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RetailX Brand Index 2019

RetailX Brand Index 2019

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Welcome to the forefront of AI

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Sponsored by Microsoft

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Copernicus. Armstrong. Curie.

 

What do they all have in common? Well, they were all pioneers who broke boundaries and covered new ground. And the world is a better place because of them.

 

You might not have realised it but, as your organisation’s tech leader, you’re a bit of a pioneer too. Especially when it comes to new technologies, like AI. Think about it. You understand the benefits (better decision making and fresh insights). You know how it can be applied (chatbots, real-time promotions, predictive analysis). And you’ll be the one to actually implement it in your business.

 

But you might still be wondering whether that AI thing is right for you. And how it might impact your department and way of working. Because of this, we’ve put together the following guide to the most common sticking points.

 

Break new ground, not the bank

Budgets are often tight in IT departments. Which can make it hard to prioritise how you invest in new technologies.

 

It did not surprise us when our independent research revealed that, in fact, cost is a top concern for 40 percent of business leaders. We also learned that 33 percent of respondents also feel pressured to reduce costs and grow profits.

 

Fortunately, AI doesn’t need to be a widescale “rip and replace” investment. In fact, it’s possible to roll it out on a function-by-function basis. And it’s important to note that, once in place, AI can boost loyalty and long-term profits. Making the money you do spend on adoption a very worthwhile investment.

 

Forge ahead – safely

Cybersecurity has always been a concern for businesses thinking about getting started with AI. And rightly so. Chatbots, for instance, can handle personal data, including financial information. And you might even rely on it to automate fraud detection and security measures in your business.

 

But if you work with an AI provider that takes trust seriously and puts your privacy first, you can put these concerns to rest. Built on our enterprise-grade security practices, Microsoft AI helps protect your information, while putting you in control. All of which means you can pass the same sense of trust on to your customers.

 

Blaze trails, save time

In most e-tail businesses, that AI thing can be implemented with little to no disruption to your business. If you start small, or run a pilot programme first, your team and technology can continue to do its day-to-day work. What’s more, any time lost will be quickly made up by the amount of time saved by AI. It can automate simple tasks like fraud detection, lead generation, and dynamic pricing, so your people can be free to tackle more complicated work.

 

Howdy, partners

You might well be an AI pioneer, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Our research also shows that 81% of the retailers interviewed said they’d like to work with a third-party to support rollout, and 15% would prefer to lean on a partner.

 

We’re inclined to agree. If you’re ready to get started with AI, it can help to work with someone with a track record in the technology. We have a network of expert partners who can smooth your path to AI. These include:

  • ANS, who can help you assess your infrastructure, build your business case, and deploy bespoke applications;
  • Screenmedia, who can help you improve your service and excite users across web, mobile, voice, API, and cloud technologies; and
  • Prefixbox, the on-site search tool that can help you track how your web visitors behave and learn from their behaviour.

So: good news, pioneers. Implementing AI isn’t the costly, time-consuming undertaking you might have thought it to be. Especially if you have an expert partner to guide you on your journey.

 

To find out more about how that AI thing can benefit your business, explore our e-book.

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