Stories of thrilling, new AI use cases in retail have been popping up in our tech news feeds, whether computer vision, facial recognition, or elimination of human workers. But these sensational accounts miss an important piece of the AI learning curve. A complex infrastructure of end-to-end process automation underpins the flashy technology reflected on the front end.
Process gaps shatter customer journeys and lead to a lack of transparency in supply chain and customer interactions, which together form a composite of the AI backbone. If your retail organization suffers from process gaps and manual routing — and 37% of business and technology decision-makers report that they are — you must start with laying the groundwork before leaping to AI bling.
So where do you start? An incremental approach to AI in retail should focus on:
Focus On Tools That Support End-To-End Automation
Use measured, gradual approaches to enter the world of AI by focusing on back-end processes first. Get executive buy-in on the importance of seamless customer journeys and the importance of supportive technologies like RPA and low-code, which jump-start end-to-end automation. These tools will ultimately pave the way to a foundation that can fully exploit the power of AI and radically transform the customer experience.
The original Forrester blog by Forrester’s Rob Koplowitz, Vice President, Principal Analyst and Sucharita Kodali, Vice President, Principal Analyst is here. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends.