- “With a new focus set on India’s ecommerce market worth $200 Bn in 2019, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is continuing to build its arsenal of etailer-related services by acquiring promising players from the Indian startup ecosystem.
- Ambani is targeting Indian ecommerce market which is largely dominated by Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. A recent Deloitte India and Retailers Association of India (RAI) report predicted ecommerce market to grow to $1.2 Tn by 2021.”
“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”
- Walmart Labs, the local product development division of US retail giant Walmart has acqui-hired Delaware-based data analytics and machine learning startup Int.Ai, its second acqui-hire in India in three months, as it looks to strengthen its engineering team.
- In September, Walmart Labs brought the entire team of engineers from Bengaluru-based Appsfly onboard, which built a system for micro apps to get hosted and streamed on any platform.
- Globally, acqui-hiring has been used by large companies to get talent in a new domain it looks to test waters. In 2017, Google acquired Halli Labs, a four-month-old startup out of Bengaluru that was developing artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. Its founder Pankaj Gupta, now heads the internet giant’s Next Billion Users (NBU) team that looks at building technology in emerging markets.
- In October, Airtel acqui-hired Authme ID services, an AI-based solution firm to bring in its founders Shardul Shirkant Lavekar and Parth Mudgal into its employment.
“Indian consumers have started embracing e-commerce with great zeal. According to Forrester, India is the fastest-growing online retail market in the world that will reach $64 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 31.2%. The global payments leader, Worldpay, estimates that India will outshine the US to become the second largest e-commerce market globally by 2034.
The growth potential of this sector is causing Indian e-commerce players to bolster their technological investments with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) being the pivotal area. Experts estimate that Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm Mall will spend nearly $2.5 billion on AI and ML in 2018.”