers or clients, to track inventory, to capture prospects, and much more. AI software can also automate tasks such as sending marketing emails or requesting reviews, sending them out only at opportune times. Attempting to analyze these types and quantities of information would be a serious headache on your own, not to mention incredibly time-consuming.

Empower Your Staff

Your team is the heart and soul of your retail business, so it’s essential that you’re able to lead it effectively. Some AI software such as the previously mentioned Mia can provide insight into how to better close sales, keep customers happy, and prevent avoidable issues. AI software such as StatusToday can also monitor employee behavior unobtrusively, allowing you to clearly track which employees are performing their best, and which could use some extra guidance. In an e-commerce setting, AI virtual assistant software such as Sentient Aware can help your customers find ideal products based on past shopping experiences, providing a catered, unique experience for each shopper, and freeing your employees to work on projects that require a human touch. Spend some time reviewing AI software options, and choose the one that offers the features that best fit your company’s goals.

Make Informed Decisions

Until recently, retail managers were forced to forecast trends, ordering products based on predictive analytics that could take hours to pore through, and even then, they were not entirely accurate. AI inventory management systems allow managers to make immediate decisions based on concrete data. You can even automate purchases so you don’t have to worry about dealing with order fulfillment. Your AI assistant handles all of the monotonous work in seconds, leaving you with the answers you need to stock your store with the best possible products without worrying about running out. It also provides insight into which unpopular products should be sold at discount prices and then eventually discontinued.

Improve Efficiency

Artificial intelligence can help your employees be more productive while simultaneously reducing human error. AI can choose how to route inquiries to ensure the fastest and most relevant possible customer service. It can log notes in your customer relationship management software. Little details that once required human effort can be done quickly and efficiently on their own. This allows your staff to focus fully on the more important tasks. Some retail workers worry that AI will take over their jobs, but the reality is artificial intelligence integrates into the job naturally, benefiting both employees and store owners. Artificial intelligence can be an intimidating topic to approach, but there are plenty of resources, and most AI companies are more than happy to help you out. You might be surprised by how intuitive and user-friendly AI software can be. Start out taking baby steps, and then update your technology as you become more confident. AI is the future, so don’t get left behind.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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