Generative AI in Retail

The operation of the retail industry is always subject to change with new technologies. With the advent of leveraging Generative AI in the retail industry, a new chapter in retail and e-commerce innovation is being written.

Retail leaders like, Amazon, and Walmart are leveraging Generative AI to unlock new opportunities for assisting customers, ranging from improved customer engagement to advanced sales data analysis and enhanced customer experiences. This article delves into the impactful use of Generative AI in retail, exploring its most compelling use cases and the future it promises.

The integration of generative AI is revolutionizing market research and enabling the creation of highly personalized offers that cater to individual customer preferences. Let’s explore how these technologies are fundamentally transforming the retail sector.

An Overview of How Generative AI being Used in Retail

In recent times, many retailers are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to boost their profits. Specifically, the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence models is transforming the retail industry. These AI models are changing the way we experience shopping, making operations more efficient, and helping us understand past historical sales data. The adoption of Generative AI is not limited to global retail leaders; Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has also invested in integrating Generative AI into the retail sector in India. Flipkart is developing more AI-based tools in the next 3-4 years to transform online shopping in India.

However, AI’s role in business is not limited to just providing customer service through AI assistants. For example, Generative AI in banking or Gen AI in insurance can be used for detecting fraud. The retail sector is no different. It finds varied uses in areas of retail solutions such as market research, timely offering of promotional discounts, and improving customer loyalty. Let’s explore these opportunities and discuss how to get started with Generative AI in the retail industry.

The metrics below demonstrate how the large retail company, GAP, enhanced its employee experience by leveraging generative AI.

GAP leverages Generative AI for help desk automation

Understanding Generative AI Applications in Retail Industry

According to the glossary of AI terms, Generative AI refers to a subset of artificial intelligence that mostly focuses on creating context-specific, human-like personalized recommendations to prompt by utilizing Large Language Models, conversational AI & natural language processing.

With Generative AI you can provide simple prompts to generate coherent text-based responses, like answers to questions, or you can create more detailed and structured prompts to generate full paragraphs of content. The result reads just as smoothly as if it had been written by a human.

While most people currently see AI chatbots as a novelty or convenience, it’s likely Generative AI technologies to become a necessary tool for businesses in all industries, including retail. Here are some of the top use cases market trends and benefits of utilizing AI for the retail industry.

This video shows Aisera’s Enterprise AI Copilot and Generative AI showcases for large retail companies, demonstrating how they simplify and enrich the shopping journey for consumers and enhance the AI customer experience with virtual shopping assistants.

6 Generative AI Use Cases in Retail

Generative AI models offer innovative solutions for personalized customer experiences, inventory management, and marketing strategies. These AI-driven applications not only enhance customer service and efficiency but also foster a deeper connection with consumers, paving the way for a more dynamic and improving important customer service metrics and KPIs. Here are some of the top use cases and benefits of leveraging Generative AI in retail industry.

1. Superior Customer Support for Retailers by Generative AI Models

The customer experience is everything in the retail sector. If you can improve your customer satisfaction at every possible point during their experience with your brand, they’ll develop a positive perception of your company. Customer service automation happens to be your greatest opportunity to shape their opinions. However, it’s not just a matter of your customer service chatbots finding friendly, helpful agents. Generative AI like AiseraGPT can do things humans can’t.

Leveraging a Generative AI model like AI Customer Service will give you a serious advantage. For example, you can program a chatbot to help customers track orders, change shipping details, reorder, find your nearest physical location, and more. All of the mentioned AI-powered features are crucial for medium to large e-commerce retailers.

While a live customer support agent can certainly handle the above needs, it takes more effort. Imagine being a customer who just wants to track an order. You’d expect to be able to enter your tracking number and get an answer instantly. You wouldn’t want to have to wait for a live agent, to explain your needs, and then wait for a response.

2. Self-service Help Solutions

In times past, great customer service was defined by a personal experience with another human being. Today’s customers are different; they want self-service options for support, which makes sense, considering a large number of transactions take place online where people are already self-sufficient. According to HubSpot, 81% of customers will search for their answers before contacting the support team.

Thankfully, it’s not hard to implement self-help resources on your website. Most companies have an automated help desk, a knowledge base, and a chatbot that provides instant answers to basic questions. These elements are the foundation of customer support. However, generative AI makes all of these systems even better.

When your entire self-service support solution is powered by generative AI, your customers will get a superior experience. For instance, here’s how this generative artificial intelligence technology enhances each of the elements mentioned above.

Automated Help Desk

AI-powered helpdesk automation is a great way to support customers who need more than just basic help. They can submit a ticket that goes to an agent who will help resolve the issue. When technology like ChatGPT powers your help desk, you save time and money, while your customers get better support.

For instance, you can use ChatGPT to provide customers with knowledge base links based on the context of their request to see if they can solve their issue on their own. You can also use it to generate automated responses to customer tickets that confirm submission and let them know when an agent is looking into their issue.

GAP, an American global retailer, utilizes AiseraGPT and Generative AI for HR, IT, product catalog management, and store support to enhance the employee experience and support metrics. Reports indicate that their auto-resolution rates have risen by 84%.

Knowledge Base

The more articles you have in your knowledge base, the better. However, it takes time and energy to write these articles. You either have to write them yourself or hire them out. With AiseraGPT, you can give the system a prompt to write your knowledge-base articles. They won’t be perfect as-is, and you’ll need to edit the details, but you will have a large portion of each article to start. If you run a large retail business implementing a knowledge management platform with enterprise search capabilities for a better employee experience is also essential.

Additionally, generative AI can be utilized to craft or refine product descriptions within your knowledge base, enhancing the customer experience by providing more engaging and relevant information.

Website Chatbot

Using ChatGPT for customer support for a website’s chatbot is a good solution. Your chatbot is available to anyone, which means it can be used to answer pre-sale questions and help existing customers. Customers these days tend to have more nuanced questions, so having Generative AI tools in action will deliver better responses.

Just like with your help desk ticket submission system, you can program your chatbot to provide users with links to knowledge base articles that might solve their problem without involving an agent. If that doesn’t work, they can always submit a ticket.

Today, self-help options are a requirement for doing business online. An excellent way to reduce costs, improve inventory management, and enhance the experience is by using conversational AI for a better customer experience.

3. Intelligent Order Management

An advanced Conversational commerce AI platform makes it possible for customers to manage their orders through a simple ticket or chatbot query. Instead of having to search your entire website for a link to assist customers in processing a return, changing an order, or altering their shipping details, they can get everything taken care of automatically.

Generative AI takes this to the next level by offering a more nuanced experience, which is ideal for people who have detailed needs. Beyond just order management, generative AI can also craft product descriptions. Imagine a scenario where a customer wants information about a product not detailed in its description. Generative AI can instantly generate a more comprehensive and customized description on the fly, enhancing the customer’s shopping experience.

For other tasks, like changing orders by substituting one product for another, it might still need to be handled by a human. But with the integration of AI, you can route this type of request to the right agent automatically. Or, you can hire a programmer to make these types of order changes possible through automation.

4. Personalized Offers

Personalization is an effective marketing technique, but sometimes it can miss the mark. With generative AI, you can incorporate more detailed recommendations into your customer interactions. There might be things you don’t know about that are relevant to a customer’s interests, and a tool like ChatGPT will source those interests from a wider selection of content online.

Generative AI analyzes customer behavior to create more accurate and appealing personalized products and offers, enhancing the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

5. Increased Customer Loyalty

We’ve already discussed how customer loyalty is connected to a person’s overall experience with a company. Excellent service, including inventory management, tends to produce better customer satisfaction and consequently loyal customers, and generative AI can help you achieve this goal.

Where loyalty is concerned, it takes more than just a good product and helpful support. Customer loyalty is created by going above and beyond your competition. People are often looking for a reason to be loyal to a brand, and here are two easy ways to win them over:

Make Returns Hassle-Free

Amazon probably does this the best by partnering with UPS to make returns so easy that people don’t even need to see the supply chain or packaging in some cases. Although this is the ultimate example, you don’t have to go this far. You can use conversational AI to generate return labels automatically and use generative AI to help customers resolve issues that might prevent a return in the first place.

Generative AI to Analyze Customer Data

Fast resolution is expected for all customer data and queries, but companies often fail to meet this demand. With generative AI, you can analyze customer data and provide detailed answers for your customers, and they’ll get all the information they need fast.

Generative AI, including models possesses the capacity to rapidly analyze vast volumes of customer data, helping businesses to understand and predict customer behavior and consumer preferences by analyzing data. Machine learning techniques, help AI systems to process unstructured data – such as text from customer reviews or chat logs – and convert them into actionable insights, far more efficiently than traditional methods.

They say large language models can generate human-like text, facilitating an understanding of nuanced customer sentiments, which can be used to improve customer interactions. Furthermore, the synthetic data generated by these models can simulate various customer scenarios, supporting companies in crafting tailored responses and strategies.

Thus, generative AI streamlines data analysis enhances customer relationship management, and enables businesses to make timely, data-driven decisions that enhance customer experiences, optimizing both customer experience and business performance.

6. Market Research

Another interesting way you can use Generative AI is to research your target market and learn more about why they want your product. You can prompt the tool with questions about what your market wants, what people expect from similar products, and more.

You can also use generative AI to research underserved markets, which will give you a clear advantage in your industry moving forward.

Using Generative AI models for market research is probably one of the most underestimated uses. Since this tool can analyze vast amounts of text, it can scour the internet for survey responses, customer reviews, and other commentaries to help you understand patterns and what current market trends are regarding your products and services.

Personalizing offers by AI

Benefits of Generative AI for Retail Business Growth

Although it’s still considered to be in the experimental phase, ChatGPT is already giving retail businesses an edge against the competition. Whether you just need to save time and money and increase sales, by generating marketing content, or if you want to explore the potential of market research and content creation, generative AI will prove to be an invaluable tool for your e-Commerce or business. Generative AI facilitates content creation for retail businesses, significantly enhancing their online presence and marketing efforts.

Excellent Customer Experience is a Must-Have for Profitable Business

The bottom line is that if you want to stay in business long-term and generate happy, loyal customers, you need outstanding customer service. Today, expectations are higher than ever. It’s common for people to make purchase decisions based on their interactions with a company rather than price and need.

According to this customer loyalty survey, 55% of respondents said they’d stop buying from a business after several bad experiences. Not surprisingly, 51% said they’d be less loyal to a brand if the online experience wasn’t as enjoyable as shopping in person. This highlights the importance of providing outstanding customer support at all times.

Boost Your Enterprise Retail with Aisera's Generative AI

Want to see what Generative AI-powered customer service can do for your business? Don’t make your customers wait for answers to their questions. Start using Aisera’s Gen AI for retail to provide 24/7 self-service to your customers from any device.

Our retail customer service solutions are ideal for the retail industry and any business with an online presence. To learn more about how Aisera can help you generate and retain more loyal retail customers, contact us or schedule a custom AI demo today!

Additional Resources