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AI in Retail: Putting New Tools in the Hands of Retailers

Executive Summary

Artificial intelligence (AI) is putting new tools into the hands of retailers, helping them eliminate friction in the shopping process, deepen their engagement with customers, uncover business insights and automate processes.

  • AI enables machines to use massive amounts of data to uncover trends and insights, making new markets accessible and businesses more efficient. However, data is the key, as more data beats better algorithms in terms of AI efficacy.
  • According to market intelligence firm IDC, global spending on AI will reach $19.1 billion in 2018, a 54% year-over-year increase, and is projected to grow to $52.2 billion in 2021. The retail industry is expected to account for $3.4 billion in AI spending in 2018.
  • In retail, AI applications fall into three main categories: computer vision, language processing and data analytics.

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