AI applied to the food retail sector: success stories

12 de December de 2023

In a world where technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, artificial intelligence has become a key player on the retail scene, radically transforming the way businesses interact with their customers and optimise their operations. In this article you will learn how artificial intelligence is capable of achieving exponential growth in sales while optimising business processes.

The advance of artificial intelligence in the retail sector

As we have seen in recent years, the use of artificial intelligence in business and retail is growing in popularity. The forecast for this technology in the sector is of great interest as it is predicted to grow at a rate of 29.7%, over 29 billion euros by 2028, according to data from Statista.

The use of this technology offers benefits across the entire value chain. From internal processes, such as productivity or material procurement, to tools that enrich the end-user experience. In terms of analytics and prediction, AI is essential for anticipating consumer needs. This includes the ability to forecast customer flow in physical shops and recognise shopping patterns, among other applications.

Although it is mainly large companies that have led the way in investing in AI solutions for their products and processes, many startups are also adopting this technology. Despite having fewer resources, these companies are using AI strategically to optimise their operations and differentiate themselves in the market.

Where to apply artificial intelligence in the retail sector

Across the entire business process, artificial intelligence offers a myriad of applications in various areas and processes. Here are some examples of how AI can be implemented.

Recommendation engines

These systems allow hyper-personalisation of each customer’s shopping experience by using machine learning algorithms to analyse shopping patterns or preferences of each customer. Thanks to these algorithms, the customer is incentivised to add more products to the shopping cart through similar products, complementary products or personalised recommendations.

Assortment optimisation

By analysing historical sales data, market trends and customer preferences, AI algorithms can predict which products will be most in demand. Assortment optimisation is key to the optimal selection of SKUs per point of sale to achieve sales and margin targets. This allows retailers to adjust inventory more efficiently, ensuring they are always in stock and reducing overstocking.

Demand forecasting

These models can analyse large amounts of data, including factors such as seasonality, market trends, promotional events and changes in consumer preferences. These predictions allow retailers to accurately anticipate demand, achieving greater efficiency in supply chain and marketing strategies.

Price optimiser

AI can also be used for real-time price optimisation. Using algorithms that consider a variety of factors such as market demand, competition, inventory costs and customer preferences, AI systems can dynamically adjust prices to maximise revenue and market competitiveness. This not only helps retailers stay competitive, but also ensures that customers receive fair and attractive prices.

Other cases for applying artificial intelligence in the retail sector

Artificial intelligence applications are going beyond imagination, transforming the way businesses operate. Here are 3 real cases of brands that have implemented or will implement artificial intelligence in different areas of their business.

– Carrefour with smart trolleys

Carrefour France has acquired ‘smart trolleys’ for its shops. These trolleys represent an innovation in the shopping experience, allowing customers to scan, weigh and pay for products directly from the trolley, thus avoiding queues at checkouts.

– Walmart uses AI to negotiate with suppliers

Walmart is using a chatbot to conduct negotiations with equipment suppliers. The chatbot, similar to ChatGPT, allows Walmart to set its budget and priorities and then negotiates with human suppliers to close deals. This system has allowed Walmart to close deals more quickly, in days rather than weeks or months.

– Alcampo against food waste

From 2024, Auchan retail will implement smart solutions to fight food waste. This strategy will include the integration of a system designed to effectively manage products close to their sell-by date. This advanced technology will have the ability to identify these products and determine the best strategy for each situation, either by applying discounts or making donations, in order to optimise their use and minimise waste.

Interested in implementing AI in your business?

At Cognodata we have 20 years of experience in data management and analysis. We analyse and design strategies through machine learning and artificial intelligence.

If you want to discover our success stories, contact us.