This week we are focusing more on the retail sector. Stories cover everything from software designed to improve customers’ shopping experience, how the sector can improve internally and how all of these issues intersect with technology and the environment.
Enjoy a bit of end-of-week reading in this news round-up.
Will 2019 be the year of the ‘Smart Store’?
Daniel Martinho-Corbishley, CEO and Co-founder of Aura Vision appears to think so. In an article for The Business Reporter, he writes of large investments to be made by retail companies around the world for technological solutions that will help the sector compete in an industry that is otherwise more online-focused. His company uses video analytics that he describes “piggy-back off existing camera infrastructure to minimise installation cost, and provide retailers with the data-edge they need to compete”.
In an interview with TechWire Asia, Unilever’s global startup collaboration platform, Unilever Foundry’s Asia Director, Barbara Guerpillon spoke about the scope of AI-powered technology in the retail sector beyond customer-facing systems. She said: “There are actually many innovations in the smart retail ecosystem, including last-mile delivery and inventory management, smart vending machines, consumer retail experience, product discovery and reviews, smart packaging as well as shopper attribution and analysis.”
More focus needed on customer experience
AmazeRealise customer experience officer, Chris Barnes explains why companies should be investing more in CX, after a study showed that “36 per cent of CMOs admit their brand hasn’t invested in CX at all, even though 88 per cent expect a focused CX programme to yield long-term customer loyalty and increasing sales over time”.
In the interview with Management Weekly, he emphasised that, although there are multiple ways to monitor productivity and customer experience using AI-powered tools, the need for a human component would still be required by saying that technology was only “part of the solution”.
Major conference leaves AI’s role to help the environment off of the agenda
Forbes reported on the lack of attention paid to environmental impacts technology can have at this year’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado. Despite major companies like Google already having implemented AI and machine learning to reduce emissions, cut costs and consume less energy, the ‘key issue’ of how technology can be used to both “improve a company’s environmental performance as well as the bottom line” was missing from the agenda, according to contributor Tom Murray.
Research for major study shows leading retailers believe an increase in diversity on boards will lead to economic growth
Gap’s senior director for talent management, Kisha Modica told Retail Weekly that they believe “diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes high-quality decisions and enhances economic growth.
The interview was part of an in-depth diversity study being carried out in association with Google by Retail Weekly and aims to explore “the links between diverse boards and inclusive teams and employee productivity, revenue and profit growth”.