Customer engagement experiences can be enhanced with AI. Source: Shutterstock

Customer engagement experiences can be enhanced with AI. Source: Shutterstock

How to deploy AI solutions in the retail industry despite complexities

RETAILERS understand that they need to stay on top of the evolving market and meet changing expectations – especially in an increasingly digital world.

Despite having the right teams and expertise, smarter solutions are needed to enable scaled improvements, sustainable operations, a data-driven workforce, and higher guarantees of success.

Previously, it has been reported that Adidas, Pacers Sports, and Entertainment, and The RealReal have found success with artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in marketing and customer engagement.

Although they were able to leverage and deploy the solutions effectively, it was undeniable that various challenges exist as well as the fears that surround the imploration of such advanced technology.

Thankfully, the brands were able to structure strategic game plans in order to navigate the challenges and even made it a point that companies should not be afraid to face drawbacks as they serve as valuable and insightful lessons.

“Don’t be afraid if it doesn’t work, there are lessons learned and you will get it next time,” preached Pacer Sports and Entertainment Director of Customer Engagement Alana Galardo, who also revealed that the brand uses AI to help increase sales.

Among challenges faced by Pacers is quantifying engagement and valuing how much of revenue is affected by it. AI optimization and scoring tools were leveraged to counter that and help aggregate those two premises into one.

Galardo likens the journey with AI with any other business move in pursuing uncharted territories – leading with business objectives and benefits as they are keys to seeing impressive results with AI, or with anything else really, business-wise.

On the other hand, The RealReal Marketing Director Sara Brooks said “There’s a misconception you’ll start doing AI and the machine will go crazy because we can’t control it. It’s a fear we have to overcome.”

Brooks admitted that the brand has a lot of goals; from establishing direct communication abilities with customers to offering consignments to loyalists, which AI has enabled.

The key is to have available teams to work on a strategy and allow AI to support outcome delivery, which is far more optimal for businesses than having to work through all processes without intelligent insights.

As the brand learns how to get a hang of AI, it plans to use it to gain campaign insights in relation to its B2B business, apart from seizing opportunities in personalizing product recommendations across marketing channels.

Lastly, Adidas IT Director Eduard Spitz admitted that AI does not have all the answers but believes that there is a lot that can be achieved with more continuous data input, especially in securing personalized, intent-based sales across retail channels.

Though challenging, Adidas looks forward to experimenting with AI as the brand views the technology’s potential more than the challenges it presents.

Spitz also looks forward to optimizing AI to help the brand produce better and impactful content as well as manage partnership-based content and track of content across the brand.