Generative AI has been available to retailers for over a year, and the transformative potential of this technology is becoming increasingly evident. 

sephora-retail store AI

Recent research Bain & Company highlights how scaling generative AI can significantly enhance productivity, helping retailers alleviate the persistent pressure on their thin margins through various cost-saving measures.

Boosting Revenue through Personalisation

One of the most promising applications of generative AI in retail is personalizing the customer experience. AI-powered conversational shopping assistants, enhanced search functionalities, and localized recommendations have the potential to increase a retailer’s revenue by 5-10%. According to Bain, consumers exhibit the highest trust in AI for personalized shopping recommendations compared to other AI applications.

Enhancing Marketing Efficiency

Retailers have started using generative AI to streamline and enhance their marketing strategies, achieving encouraging results. The real opportunity lies in expanding these initiatives to automate marketing content creation, including translation, content repurposing, social media, and personalized landing pages. Bain estimates that such use cases could yield marketing productivity gains of 30-40%.

Empowering Employees with AI

Generative AI is also poised to revolutionize the way retail employees work, whether on the front line, in warehouses, or at headquarters. Automation of inventory checks, restocking alerts, and real-time problem-solving through search assistants could boost productivity by up to 25%.

Navigating Long-Term Implications

The first year of generative AI has prompted retailers to consider its long-term implications. There is concern about tech giants dominating the early stages of the shopping journey, like inspiration and curation, and the threat from agile digital insurgents quickly leveraging AI. 

To harness AI’s full potential, retailers must address three critical areas:

  • Change Management: Retail jobs may need to be redesigned at both the front line and corporate levels to facilitate future evolution.
  • Democratization: Retailers should extend gen AI tools to all employees, not just the tech team, while centralizing AI capabilities to avoid inefficiencies.
  • Talent Development: Continuous upskilling is essential as best practices in AI implementation evolve rapidly. Retailers must ensure their workforce is adept at using new AI tools across various roles.

Emphasising the rapid and profound impact of generative AI, Mikey Vu, Bain & Company, said:

“From conversational search to personalized apps, gen AI is reshaping the retail landscape in a way that is going to be even faster and more transformative than the smartphone or the internet.”

“A year into their journey, retailers have enjoyed some early successes. It will be critical for them to scale these use cases, with a focus on ROI, to keep pace with the evolving expectations of shoppers who are rapidly incorporating generative AI into their daily lives.” 

Know the risks

The findings send out a clear message to retailers about the urgent need to embrace AI technology so that the evolving expectations of customers can be fully met.

However, trust is paramount; ventures must be executed in a way that optimises data privacy, security and compliance at every juncture.


#RISK London 2024

#RISK London 2024, ExCel

The issues fall into focus this October at #RISK London, where experts will debate how organisations can implement emerging technologies safely, responsibly and ethically.

Not to be missed:

The Ethics of AI: Balancing Innovation with Privacy Protection

Location: PrivSec Theatre

This session will examine the ethical dilemmas posed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the context of data privacy.

Experts will discuss issues like AI bias, explainability of AI decisions, and the need for responsible AI development that prioritises user privacy.

RegTech for KYC/AML: Navigating the Evolving Compliance Landscape

Location: RegTech Theatre

KYC/AML compliance is a constantly evolving challenge for organisations operating in regulated industries.

This session will delve into the ways RegTech is revolutionising KYC/AML processes, enabling organisations to automate customer onboarding, enhance due diligence, and strengthen risk monitoring.

Learn how innovative solutions are streamlining compliance, reducing operational costs, and improving the customer experience.

Discover the latest regulatory requirements for KYC/AML compliance and explore how RegTech can help your organisation stay ahead of the curve. 

Obtain valuable insights into emerging trends and challenges in RegTech for KYC/AML, and discover practical solutions for optimising your compliance efforts while mitigating risk.

These are just two of the exclusive sessions taking place at #RISK London this October

Click here to see the full agenda

Discover more at #RISK London

Taking place October 9 and 10 at London’s ExCel, #RISK London brings high-profile subject-matter experts together for a series of keynotes, engaging panel debates and presentations across four separate theatres:

• GRC Theatre

• RegTech Theatre

• PrivSec Theatre

• Risk Theatre 

Each theatre is dedicated to examining the challenges and opportunities that businesses face in times of unprecedented change.

By breaking down silos and aligning systems and workflows, organisations can streamline decision-making, improve efficiencies, and enhance the customer experience.

Attendees will be able to learn how to mitigate risks, reduce compliance breaches, and drive performance.

“#RISK is such an important event as it looks at the broad perspective. Risks are now more interconnected and the risk environment is bigger than ever before.”Michael Rasmussen, GRC Analyst & Pundit, GRC 20/20 Research

Click here to register for #RISK London today!