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Artificial Intelligence in Retail and Retail Banking – a troublesome opportunity

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Artificial Intelligence is in its infancy – it brings hopes and promises, and it carries many child diseases. Many of the early use cases have a proven, quick pay-off but enterprises in the Nordic countries hesitate before a wider adoption. We are still in a proof-of-concept and pilot mode when it comes to AI. Why is that?

Retail and Banking are the biggest spenders in AI in the Nordics and Western Europe. Spending is still small – 0,1% of total IT spending in Banking, 1,2% in Retail. Annual growth is extraordinary – 40% on average.

Digital shopping advisors and recommendations are expected to be the fastest growing use case. In 5 years, 40% of non-food retailers are expected to deliver ”just-for-me” – products customized to the needs of the individual. Retailers will need to differentiate, AI will be used to analyze customer preferences and invite customers to configure ”just-for-me” products.

The worth of digital trust

But doing business in retail is also a matter of trust. Breach of trust means loss of repetitive business, is not new to retailers, what is new is that retail goes online, and building digital trust is very new to the industry. Facebook, Marriot’s, Equifax are only a few examples where carelessness with data has had a huge impact on market valuation and revenue. Digital trust can be directly valued in money.

They don’t trust the company to protect their data.

We can expect that the slow introduction of automation and AI, to awareness of the risks involved in trust. Security breaches, poor product recommendations, not so intelligent customer service bots – they all result in reduction of digital trust.

Intelligent automation and AI show great promise, but slow adoption. How can we, the suppliers, best promote AI? In what way should the customer experience be enhanced for the consumer to trust the brand?

Engage the individual

According to Accenture, people expect retailers to engage with them as individuals. But when trying to interact with the individual, retailers risk doing something not quite right. It is a fact that most individuals will not buy a company’s product – no matter how great the product – if they don’t trust the company to protect their data.

Retailers need to shift to only collect the data they need.

In 2019 retailers must show the payback for users sharing their data, drawing a straight line from the act of sharing to receiving relevant products or services in return. Retailers need to shift to “data minimalism” and strive to only collect the data they need. If retailers design for transparency, they will be able to rebuild trust, allowing individuals to have faith that their relationships with those retailers are mutually beneficial.

Secure the trust

Furthermore, according to Capgemini, the rise of AI has caused Customer experience (CX) to take a giant leap forward and promises further results. But AI is not the trigger for retailers to secure their customers trust in sharing their data. This is a problem that has been valid for a very long time. Asking customers if they are willing to share data, is totally dependent on the personal value for the customer. Hopefully, AI will be the differentiator that makes it more appealing for the customer to share their data.

Also, what is interesting is that only 26% of the money invested in AI are supporting non-customer facing processes. Capgemini believes retailers with AI capabilities will benefit hugely in creating the customer trust and loyalty retailers strive for.

Learnings are valueble

As AI continuously “learns” from the captured customer data, interactions and feedbacks, it supports new usages, such as natural language-based interfaces, in-store/in-branch immersive experience, predictive personalization, customer understanding and customer-facing employee augmentation.

This allows for not only streamlined operations, but also immersive and highly personalized experiences – a re-humanization of the customer experience! This must embrace both business and IT to ensure the AI-infused platform implementation aligns with business intent and delivers measurable value, at scale. At Capgemini, its seen as a gamechanger for any industry, globally and locally at the same time.

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Johan Hallberg

CTO Digital Customer Experience Scandinavia, CTO Office Capgemini

Photo: Capgemini

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Cecilia Kogg

Managing Enterprise Architect, Retail, CTO Office Capgemini

Photo: Capgemini

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Daniel Hjelte

Managing Director Accenture

Photo: Accenture

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Therése Blum

Strategy Analyst Accenture

Photo: Accenture

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Martin Sundblad

Research Manager IDC

Photo: IDC


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