AI: The Future of Retail Is Intelligent

By: Meenu Gupta, Managing Director, BagWorld

An experienced Managing Director with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry, proficient in Business Operations, Negotiation, Business Planning, Retail, and Business Development.

It is no secret that the global pandemic has altered the buying habits of consumer around the globe and has implanted new possibilities around online shopping, which further reinforced digitalisation across the industry. With this new-age digital first businesses bursting into retail space, it has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries like never before. And, to take the possible advantages out of this new consumer preference, today many industry leaders are engaged in experimenting with their business models to spearhead their business and women too are leading this space with example. One such dynamic women leader is Meenu Gupta, Managing Director of BagWorld. Through this article Meenu has guided us through the nooks & corners of Retail. Let’s discover possibilities around Retail through her vision.

Technology Serving Women Better

While turning imaginations into reality, technological revolution so far has proved itself as a doorway for women to access education, find jobs, and start businesses while breaking down age-old gender norms and societal expectations. By avidly bridging the gap for quality education, healthcare, and opportunities technology not only helps women to pursue economic and financial independence but also have successfully converted women community into a full-fledged economic contributor, thereby continuously breaking down the glass ceiling impeding their progress. Undoubtedly, Women taking charge to support their families and economy is not at all a new concept, however, their potential was not fully acknowledged until the advent of technology and digitalization as it has unbarred a plethora of opportunities for women workforce by expanding the scope of flexible work environments. Overall, this digital shift has equipped women with new-age skills and technical know-how, after which people began to see women as critical human resources across all industries. Hence, technology is and will be a major driver of gender equality in the coming years.

Women in Retail

With fostering entrepreneurship spirit merging with feminism, the world is witnessing unimaginable today. In this challenging and highly competitive world women are constantly breaking down societal barriers by excelling in almost every industry and retail is no exception. In the retail sector, women have become more influential both as consumers and business owners while bringing innovation and development in the industry. Because, unlike any other industry, retail has promoted the active participation of women and have provided them with equal opportunities to embrace new routes of career advancement. A recent report by digital solutions provider Instamojo reveals, over 56 percent of the total sales clocked by direct-to-consumer businesses in 2022 were owned by women. Hence, it is crystal clear that the D2C industry is emerging as the next growth engine for women.

AI supercharging Retail

With back-to-back technological breakthroughs, today the world is evolving at a rapid pace and so are People, Businesses and Environment. What has only been considered as a thing of science fiction is now a part of reality. One such disruptive technology that is upending the world and the businesses around it is AI - artificial intelligence and every industry has succumbed to this megatrend, so is retail. Here are some key areas where AI is being applied in retail:

Customer Experience: AI enables retailers to personalize the shopping experience for customers. It can analyse customer data and behaviour to provide targeted recommendations and personalized offers. Also, chatbots powered by AI can assist customers with inquiries, provide product recommendations, and offer support.

Inventory Management: AI algorithms can optimize inventory levels by analysing historical data, sales patterns, and market trends. This helps retailers maintain optimal stock levels, reduce overstocking or understocking, and improve supply chain efficiency. AI is also helpful in predicting demand patterns, enabling retailers to plan their inventory accordingly.

Pricing Optimization: Dynamic pricing models powered by AI can adjust prices in real-time based on factors like demand, supply, and customer behaviour, maximizing profitability while remaining competitive.

Fraud Detection: AI algorithms can detect fraudulent activities and identify patterns that indicate potential fraud, such as credit card fraud or identity theft. This aids retailers safeguard against financial losses and protect customer data.

Supply Chain Optimization: AI can take supply chain operation efficiency to next level by optimizing logistics, predicting delivery times, and reducing inefficiencies. Additionally, Machine Learning algorithms can analyse data from various sources to optimize routes, track shipments, and improve overall supply chain visibility.

Virtual Try-On: AI-powered virtual try-on solutions improve the online shopping experience by allowing customers to virtually try on clothing, accessories, or even home furniture, thereby reducing the need for physical returns.

Chatbots & Virtual Assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide real-time customer support, answering queries, providing product information, and guiding customers through the purchasing process. They can handle a large volume of inquiries simultaneously and offer 24/7 assistance.