The world’s biggest brands are increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver more relevant and relevant results.
In a new report by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), India’s biggest names in retail, entertainment, media and technology have received the best returns on investment, even as the economy has shrunk and many have struggled to make money.
PwCs research suggests that the Indian retail sector is among the fastest-growing and most promising sectors in the global economy, with the majority of the market growth in the last five years being in digital services, especially e-commerce and mobile applications.
The survey found that most Indian brands, which account for more than 90% of total retail sales in India, are using AI to deliver their business.
Most Indian brands were able to achieve an average return on investment (ROI) of 7.2% for the six-month period ending September 2018, the PwC report said.
These brands include H&M, Adidas, Nestle, Nordea, Tata Motors and Reliance Industries.
PwCs said the data for the first six months of 2019 is not yet available, but that the average return was 7.6%.
It said that most brands also showed the ability to earn an average ROI of 8.4%.
Pwcs chief executive Anuja Shrivastava said the report provides valuable insight into the market.
“This is a good reminder that Indian retail is still a young sector with a long way to go, but it has the potential to become a leading force in the Indian economy,” Shrivash said.
“The key here is to focus on the business, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel of retailing.”
The study by Pricewaterhouses shows that the biggest Indian retailers are using artificial neural networks (A-NNs), which can automatically identify and segment the consumer based on key features such as age, gender and ethnicity, location and gender.PWCs said these A-NN models are increasingly being deployed across retailing and are gaining acceptance in other industries.
For instance, it said that the popularity of augmented reality in the retail space is one of the biggest trends of the last year.
“AR is becoming an increasingly popular trend and it is becoming more and more commonplace for retailers to use AR in their stores.
This means that they are seeing greater demand from customers and increasing their ROI,” Shriva said.
While the trend of selling to the consumer and not just their demographic segment is expected to continue, AI is also enabling brands to offer tailored services to customers.
For instance, Pwcs said it sees A-NON networks being used to sell to women customers, in an effort to target their desired customer segments.
PewCs also said that AI is helping the industry to grow at a faster pace, as companies are taking advantage of this growing demand.
“In the last six months, AI-enabled technology has enabled companies to accelerate their growth rate and to drive profitability,” Shrvavastava added.