AI is impacting every sector, and retail is no exception. Analysts have estimated that global annual spending on AI by retailers is estimated to reach 7.3 billion by 2022, all because AI offers new ways to improve the customer experience and to optimize operational efficiency and productivity. But are retail organizations getting the most out of this epoch-making technology?
The new report by the Capgemini Research Institute Building the Retail Superstar: How unleashing AI across functions offers a multi-billion dollar opportunity surveyed 400 retailers implementing AI use cases at different stages of maturity (a group that represents 23% of the global retail market by revenue).
Key findings from the report include:
- Retailers are missing out on multi-billion dollars of future savings opportunities by failing to scale their AI deployments – The report predicts that retailers could save $300 billion+ by scaling AI deployments across the entire supply chain. However, currently, retailers are focusing on high-complexity AI projects rather than ‘quick win’ projects that are easier to scale.
- The customer experience is falling behind – By focusing on complex projects, 89% of retailers are forsaking AI implementations that relate to customer usability and pain points, despite 98% of retailers stating that they expect AI to reduce customer complaints, and increase sales.
- Retailers need to realize AI’s potential in operations – Only 26% of AI use cases today are operations focused, while these were among the most profitable in terms of cost returns.
- More realistic expectations for AI implementation, with creation of job opportunities: Companies in 2018 have adopted more realistic expectations regarding their preparedness for AI. Those claiming that they have the skills needed to implement AI have now dropped from 78% in 2017 to 53% today. Meanwhile, 71% of retailers say AI is creating jobs today, with 75% declaring that AI has not replaced any jobs in their organization so far.
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