Business Technology

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Retail

Imagine walking into your favorite clothing store only to be greeted by robots instead of human attendants. While that’s not exactly where we’re at so far, it wouldn’t be surprising if it were the next step, considering how many retailers incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into their business models.

AI refers to how machines adopt human intelligence to inform their decisions. This concept is demonstrated when robots demonstrate learning and adaptability through balancing themselves on three legs or avoiding obstacles, but the truth is, AI is used for so much more.

Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Retail

In retail, artificial intelligence companies like can help improve and grow a business, like improving predictions in customer purchasing, enhancing click and collect services, better ad targeting, and even tighter security.


Companies can record and track various data types, including customer demographics, purchasing habits, and item preferences. The AI can analyze this data, which makes accurate correlations with other variables before turning it into a summary report for the company.

The information can include recommendations to what kinds of products customers are more likely to buy at certain times, how much they’re willing to spend per purchase, etc.

This technology is vital not just in improving sales but also in lowering overstock. Studies show that 30% of products sold online are returned to the retailer, and often these items can’t be returned to the shelves, leading to losses and waste.

AI helps predict patterns in user behavior to identify the reasons customers are returning products, what products are commonly returned, and how to minimize this occurrence.


Companies like Zara introduced robots to their click and collect system. All customers must do is order their clothes online, go to the store, scan their barcode, and a robot will deliver their clothes to them through dropbox. It’s efficient, quick, and convenient for both the business and the customers.

It also leaves less room for errors. Retailers using this system claim to have decreased queue times and improved overall customer experience. Customer surveys also prefer this system compared to the traditional retail setup.


AI has demonstrated great potential to improve the security systems of retailers. Law enforcement officials are already using AI and facial recognition to detect patterns that could indicate suspicious behavior. With this, police and businesses can reduce instances of theft and shoplifting.

Increased efficiency 

With AI, it’s easier for businesses to keep inventory and streamline specific processes. Some convenience stores in Japan have sensors and cameras on the shelves and notify staff when particular items need restocking.

This data can also inform the manager when it’s time to reorder certain items. With AI, a store can work like a well-oiled machine, with products never going out of stock and shelves always well-stocked for the convenience of the customers.

Since implementing AI, companies like Walgreens, Walmart, and Uniqlo claimed to have improved significantly. It goes to show just how much technology is enhancing various aspects of our lives. Thanks to technology, shopping is now hassle-free for the consumers, and businesses reduce waste and increase profit.

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About the author

Arpita Patel

Arpita Patel is an active tech and food blogger. She has Masters degree in computer science from Mumbai University. She has contributed a number of great and informative articles to the internet. Apart from blogging she loves music, movies, outdoor games, cycling and helping people.