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Artificial Intelligence Drives Innovation in Retail Industry    [Date Added : 07/13/2017 ]
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is powering innovation in retail, according to new research from Webloyalty. It shows that of the top-50 retail technology initiatives of the last year, innovations around artificial intelligence in customer communication and supply chain operations claim numerous spots on the list.

For the second consecutive year Amazon, has been crowned the UK's number one digital innovator, taking all three of the top spots. Amazon Echo led the list with its new and improved features. The voice-driven device, better known as Alexa, can answer questions and order goods, and also has an array of new capabilities such as video camera integration, with the potential to take and process pictures and feedback on outfit choices.

The retailer's grocery store Amazon Go, which uses NFC sensors to monitor items moved from shelves and into baskets ranked second, and Amazon Logistics was listed third for its robot-filled warehouses and experimentation with drone delivery.

The Webloyalty UK-based report applauds a variety of brands for their AI initiatives, including Panasonic's robotic check outs and Shop DIRECTV’s conversational technology in collaboration with IBM Watson. Delivery and fulfilment continued to maintain pace, with Deliveroo's Roobox ranked fourth overall.

"The various AI initiatives show how retailers are working hard to evolve customer journey. They are thinking outside the box and coming up with new ways to answer customer demand for convenience and immediacy, as well as looking for solutions to improve every step of the supply chain," says Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty, Northern Europe.

A trend consistent with the 2016 Digital Innovations Report, is the prominence of the fashion sector, with 16 of the innovations in this year's report being driven by fashion retailers. Ranked at number 12 is Net-a-Porter, honored for its partnership with Whatsapp; the retailer has worked to develop a capability that enables purchases to be made directly the app.
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