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Is AI Smart Enough to Save Retail?

Join Theory, Google, H&M, McKinsey, Foot Locker, Lafayette 148, LL Bean, the Retail Prophet and more at Sourcing Journal’s Virtual Sourcing Summit, R/Evolution: Overhauling Fashion’s Outmoded Supply Chain, Oct 14 & 15.

Think about the best relationship you’ve had with a salesperson. The one who knows you go for bodycon silhouettes, love nothing more than a good deal and you’ve already purchased the blouse of the season in blush—and burgundy. Armed with this knowledge, they can pluck just the right look for you from the markdowns rack, making you very happy and closing the sale.

Head to that same shop’s e-commerce site expecting the same experience, and you’re almost guaranteed to be disappointed—at least for now.

With artificial intelligence, retailers promise to deliver the best of both worlds.

“When you think about [AI], think about your best sales associate or your best online merchandiser and putting those capabilities online,” said Andy Narayanan, GM of Intelligent Commerce, Sentient Technologies.

AI, and specifically machine learning, allows computers to crunch millions of data points almost instantaneously and provide better and better results with each interaction.

Add natural language processing into the mix and you don’t need to be an engineer to train your laptop or phone to anticipate your needs.

That’s the potential of AI—it’s human, only better.

Read more at Sourcing Journal.

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