What the bold new world of retail has in store for us

For digital-native customers, the experience of a product goes well beyond a smooth purchasing experience. Rising customer expectations are driving a massive shift in the retail industry, forcing category managers, space planners, sales executives, marketing leaders, and analytics professionals to think differently. Increasingly, innovative leaders are looking to leverage generative AI, cloud, and other digital technologies to transform their businesses and thrive in this bold new world.

This was evident in the recently concluded CMA Conference in Dallas, an event where I had the opportunity to interact closely with sales, marketing, and analytics leaders from retail and CPG companies. The conversations made it clear that the retail landscape is going through a seismic shift. Here are the key takeaways from the event:

  • The new-age retail customer is looking for a seamless, omnichannel, hyper-personalized experience that makes their life easy and gives the right option at the right time on the right device.
  • To address this, category managers are acquiring intelligent insights that can help them understand customer behaviors and preferences, develop competitive pricing, and more.
  • Retailers are leveraging the potential of generative and predictive AI across a broad spectrum of functions.

AI and retail’s bold new future.

AI and retail’s bold new future

  • Companies are realizing they can bring in their own sensitive, proprietary data to build a knowledge base and then unleash the power of AI safely and securely by using retrieval augmented generation (RAG).
  • Retailers see the potential of generative AI to extract market and competitive insights from a knowledge base of relevant material. However, they are also keen to combine generative and predictive AI to unlock more significant business impacts. For instance, imagine a system that doesn’t just summarize how a competitor performed last quarter but predicts how they will perform next quarter.
  • Predictive AI is still very relevant. Category managers are leveraging the power of predictive AI models to make data-driven decisions for better inventory management and product selection.
  • Retailers are exploring recommendation engines that can provide hyper-personalized purchasing experiences.
  • Many anticipate that more high-profile generative AI security and privacy gaffes might occur, which may influence consumer attitudes. The consensus is that robust regulatory oversights will address this in the future.
  • As the retail market evolves at an unforeseen pace, companies are looking to partner with agile service and solution providers who are actively researching the latest developments and have the proper skill set to take projects off the ground quickly and swiftly.
  • The retail industry is also monitoring big-ticket developments in generative and predictive AI. For instance, there is high anticipation of how Apple’s launch of Vision Pro can pave the way for renewed interest in AR / VR shopping experiences and the launch of Open AI’s next powerful model this year.

In Conclusion

The mix of new-age buyers and new-generation technology is pushing the boundaries of the retail industry to a bold new world full of previously unforeseen possibilities. Leveraging Infogain’s years of industry experience and deep domain expertise, we have been helping retail organizations make this leap.

Let us embark on this bold new journey. Together.

About the Author

Marc Jacobson

Marc is the Vice President of NAVIK Strategy and Product Management at Infogain. NAVIK is an AI-powered software platform that helps sales, marketing, technology and operations leaders make great business decisions.

Prior to joining Infogain, Marc was a Director and Principal Consultant with Forrester Consulting. Marc led a consulting service line specializing in research design, data collection, data cleaning, analytic models and data visualization.

Throughout his 20+ year career, Marc has focused on the technology sector leading product and marketing strategy initiatives. Marc is passionate about using data to deliver meaningful business outcomes to his clients. Marc graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and recently earned a certificate, with distinction, from the Harvard Business Analytics Program.