The Future of AI in Retail and e-Commerce in Asia Pacific

May, 2019

The retail industry in the Asia Pacific region is undergoing drastic changes wherein online retail is projected to grow ~3-fold during the forecast period. Retailers in this region are focusing on shaping the consumer experience and managing their inventories by using AI-based solutions. Retailers in India are also utilizing the power of AI for enhancing their sales. The companies such as Aditya Birla Retail, Shoppers Stop, and Reliance Retail are using AI, robotics, and cognitive technologies to come up with smooth customer interaction.

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Few Partnerships and Collaborations in this Region Include

  • In 2017, Godrej Interio, a leading furniture brand in India, collaborated with IBM and selected Watson Commerce for increasing customer engagement & experience and enhancing brand loyalty by providing personalized shopping experience across its stores and online platform. IBM’s design-based consulting and e-commerce capabilities will offer deeper customer insights by analyzing consumer behavior online as well as offline.

  • In 2016, Lotte Confectionery, one of the leading confectionery companies in Korea, partnered with IBM to implement AI solutions to understand changing consumer behavior and preferences based on the available data. Lotte Confectionery, by leveraging IBM Watson Explorer, collected information from several sources. Further, by using ML and IBM Watson’s cognitive technology, it gains deep insights about customers’ needs and is setting up trend forecasting solutions for making effective decisions based on data. With the help of AI-based solutions, the company could introduce new products faster and detect consumer trends early.

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Although the AI-based solutions are largely being adopted by retailers in the US and Europe, the applications of AI are rapidly spreading over the APAC region. The need to attract diverse shoppers is one of the major drivers for increased adoption of AI-based solutions among retailers. Many retail companies are investing in digital technologies for automating marketing initiatives, enhanced virtual assistance, personalized offers, and much more. Future Group, an Indian conglomerate, has set up a Future C&D lab that is an in-house accelerator focusing on creating retail innovation by boosting the use of technologies such as big data, AI, blockchain, IoT, and robotics. The APAC region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of around 48% in the AI in retail and e-commerce market during the forecast period.