Retailers have faced a diverse range of challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Brick-and-mortar merchants have had to safeguard employee health, find ways to safely accommodate customers, and develop contactless ways of servicing those who could not visit in person. Ecommerce retailers have had to protect workers and adapt to a surge of online shoppers. And retailers of all kinds have had to cope with snarled supply chains and changes in consumer demand that led to panicked runs on some goods.
With so many changes forced on the industry at once, retailers ramped up their use of artificial intelligence (AI) to help balance modes of customer contact and guide decision making. In fact, 53% of retail executives say their organization sped up AI adoption in response to the pandemic. Among those deploying the technology, 69% say it has delivered more value than was promised.
For all that was accomplished, much work remains to be done before retailers are able to capture AI’s full value. Explore potential challenges and opportunities in adopting AI in the near term as well as when the pandemic recedes.
AI’s impact on the retail industry over the next 2 years
Retailers believe AI will have the biggest impact on their industry within the following areas: