RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Many retailers agree artificial intelligence (AI) continues to transform the industry—eighty-six percent are experimenting to forge new growth.
  • But many retailers pursue AI as one-off initiatives running in functional silos—seventy percent know how to pilot, but are struggling to scale AI.
  • Retailers need a corporate strategy, process and governance to guide investments and a path to scale.
  • Only then can they realize AI’s true potential and transform into strategic, data-driven organizations.


How to generate value—at scale

We are reaching the peak of the hype curve with artificial intelligence (AI) in retail. The vast majority of retailers agree it will continue to transform the retail industry and redefine financial and operational benchmarks for success.

The competitive landscape is shifting and it’s no longer about just pursuing AI—it’s about being among the first to adopt AI at scale to reach unprecedented levels of personalization, precision and profitability.

Personalization

Personalization is a direct path to value in retail. For maximum gain, retailers can use AI to identify their highest value customers.

Precision

AI allows retailers to optimize processes and operate with better precision from the customer all the way back through the supply chain.

Profitability

AI can affect the top and bottom lines of a retail business—companies embracing analytics and AI typically have more growth.

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The good news is that retailers can now access the innovation, skills and solutions required to fully embrace AI responsibly across the enterprise to create value and fuel profitability.


How to scale—fast

When retailers adopt AI across retail functions and processes at scale, they can unlock unprecedented value and transform their businesses. There are four areas of focus for retailers to quickly unleash AI across the enterprise to rapidly achieve value at scale.

1. People—Drivers of value

Retailers need to lead from the top with an overarching strategy and human-centric approach. Becoming a data-driven organization requires appropriate sponsorship, funding and commitment of resources.

2. Data—Fuel for AI

The amount of internal and external data continues to increase as retailers access new sources. A data strategy is table stakes to have the fuel—clean, secure and actionable data—to drive AI at scale.

3. Platform—The AI engine

A platform-based approach allows retailers to gain speed and scale while enabling innovation. Ecosystem partners are essential for the best technologies, strong AI capabilities and the right team.

4. Governance—The navigation tool

Retailers need processes to move from AI experimentation to scale. Governance offers guiderails that help retailers to determine the highest value use cases for AI, to help prioritize, fund and scale.

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By focusing on these four critical areas, retailers can move from experimentation to rapidly driving value at scale with AI. New benchmarks for financial and operational success will emerge from improved capabilities for prediction and precision. Cultures will transform to become data-driven.

The retailers that move to AI at scale with speed will outpace competitors by strengthening consumer relationships and forging new paths to growth. Will you be one of them?

Vish Ganapathy

Managing Director, Lead – Global Retail Technology


Matthew Green

Managing Director – Applied Intelligence, Products (Retail)


Paul Schottmiller

Managing Director – Global Retail Analytics Lead, Accenture Strategy

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