Artificial intelligence (AI)–assisted technologies have been on the rise over the past few years.
From virtual personal assistants to video games, smart cars, online customer support, and music or movie recommendations, AI has infiltrated nearly every aspect of consumers’ everyday lives.
Yes, we can all thank AI for our Netflix addiction.
While AI certainly makes consumers’ lives easier, it’s also working in nearly every industry to help streamline operations.
One company that saw significant improvement in its sales thanks to AI was Dole Asia. Through the use of AI enterprise marketing platform Albert, Dole Asia was able to deploy an awareness campaign simultaneously across multiple channels, including social, display and search.
PYMNTS spoke with Dole Packaged Foods Asia VP of Marketing and Innovation Ashvin Subramanyam and Albert CEO Or Shani about this campaign and learned what AI is doing for the retail space.
The company wanted to increase the sales of its “Seasons” fruit cocktail brand, increase the sale of its smaller cans and gain a stronger market share hold among its competitors. Within the first eight weeks, through the use of Albert, in-store business grew 87 percent and reached 60 million impressions.
It’s clear that artificial intelligence has had an enormous impact on the retail industry as evidence by Dole Asia’s awareness campaign results.
“You give AI technology the target — and you let it manage the budget as well — and then what it does is it automatically bids, buys, places and optimizes all of the creative materials you give to it,” said Subramanyam. “It behooves a company to create lots of raw creative materials for the AI to play with. The more creative options that are thrown at it, the better it is able to operate, because it’s constantly optimizing between different creative choices based on how users are interacting with the material.”
Shani adds, “Brands need a solution that will execute all efforts across all channels autonomously, and artificial intelligence is the only way to accomplish this. Whereas other available technologies simply analyze data and then wait for a human to make a decision about it, self-driving technology analyzes the data, determines the best course of action, executes on it and then continually optimizes as it goes, based on what it learns in real time and over time.”
The ability to optimize at any given time seems to be the common thread of AI’s it factor when it comes to the retail arena. Since smart technology like AI and bots base their actions on how others interact with it, it’s constantly being fed new details on a rolling basis.
“AI also has [the] ability to watch the overall digital space to see what other players are doing, potentially competitor players,” said Subramanyam. “It watches how others are bidding and whether those bids are garnering results for that other player or other brand, to the detriment of our brand. And therefore it also takes into account those learnings as it bids.”
AI and the bot are major forces with which to be reckoned.
While researchers from the University of Oxford and Yale University are predicting AI will outperform humans by the year 2062, Tesla’s cofounder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted out that this will occur by the year 2030 or 2040.
As such, it should come as no surprise that the technology in retail is impacting the way consumers buy goods, which then affects brick-and-mortar locations. Some retailers are using smart technology like AI and the bot to help mitigate store closures. Today’s tech-savvy consumer is looking for more than just a simple purchase when walking into a physical store. Through the use of AI, retailers will have the ability to collect data from multiple sources to help improve and personalize the in-store shopping experience.
By integrating artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, retailers can better predict what customers want and plan accordingly.