Retailers that are not experimenting with generative artificial intelligence today, are risking missing out on billions in business opportunities. This revolution is at least as important as the start of the mobile economy fifteen years ago, Microsoft Retail Industry Advisor Manas Bharadwaj says.
The dawn of an AI revolution
“When users of the Albert Heijn app scan the picture of a dish from a magazine, that app can decipher what is shown in the picture, extract the ingredients, match them with products from the supermarket’s product range, and create a shopping list from them so you can order them immediately. Carrefour has similar initiatives like the chatbot Hopla“, Bharadwaj demonstrates. Before his current rol at Microsoft, he gained retail experience over decades in various roles at Ahold Delhaize.
“If you check into a Novotel hotel in Seoul, it will be done by an avatar, which you can just talk to as if it were a person. Chatbots can already solve most customer queries and problems without the intervention of a ‘real’ employee.” We are therefore at the dawn of an AI revolution after the momentum of the past six months, the expert believes. “100 % of retailers are talking about AI today, more than 40 % are actually experimenting with it.”
We are experiencing a tipping point: artificial intelligence was already capable of a lot, but you needed ten data scientists as a company to reach a decent level. Now even smaller companies can quickly get started with these new large language models, because they have become so user-friendly. “That is a gamechanger: you no longer need to train those models beforehand, you expose them to your data and the magic is already happening.”
Generative AI “humanises” technology, Bharadwaj says. It will make it easier for companies to reinvent their business models, and that will have major consequences: “We are seeing a similar movement to when the iPhone was launched: it kicked off a whole new mobile economy. Retailers started working on e-commerce, on mobile apps, on personalisation… and lots of billion dollar companies were born out of that. ChatGPT from Open AI is another platform that allows companies to create billions in business opportunities. How do you become the next Uber, the next WeChat, the next Spotify, the next TikTok…? Experiment, innovate. The opportunities are endless!”
How does conversational AI lead to conversational commerce? What do you need as an organisation to take full advantage of these opportunities? At RetailDetail’s Retail Marketing Day, which takes place on 21 September in Antwerp, Manas Bharadwaj will come and outline the opportunities that artificial intelligence opens up for retailers. No theoretical or technical explanations, but a presentation full of inspiring examples from retailers and startups, in the field of marketing and customer centricity.
Speakers from Impermo, Lunch Garden, Kruidvat, Jacob’s Conceptstore, Standard Boekhandel, Club and Deloitte will also take the stage on the day with fascinating stories for retailers looking for marketing inspiration. Book your ticket quickly via the link below.