What is Artificial Intelligence?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

We are all familiar with hearing the term artificial intelligence (AI) and recognize that the phrase is becoming more and more prevalent across every industry. AI is defined in the English Oxford Living Dictionary as “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” 1

What does this mean in real terms and how does this translate to the retail industry?

Artificial Intelligent applications are potentially powerful tools for many industries and retail in no exception.

Ask any retailer about the amount of data available within their business and typically eyebrows will raise, often the sheer volume of data which many retailers can generate today is huge. The true potential of AI in retail is that the right tool can analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends. Recommending intelligent decisions and predictions based on this analysis. Providing employees with the support systems to help them make the best decisions.

AI in Retail Predictions

In terms of monetary spend, the projected AI retail spend is predicted to hit $12 billion by 2023, calculating 325,000 retailers will have adopted AI technology by this date 2. The powerful improvements AI can deliver from streamlining daily tasks and processes to providing actionable customer insight to tangible improved margins are key motivations. It is estimated that AI can save retailers as much as $340 billion annually by 2022 3

How can specialist retailers use AI? AI can assist specialist retailers in a number of ways, providing not only invaluable actionable customer insight but also freeing up business hours by automating and performing daily tasks. Ultimately allowing business owners and employees to have the confidence to focus on the overall business strategy and implement with certainty key decisions based on AI technology. With regards to practical application in retail business AI covers all aspects from:

o Supply chain planning

o Demand forecasting

o Customer intelligence

o Marketing, advertising, and campaign management

o Store operations

o Pricing and promotion

What can Island Pacific Offer?

Retail business are data rich but often retailers struggle to make sense of all available data and forecast which actions to take to increase revenue, protect margin and control stock levels. Island Pacific Forecast Manager provides a forecast tool which can integrate seamlessly alongside your existing architecture using data mining and machine learning techniques to support your users in making the best decision. Use alongside the Island Pacific SmartPlanning modules to optimise forecasting across Merchandise Planning, Assortment Planning, Allocation and Replenishment. Island Pacific Forecast Manger supports retailers to leverage the substantial opportunities to drive in depth analytics and enhance merchandising processes.


1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/02/14/the-key-definitions-of-artificial-intelligence-ai-that-explain-its-importance/#760724594f5d 2. https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/press-releases/ai-spending-by-retailers-reach-12-billion-2023 3. https://www.emarketer.com/content/will-ai-transform-retail