Retailers invest in AI to drive footfall in-store


Retailers across sectors are increasingly investing in artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and geofence technology to drive footfall in-store and also to drive sales growth online.

That’s according to a new report that has claimed over 90% of retailers expect to have AI or virtual assistant technology operating in-store and online within the next five years.

The report, from VoucherCodes and WBR Insights, said that retailers are embracing technology to simplify and enrich the user experience, which includes the use of chatbots to help streamline customer service operations to AI powered recommendation engines.

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77% of retailers revealed that simplifying the customer experience is their core ambition and actively designed their e-commerce presence primarily based on simplicity and convenience.

The report also revealed retailers priorities for tech investment, highlighting potential areas for growth over the next five years.

AI technology looks set for continued growth as it was deemed the second most important area for tech investment, behind traditional mobile applications. 

Meanwhile, 27% of retailers confirmed that they had invested in Augmented Reality (AR) technology over the last 12 months as retailers rush to engage consumers both in-store and via mobile.

A number of stairlift firms have embraced AR and it is increasingly being taken up by other equipment providers who want to show customers how products will look in the home before a purchase is made.

Jimmy New, director of marketing at VoucherCodes, said: “These latest figures highlight how retailers are continuing to adapt to the growth of online and mobile spending.

“Technology and digital investment will be key to ensure this growth does not come at the expense of traditional high street spend, as AI and other popular innovations transform the shopping experience.

“To remain competitive and respond to customer demands, it is more vital than ever for retailers to evolve their in-store and online offering and create a sense of occasion and experience. 

“Fortunately, thanks to the rapid developments in both AI and AR technology, retailers can create an even more immersive experience for customers – helping them to build stronger connections and encourage loyalty.”

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Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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