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AI for Retail: Smarter than your Competition


In a competitive industry like retail, it can be critically important to leverage information and situations to your advantage. The use of AI technology can be advantageous for a range of opportunities within retail businesses.

AI-powered innovations can help drive the Retail industries to new successes, as they leverage solutions like automation, and begin to augment human capabilities with high-speed access to relevant information and intelligence.

In this article, we take a look at some of the issues retail companies may encounter, and how AI can be implemented to tackle them, giving a new take on problem solving, and a competitive edge to a retail business.

One of the most important sources of data for a business is Customer Feedback. This can be critically useful — to discover what products and experiences resonate with customers, and drive positive experiences, and alternately, to explore areas of friction and displeasure for customers, to better address negative issues. Whether uncovering positive or negative customer sentiment, feedback data can help to highlight possible improvements to a business.

A major challenge for both small and large businesses is the volume of feedback they receive. Compounding this — customer feedback that organisations receive is often in the form of unstructured textual data, which is difficult to analyse, given that so many business intelligence tools rely on tabular data, like numeric survey responses, and abstracted metrics. otso can help a company to better-understand the feedback they receive, through machine learning methods like entity extraction, issue classification, and sentiment and emotion analysis. Both tabular and unstructured data can be evaluated quickly and efficiently, which offering companies quick insight into consumer behaviour, and helps companies make quick decisions based off of the information they already have.

If you operate stores in many locations, you’ll know that each store has store-specific issues, such as different customers with different needs. Using a solution like otso, which leverages flexible methods of analysis, can help to ensure you aren’t getting one-size-fits-all findings from your data.

It’s important for businesses to be able to identify issues that are store-specific, and to benchmark the performance of stores individually against local, regional, or national comparisons. This way, a company can pinpoint and troubleshoot any problems they notice a specific store to be having, addressing the issues before they become more prevalent. otso’s can be helpful in assisting retailers to identify issues that are specific to a particular store. The impact of store-specific issues can be measured and compared against a range of popular metrics include net promoter score, customer satisfaction and brand sentiment, but the platform can also be configured for custom metrics, to measure for structured or unstructured elements to suit client needs.

Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of others in the same field means you can work on your brand with a better knowledge of the industry you trade within. While monitoring competitor activity can be highly beneficial for a business, it can be tricky to run a company and comprehensively monitor what others in the industry are doing at the same time. otso can help businesses to analyse publicly available data, such as reviews, ratings and feedback. This means busy retailers are able to gather relevant data, without having to use precious time and effort to collect it. This information can then be analysed to determine what other businesses are doing well and where they could possibly improve.

The benefits of AI for retailers, simplified.
Using otso to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence can give a retail business a competitive edge in several ways:

  • Using sentiment and emotion analysis can help a company better understand a company’s customers, their feelings, and any key pain points they may be having with a brand
  • AI can help a business to identify stores that are having issues or underperforming. AI can also assist a company in understanding the reasons as to why specific stores may be underperforming.
  • Through monitoring competitor activity, AI can help a business to further understand competitors and their industry.

If you’d like to give otso a test-run, and see how you can put AI to work for your business — start a free trial of the platform today, or arrange for a demo with our team.

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