Alice Bedwell
Alice Bedwell
Posted 14 February 2024

A budding love story: AI and retail

Who says Valentine’s Day is all about human interaction? And before you say anything, no this isn’t an ode to the movie “Her” (pop it on your watch list, though, Joaquim Pheonix and Scarlett Johansson don’t disappoint). This Valentine’s Day we wanted to pay tribute to a more well-suited match, however; AI and retail.

While it’s not new that AI is shaping the retail industry, there is a much closer relationship on the horizon. With 88% of marketers wanting to increase their use of AI to stay competitive in the marketplace (Forrester, 2023), but 50 percent of employees having no idea how their companies use AI, it’s apparent there’s a way to go when it comes to embracing technology. 


Over the last few years, retailers have continued to navigate a market with decreasing stability and we’ve all watched with gritted teeth as some of the most established household names have struggled to transform their business model to match the digital demands.

But while change brings challenges for some, it brings opportunities for others. We’ve entered a new age of customer experience and the brands that lean into technology will be the ones who can stay ahead of consumer demands, and react to them accordingly. Could it be that AI was the missing component retail didn’t know it needed? 

Understanding each other’s needs

One of the key elements in any successful relationship is understanding the other’s desires and it seems both AI and the retail industry are well aware of what each party needs. AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data in real-time not only helps retailers gain insights into customer preferences and behaviors they simply didn’t have before, but it ensures they have the foundation for personalized consumer experiences; thanks to data. This allows for the most targeted marketing campaigns and an inventory management strategy that meets the ever-changing demands of the market.

AI and retail: A match made in heaven

As the love story between AI and the retail industry continues to unfold, the two are only going to become further entrenched in the years to come. With advancements in machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision, AI is poised to revolutionize the retail landscape beyond belief. 

But, what are the benefits of AI in the retail industry today? Let’s hear from Ometria’s VP of Product and Innovation, Marco Iannone who discusses how retailers are using AI in practice:

“AI has been playing an increasingly pivotal role for retailers, and, as is the case for most industries, this will only become more prevalent in the future. Firstly, delivering uniquely relevant multi-channel experiences is becoming an imperative part of each customer’s expectations. This requires leveraging data about every single customer touchpoint, whether in-store or digital, to craft experiences that feel personal and authentic, while being delivered up to millions of times a day. It is impossible to achieve that without AI. Retail-specific algorithms can determine, for each customer, how to deliver the most relevant content, at the optimal time, via the most effective channel, in the best frequency, with the most appropriate products on display. This quickly helps to achieve the retailer’s commercial objectives.

Additionally, AI will enable retailers to do more with less. In practice this means prioritizing the opportunities that move the needle, using less effort to build more and better campaigns. It also means being able to quickly identify best performers and opportunities to course correct, while optimizing the full campaign portfolio on an ongoing basis. Through the use of AI, the retailer is better positioned to meet their stretching targets.” 


As AI continues to shape the retail marketing community, it’s clear that this relationship isn’t just for Valentine’s Day, but a long-term commitment that will redefine the way consumers shop and how retailers do business. 

To find out what it means to be human in the era of AI, you can watch Ometria’s CEO Ivan Mazour at the retail conference of the year, Lifecycle, exploring how marketers can keep their humanity while harnessing the power of AI here.

Want more insights from Ometria’s Lifecycle? You’re in luck! Lifecycle is back in London on 30th April 2024 and you can get your ticket here.

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