Companies like Alibaba are already making scenarios like this one a reality. Alibaba Introduced a new app called FashionAI into 13 physical retail stores in Shanghai. The system scanned clothing taken into a dressing room by a shopper and tapped into the store’s inventory, as well as data collected from fashion experts and designers. Informed by that data, the retailer suggested complementary items. Alibaba drove a record $25 billion in sales for that one day.
AI also can drive productivity for employees in stores. One new technology, Theatro, allows employees at large retailers to access an AI-powered virtual assistant with their voice to gain information about the store almost instantaneously. Someone working on the floor at Home Depot in Canada has the ability to connect a Theatro device to an artificially intelligent virtual assistant that talks to her through an earpiece. The assistant can help her understand things like inventory and back-of-the-house operations, so that more employees can be on the floor working with customers instead of physically searching for answers in outdated systems in the back of the house.