The sales of goods and services from street vendors through mom & pop stores to large retail chains have undergone a profound evolution during the past few years.
Further, with the emergence of Covid 19, the process of purchasing has experienced a paradigmatic shift and has been catapulted to new heights.
In an age where customer experiences are discerned to be the guarantor of the most sought competitive edge, the process of selling has become increasingly complex.
Thus, the need for integrating new techniques has arisen.
Further, retailers are the end-user contact point of a supply chain, which necessitates them to provide an error-free, accurate as well as precise shopping experience.
Hence in a market that is characterized by cut-throat competition, the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) driven solutions has emerged as the need of the hour.
India: A promising Landscape
As the sixth largest economy in the world, India is the fastest-growing economy slated to become the third-largest economy by 2030.
The nation’s economic growth is expected to be driven by continuous economic reforms, digitization of key segments of the economy, foreign investment, as well as infrastructure expenditures.
The other aspect that is instrumental to this growth is the growing population. The figure below is a snapshot of the population growth during the past decade.
Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects 2022
Now revisiting the aspect of digitization, currently, online grocery stores occupy less than 1 percent of the entire grocery sales in India.
However, it is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate during the next decade.
And thanks to CoVID 19, the nation’s grocery sales increased by 80 percent and stood at $ 2.66 billion due to lockdown restrictions, in 2020.
And in 2021, it grew approximately to $4.1 billion which was an increase of almost 50 percent.
Despite the initial driving factor being a compulsion, the consumers considered eCommerce as the most convenient and safe means of purchasing groceries and other consumables.
Tier two cities too, have played a significant role in online sales
The expansion of online retailers in these cities through new warehouses and supply chain systems has been elemental to such growth.
This surge has given rise to the need for online retailers to differentiate themselves through faster delivery time.
For certain cities, it is as short as 10 -15 minutes after a purchase has been made.
On the flip side, traditional retailers have embraced the power of Artificial Intelligence to optimize customer experience
AI = customer acquisition & retention through smart solutions at a low price
Incorporation of AI has a myriad of benefits like
However, to put the above into perspective, a few real-time examples of a few traditional Indian retail brands are being listed below:
September 2021: Bata
- AI-based video analytics solution was deployed for Bata by Agrex.ai to enhance the company’s in-store sales, operations, and customer satisfaction
- Maximize revenue per square foot
- identification of redundancies, trends, and variances in current and historical data of the retail stores
- The solution was scaled across hundreds of cameras by Agrex.ai
- It facilitated the extraction and analysis of moods/behaviors in real time.
- The conversion ratio was increased by a double-digit percentage.
- Efficiencies across marketing campaigns were driven that measured real-time consumer feedback
- Ultimately it led to customer satisfaction and staff efficiency enhancement
January 2022: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABRL):
- Algonomy, an algorithmic decisioning platform for retail, and ABRL one of Asia’s largest fashion retailers have entered into a strategic partnership to deploy hyper-personalization solutions.
- Flagship products Recommend™, Engage™, Find™, and Discover™ would be used to utilize real-time shopper behavior and store data to comprehensively personalize the end-to-end omnichannel experience for each shopper.
- Key benefits:
- Regional top sellers & local festivals centric product recommendations
- Recommendations to complete one’s desired appearances
- Showcasing products that deliver customers’ past purchases
There are more such examples showcasing the potential of AI to transform your shopping experience. And in the process, it would transform the overall retail industry which makes the road for AI much more promising.