Unravelling the Impact of AI on Retail Strategy

Unravelling the Impact of AI on Retail Strategy: Insights from a LinkedIn Live Session

In a captivating LinkedIn Live session held during the National Retail Federation 2024, Stephen Crisp, CEO of Arreoblue, engaged in a profound conversation with Alex (Ali) Rezvan, host of The Retail Podcast, shedding light on the transformative influence of AI on Retail Strategy. 


Amidst the vibrant backdrop of 3,000 vendors and an array of colourful banners, Ali, the podcast host, shared his keen observations on the profound changes witnessed at the event, attributing them to the surging popularity of AI. He noted a pervasive focus on AI across all discussions and partnerships as retailers grapple with integrating this advanced technology into their operations. Reflecting on interviews conducted at the event, Ali expressed concern about tech companies entering the retail space with limited industry knowledge, posing potential challenges for retailers navigating this evolving landscape. 


The exponential growth of the retail sector was vividly portrayed in the event’s expanded setup. Keynotes now held in a separate building, additional stages, and a sprawling expo hall across two floors, illustrating the industry’s remarkable scale. 


Can AI and retail co-exist?

A recurring theme throughout the conversation was the co-existence of AI and retail. Stephen emphasised this synergy, recalling the quote, “You can’t spell retail without AI.” The discussion then delved into preparing retail businesses for the AI era, emphasising the indispensability of front-of-house experiences, loyalty programs, customisation, and personalisation. Stephen highlighted the value of structured data, citing examples like voice-to-order systems and the importance of leveraging customer data for a personalised shopping experience. 


Despite the immense potential of AI, the speakers cautioned against being dazzled by its lights in 2024 without a solid foundation. Stephen stressed, “AI performs much better with high-quality data,” urging retailers to focus on structuring their data environments to maximise the benefits of AI techniques. 


The conversation also touched upon the many retailers’ economic challenges, prompting Ali to pose a critical question: save money or make money? The imperative of an efficient supply chain capable of converting, cross-selling, and up-selling was underscored as crucial for success. There needs to be more than the traditional single modality in supply chains, requiring a nuanced understanding of data to identify risks and adapt to ongoing global challenges. 


Insights from the event included examples from various industries, such as the CEO of PepsiCo leveraging AI and data for sustainable farming practices. Integrating sensors in agriculture, particularly in the tech world, remains under-discussed. The future of retail, as envisioned in the conversation, involves petabytes of data seamlessly integrated into every facet of business operations, from marketing and supply chain to human resources and finance. 


In conclusion, the LinkedIn Live session illuminated the dynamic intersection of AI and retail strategy, urging businesses to embrace structured data, prioritise customer experiences, and navigate the evolving landscape with a strategic approach to technology integration. 


About Arreoblue 

Arreoblue is a forward-thinking solutions provider specialising in tailor-made strategies to optimise business processes and foster growth. With our Assess, Accelerate and Amplify methodology, our experts will utilise their decades of experience to empower your people with a platform of success and solution that works FOR you. 


To find out more, get in touch with one of our dedicated team today at info@arreoblue.com