Artificial intelligence is helping the fast acceleration of e-commerce. Retailers now know what to stock, where to stock it and how to ship it because of AI technology. Consumers aren’t even aware of it though it’s working hard in the background.
Artificial Intelligence Merges Successfully with a Good Customer Experience
“The good experience digitally is connected by AI which is the glue to the store [experience],” said Sudhir Balebail, program director for IBM’s Sterling Order Management System. “In fact, getting a customer excited about a product is the worst thing you can do as they get closer to the cart, then find out the product is not available.”
Disparities Between Brands Due to COVID-19
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the differences between brands that are successfully using AI and machine learning. That does everything from tracking orders to managing inventory. Moreover, those that are not.
Party City and Adidas: Artificial Intelligence Capabilities
One such company is Party City. Increasing its digital sales 36% in Q3 2020, the gift and party store can thank the implementation of new order fulfillment capabilities. These include buying online, as well as pick in-store (BOPIS). Adidas experienced similar benefits in 2020. The company was able to leverage AI to lower shipping costs per order. There was an increase in net sales and improving fulfillment reliability through the expansion of “ship-from-store.”
Using IBM’s AI platforms, both companies did position to benefit as the world changed in 2020.
Opportunities and Challenges
“The shift due to the Corona Virus, there was a shift that created both an opportunity and many new challenges for them,” said Chris Wong, global vice president of strategy and offerings for IBM’s Consumer Industries.
“Using stores as fulfillment centers has changed things including website overload and remediation.”
Though not every retailer is able to adapt fast, Wong said IBM’s retailer customers have been able to quickly shift to more digital options.