Five Examples of How Companies are Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Retail

Christian Pichler

Chief Technology Officer at Anyline

Feb 09, 2022

Thanks to the rate at which modern technology continues to advance, it’s become commonplace for retail businesses to jump into the digital world with open arms. There are so many opportunities available to not only improve the customer experience, but to simplify and speed up every-day processes.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a big part of this and in this blog, we will explore how five leading retail companies are utilizing both to great effect in ways.

Walmart: Enhancing Inventory Management

Walmart may be at the forefront of this movement with their experimental Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) – a 50,000 square foot store in Levittown, New York. This store leverages artificial intelligence to guarantee that perishable products always remain in stock and fresh for customers.

It uses cameras positioned strategically throughout the store that can collect up to 1.6 terabytes of data per second. When a customer picks up the last of an item on the shelf, a text is sent to a sales associate to make sure that they know to restock it.

McDonald’s: Improving Customer Experience with AI

Although many people may not associate McDonald’s with technology, they’ve actually made one of their biggest technology investments in years through an acquisition of a company called Dynamic Yield. This was an AI-driven start-up based in Tel Aviv and New York – and was acquired by the fast food giant for more than $300 million.

The central focus of Dynamic Yield is to provide personalized customer experiences through the help of artificial intelligence. This has allowed McDonald’s to change digital displays at drive-thrus at more than 8,000 locations across the country to provide more customized recommendations based on who is seeing them at the moment. Information like weather, traffic patterns and more is all available as well.

All of this is being leveraged to make more meaningful food recommendations based on store location, helping managers better understand how to serve the customers in the neighborhoods they’re actually operating in.

Comerso: The Zero-Waste App

Comerso is notable because their effort is to help businesses adopt a true zero-waste model. Through the scanning of barcodes, retailer associates can better identify unsold and even out-of-date products, at which point they can then get in touch with possible recipients through the Comerso network.

Comerso integrated Anyline‘s industry-leading mobile barcode scanning SDK into their new app, allowing it to be used on any device someone already owns. This improved its ability to not only connect with retailers, but with possible customers as well.

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