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AI Pervasiveness in Retail

The retail sector leverages various digital technologies such as Robotics, IoT, AR/VR, etc.,. While all these technologies have potential to operate in isolation, when combined with AI these technologies get a centralized brain. AI not only complements these technologies, but also acts as a link between them, which allows AI to access data from different systems and deliver real-time insights. Some of the most widely used AI technologies across the retail value chain are Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Conversational AI, Data Science and NLP. Today AI finds application across the retail value chain to address challenges such as demand forecasting, product development, supply chain planning, store operations, campaign management and customer experience.

Key Highlights

Retail landscape

  • India is fourth largest retail market in the world after US, China and Japan. Retail is among the leading contributors towards India’s GDP (~10%) and employment (8%)
  • The market is forecasted to exhibit strong growth not only in value but also in market sophistication due to technological innovations.

Technology interventions

  • Retail sector leverages various new-age technologies such as AR/VR, Automation, Analytics, Blockchain, IoT and Robotics that work seamlessly in-tandem with AI
  • Some of the leading AI technologies used in retail are Computer vision, Data science, NLP, Conversational AI, ML

AI across the retail value chain

  • Rapid advancements in AI are resulting in AI implementation across the entire retail value chain covering planning and procurement, supply chain, in-store and online operations and customer service

Road ahead

While AI holds potential to disrupt retail sector, it still needs to overcome challenges related to existing infrastructure, lack of relevant data, regulatory hurdles and availability of skilled workforce


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