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Retailers Deploy AI to Improve CX and Drive Revenue

Amazon’s Dominance, Supply Chain Disruptions, and Record Holiday Spending Are Projected

A new report reveals that retailers are applying artificial intelligence (AI) to new areas in their business beyond simply boosting technical performance, and are doing so with an eye toward improving CX and driving topline revenue. The fresh resolve among business owners will be helpful, the report adds, as retailers prepare to battle Amazon in the face of supply chain disruptions and a record holiday shopping season expected this year.

The report from Anodot, the Virginia-based autonomous business monitoring company, says that retailers are turning to AI to deliver a seamless shopping experience that will help with customer retention. Nearly one-third of respondents also say they believe AI can drive an increase in revenue by as much as 40%.

“AI-based anomaly detection isn’t new to the business sphere, but traditionally has been relegated to technical performance,” said David Drai, Anodot CEO and founder. “As companies scale, they’re finding it imperative to automate the way they monitor the entire business, from customer experience to revenue and costs, so they can meet consumer expectations. This survey confirms the expanding role of AI in e-commerce today and the applications that are proving most valuable to the business.”

While retailers are bullish about prospects this season and expect an increase in sales, many remain worried about supply chain disruptions and their negative impact on product inventory and timely deliveries, the report noted. “Providing a seamless experience is critical, and retailers are integrating AI to prevent the customer experience and supply chain issues that can frustrate shoppers,” Drai added.

Nearly half of all respondents expressed concern about logistics challenges following the bottlenecks last year that created limited inventories and shipping backlogs, which negatively impacted revenue. Those concerns have driven retailers to begin offering Black Friday sales promotions even earlier this season.

The stakes are especially high for small and medium-sized sellers because of the overarching dominance of Amazon. More than 80% of consumer respondents say that a negative experience with an online retailer is sufficient reason for them to go somewhere else—most likely to Amazon, which last year swallowed 51.2% of all online sales. Amazon’s seemingly bottomless inventory, easy-to-navigate website, recommendation engine, and one-click shopping have set the bar for the consumer shopping experience.

A key finding from the survey is that retailers have prioritized addressing issues identified by consumers as “critical factors” in their shopping experience. The survey highlights that retailers and consumers are aligned with the most important pieces of the shopping experience where AI can be of great help. The top four areas include easy-to-use websites, in-stock inventory, competitive pricing, and fast checkout and payment. The Anodot report was conducted by research firm Researchscape.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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