How Amazon’s retail revolution is changing the way we shop –

Illustration by Aaron Robinson for The Verge

Today, thousands of products integrate with the company’s Alexa platform to make use of its voice search and query capabilities. Just as it once foresaw e-commerce, streaming, and cloud computing as the future of the internet, Amazon saw AI as not just something that could live within the smartphone — as Apple established with Siri and Google with its Assistant — but also in the home.

As it stands today, Amazon employs more than half a million people, more so than any other technology company in the country and second only to Walmart in the US. But the eventual result of its investments in robotics and AI is that technology’s biggest and fast-growing workforce could see that growth start to slow and, perhaps years down the line, even shrink as robots tackle ever more complicated tasks. In the process, the company may develop robots for use outside its fulfillment centers. Amazon has already changed how we shop and, by extension, how we live our lives. Its next big step could be changing how we work.

ML reduced its out-of-stock rates by 80 per cent

Cross pointed to the fact that Walmart already uses AI to solve ‘last mile’ delivery issues, while German ecommerce brand Otto Group uses a cloud-based machine-learning system that has reduced its out-of-stock rates by 80 per cent.

Anyone asking if robots will really take your job is in fact, woefully behind the times – change is already afoot. Earlier this week, House of Fraser’s logistics operators XPO announced the deployment of 5,000 intelligent robots across its warehouses in Europe and the US.

“The rise of automation through AI will have a much more significant impact on retail than other industries” said Sutherland director of retail Christopher Schyma.

“This is the result of the changing retail industry – today’s customer requires digital-first experiences, where needs are met and expectations exceeded across a variety of touch points and at the complete convenience of the shopper.

A Catalyst for the Next Generation of Business

“A real-world example of this is the retail movement toward anticipatory shipping, where products can be proactively shipped to warehouses near customer locations in anticipation of their next order, creating a virtuous cycle of customer loyalty and consumer intelligence.

By combining the power of human expertise with advanced AI, successful firms are also developing highly personalized solutions around individual customer preferences and identifying trends to predict products that will be relevant to customers.”

All the ways Amazon’s AI brought me the socks I am wearing right now – CNN

“Every conceivable optimization opportunity has some form of machine learning applied to it,” said Srikanth Thirumalai, who leads search at Amazon. He’s worked at Amazon since 2005, and since day one has been centered on using artificial intelligence techniques to make products more discoverable, and shopping more pleasant. His very first project was identifying duplicate product pages.

All the ways Amazon’s AI brought me the socks I am wearing right now – CNN
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Study: Half of retailers are embracing AI to transform supply chain

“The challenge for retailers is that they lack connected systems. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents indicated that they have separate demand planning, replenishment, allocation and order management systems for store and ecommerce orders. Combined with the fact that 28 percent don’t manage each of their modules on the same platform, it becomes clear that disparate demand replenishment systems are a significant burden to efficiency.

AI and machine learning holds enormous potential to improve supply chain efficiency, and forward-looking retailers are already investing in these technologies. Retailers say AI’s greatest potential to improve supply chain management relates to quality and speed of planning insights, while nearly half of all respondents identified ‘demand management’ as one of the top three areas for AI in the next five years.”

AI: Unlocking the Secrets of the Global Supply Chain – Alan Gunner

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  • “The introduction of AI is not just about automation or leveraging machine learning to squeeze a fraction more efficiency through the supply chain – although that is always welcome. It is about decision making: it is about automating the supply chain with a better decision. And as the pressure to create the perfect supply chain continues, human processing alone will not be good enough: those organisations that embrace AI and add intelligence to decision making will be best placed to both respond to the inevitable disasters and plan for a very different, very profitable, future.”
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