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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Use of AI in Retail

Useful to see how big retail is thinking this.

BBQ Guys and Lowe’s discuss best practices for implementing AI tech by Guest contributor   Bryan Wassel, Associate Editor, Retail TouchPoints

 ... Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website. ... 

Fine-tuning data science solutions to optimize results has been, relatively speaking, the easy part. Preparing people throughout the retail organization to take advantage of the new insights is the more complicated task, IT executives indicated on a panel at the 2019 Retail Innovation Conference.

“Executives like to believe that 99 percent of your time is spent on building the algorithms involved — but actually that’s the smallest part,” said Doug Jennings, VP of data and analytics at Lowe’s.

Teams across the organization must be educated on how these solutions will affect their jobs and have reasonable expectations about how much things will change. “We have to show some sort of roadmap of where we want to go,” said Jason Stutes, director of analytics & design at BBQ Guys.

One key ingredient is making a dashboard that is able to go through insights piece by piece, enabling marketers to understand the popularity of items beyond just how many were sold. A carefully built machine learning tool helps Lowe’s pull apart historical sales at a very granular level to see just what shoppers are looking for in any given category. Taking into account activities at nearby competing retailers can be invaluable. ... " 

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