STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 22

2018 MONDAY

22

Continued from page 14

MR mannequin that is a shopper's exact
body type and can be dressed with future
purchases - talk about a "wow" factor.

is the role it plays in providing information
and insight to support buying decisions.
While AR has captured shopper interest, VR is helping retail design teams
visualize store layouts and shelf set-up.
Experts believe next-generation opportunities lie in using the technology to test store
remodels and redesigns before committing
to a project. It also can be enormously
valuable as tool for executives to evaluate
performance by "walking" through remote
stores or global units.
Look for mixed reality, the love child

Though still in an embryonic stage,
now is the time to figure out how artificial
intelligence can help create customercentric experiences.
After decades bemoaning how to
derive insights from the mounds of data
being amassed at retail companies, AI is the
chance for merchants to grab the brass ring.
Officially, AI is classified as the branch
of computer science that focuses on enabling machines to use decision-making
and learning abilities to solve both real-life
and hypothetical problems. At retail, AI

Forward

of AR and VR, to make inroads as well -
though at a slower pace. MR uses sensors,
advanced optics and next-gen computing
power to map and track surroundings,
merging real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations
where physical and digital objects co-exist
and interact in real time. Think about an

Photo credit ©Screeny/Shutterstock.com

Copyright © 2017 Esri. All rights reserved.

WHERE ARE
YOUR BEST
CUSTOMERS?

Connecting with your best customers is
vital. With Esri's location intelligence
solutions, you can discover how to
achieve deeper customer engagement.
Come by booth #3883 for your free
assessment to see what The Science of
Where™ can tell you about both your
customers and your markets. Or set up a
meeting at go.esri.com/nrf.

promises speedier processing of enormous
mounds of data; companies look forward
to the possibility of using AI to suggest
data queries and possible outcomes, and
to optimize execution of sales, customer
relationship management, shopper recommendations, manufacturing, logistics and
payments.
Most claim its greatest value is as a tool
to enable differentiated customer experiences. According to Gartner research, 85
percent of retail customer interaction will
be managed by AI by 2020; 30 percent of
all companies will employ the technology
to augment at least one primary sales process by then.
AI is a long-term strategic bet; while
most companies are planning to increase
investments, the learning curve will be
steep. Though it is unquestionably the most
discussed technology in retail circles, it is
also one of the most misunderstood. Many
use the terms AI and "machine learning"
interchangeably, but there are subtle differences: AI looks to build machines capable
of intelligent behavior; machine learning
is the science of getting computers to act
without being explicitly programmed.
Examples of AI that shoppers are
familiar with include purchasing suggestions on sites like Amazon, live chat bots
on websites and recommendation services
on Spotify and Netflix. Future opportunities are bolder, including the possibility of
sentient robots and nanobots implanted in
the human brain to access information and
archive thoughts.

Move aside mobile - the commerce
of the future is voice-powered.
Conversational commerce, voice
commerce ... call it what you will: What
really matters is the economic potential in
the interaction between shoppers and an
ever-growing list of technologies including
Alexa, Google Home and Siri.
Voice-first computing, powered by AI
and natural language processing, surfaced
in 2011 with the introduction of Apple's
Siri. The novelty soon became essential
as users - and businesses - tuned in to
the value of AI assistance, especially as it
relates to shopping. In a relatively short
period of time, consumers have discovered
the convenience, speed and ease of voice
commerce. One day it's "Alexa, can you
order a six-pack of paper towels?"; the next
day they try it again. Before they know it,
See "Forward" on page 24

892807_Esri.indd 1

12/14/17 12:56 PM


http://go.esri.com/nrf

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2

STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 1
STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 2
STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 3
STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 4
STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 5
STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 6
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STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 2 - 32
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