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Digital Academy

AI in retail

28 Feb 2024

How do experts evaluate the potential of artificial intelligence for the retail sector? Ian Scott, Director Retail Consulting Ltd, provides insights in his presentation at the Digital Academy on 17 January 2024.

Ian Scott's presentation shows that in retail, AI technology must be effectively combined with human experience in order to enhance the point of sale. This remains a crucial aspect for retail, as the physical store visit cannot be translated onto the web.

“People are social beings who seek human contact. That's why the physical point of sale will remain an important aspect of retail that can benefit from AI.“

Ian Scott, Director Retail Consulting Ltd

The opportunities that AI offers the industry are diverse and range from a personalised approach to the customer via free in-store Wi-Fi and cost savings through automated processes or theft prediction.

However, the use of AI is a balancing act, as society tends to be sceptical towards this technology. "It's important to understand the shopping experience: The offer must invite people in, not overwhelm them with too many screens, for example. If used correctly, artificial intelligence can promote interpersonal contact in shops", continues Scott, who has been working in retail for over 20 years and has been recognised by Retail Rethink as one of the Top 100 Retail Influencers.