Daniel Ramsay, Senior Account Executive, Retail, Google, Inc.

 In Retail business

VOICE COMMERCE IS SET TO BE A GAME CHANGER FOR RETAILERS

Artificial Intelligence is fast becoming the hottest technology in retail

Daniel Ramsay, Senior Account Executive, Retail, Google, Inc, is set to talk about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) at the TCG Summit. We started by asking him about Google’s work in the area of AI.

At Google, we use AI to make products more useful—from email that’s spam-free and easier to compose, to a digital assistant you can speak to naturally, to photos that pop the fun stuff out for you to enjoy.

How will AI benefit the retail channel?

The benefits of AI to retail are far reaching. At this stage, we know it will impact how retailers will benefit retail across four areas. Firstly, with the advent of voice shopping, virtual assistants and chatbots will fundamentally change the way retailers communicate with customers. Secondly, new experiences can be enabled through AI: face recognition to identify customers and inform store associates about their preferences or turning the mobile into a tool for customers to gain more information about products and pricing through tools like Google Lens.

Thirdly, sophisticated pricing applications are becoming available to traditional retailers that enable them to rapidly respond to changes in competitors’ pricing and consumer demand. Finally, AI apps are having an impact on inventory management helping retailers identify gaps, forecast inventory and place orders, but also help reduce excess stock buildup, making retail more efficient.

How will voice commerce change retailing?

While nascent, voice commerce is set to be a game changer for retailers. The launch of Amazon’s Echo and Dot and Google’s Home and Home hub clearly illustrate that voice and home will be the next battleground for retail. Voice commerce is applicable across the consumer journey from providing inspiration and helping selection in partnerships such as Sephora’s launch of the Google Home hub, right through to replenishment and discovery through easy account linking and intelligent recommendations.

How will voice commerce select retailers, or will it bypass traditional retailers?

Stores will always have a role in providing the experience, educating and inspiring customers as well as providing convenience. In an increasing omnichannel retail world, voice commerce will have an increasing role to play, particularly in providing convenience. In the long term these two retail channels will work together and retail brands that create frictionless experiences across platforms, devices and channels will be the winners.

What’s next from Google in the retail space?

Google is partnering closely with the retail sector. We are creating new ways to connect consumers to retailers’ stores; for example, we recently launched local campaigns, a new campaign format that drives store visits solely and measurement solutions that connect the dots between online and store sales such as “store sales direct”.

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