One of the best aspects of transitioning to a new calendar is the year-in-review pieces written by popular technology blogs and publications. This morning I discovered a post written by Ana Păstrăvanu of thepaypers.com.
Here are just a few of the key take-always. Check out the post for full details.
- In Pakistan ecommerce was expected to surpass USD 1 billion in 2018, propelled by the increase in broadband penetration and the rise in the number of online payment merchants.
- In India, ecommerce sales reached USD 32.70 billion (an increase of 31% compared to 2017), with growth being driven by Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.
- In January, Amazon opened Amazon Go, an automated and checkout-free grocery store in Seattle.
- Walmart’s take on cashier-less checkout, Scan&Go, started being tested in stores in the US.
- A study released by Juniper Research found that global retailers’ spending on AI would reach USD 7.3 billion per annum by 2022.
- Flipkart acquired Liv.ai, an India-based AI-led speech recognition software startup, while Walmart partnered with Microsoft for a wider use of cloud and AI technology.
- In August, Visa has created a new category of payment aggregator, the marketplace, and updated the requirements that have to be met in order to qualify as a marketplace under Visa’s rules.
- 2018 marked the world’s biggest purchase of an ecommerce company, the acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, in May, for USD 16 billion.
- Another important announcement regarded Adobe’s intention of acquiring Magento Commerce from private equity company Permira for USD 1.68 billion.
- Another important investment in 2018 is marked by Alibaba, which increased its control of Lazada, investing USD 2 billion into the business.
“Artificial Intelligence is taking over retail and has been used across the entire product and service cycle.
- Flipkart which was acquired by US retail giant Walmart this year is using machine learning (ML) to arrive at a structured address classification system for order deliveries,
- The ML solution classifies and resolves inconsistencies with a 98% accuracy rate.
AI-powered visual aided picking (within warehouses/ distribution centers)
- As report indicated, Physical forms of AI are now extending beyond chatbots to robots in the warehouse. The AI robots markets is expected to grow at 28.8% CAGR between 2017 and 2023.
- German-based ecommerce player Otto: The AI system predicts customer purchases at 90% accuracy, thereby reducing product returns by over two million items a year.
AI for stock replenishments
- AI-driven insights from varied data sets offer significant scope to automate stock replenishments.
- This allows the company to predict demand down to the individual store level and then automates the product orders. As a result, shelf gap was found to be reduced by 30% during trial sessions.36
AI for assortment rationalization
- Global fashion retailer H&M faced a significant challenge: $4 billion worth of unsold stock
- The number of SKUs reduced by 40% as a result”
“Reportedly, the move will help Flipkart to deliver real-time pricing and product analytics to its seller partners. According to an ET report, industry insiders have hinted that Flipkart bought the retail intelligence startup for around $30-40 million.
Upstream Commerce offers a suite of products related to predictive price optimization, pricing intelligence, lifecycle intelligence among others. In December 2016, Israeli startup which registered a 385 percent growth rate over the last three years, was also named Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA list, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The startup was backed by YL Ventures.”
“In fact, Flipkart’s AI for India initiative was run by Sachin, who moved out of Flipkart right after the acquisition by Walmart. Flipkart already has more than 50 data scientists and is training another 100 of them. Hiring, too, is on. It is expected to have more than 250 data scientists and AI experts in the next couple of years.”