From department stores to designer boutiques, numerous large brands say they are rethinking their retail shopping experiences. Google, Facebook, Apple and retail-disrupter Amazon have been moving full-steam ahead with AI technologies - but AI is not just the providence of the big tech titans anymore, industry professionals say. Retailers with major brick-and-mortar operations have the opportunity to get in on the action and deliver experiences that are unique and more compelling than can be offered online.
An AI-based app knows which store location a customer enters, the layout of the store, the inventory, and (for frequent shoppers) the person's shopping history and preferences, and uses that information to do some amazing things. For instance, a customer can talk to the app, just as she would to a store assistant. She can text the app, much like sending an SMS to a friend, and the app will respond like a hyper-knowledgeable personal shopping concierge who knows the shopper very well. Hand-in-hand, the app and shopper can carry on a natural dialog about anything relevant to a great shopping experience — availability, size, color, recommended accessories and more.
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