The technology transforming the retail industry

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Retail chatbots for customer service

Steve Hewitt, head of retail at Capgemini, said: “Part of the challenge with artificial intelligence (AI) for retailers is understanding the constituent parts, such as natural language, speech recognition and image recognition.”

Customer service is very people intensive and retailers are now assessing how customers will cope with AI-based chatbots, to handle simpler customer enquiries. Among the areas being explored is whether people will take AI seriously, get offended by having to talk to a machine, or try to break the AI system by asking arcane questions.

He said most retailers are looking at chatbots to provide more intuitive access to data.

“AI is also being used to automate meta data – which is important both for internal and external internet searches.”

Facebook is in the process of developing chatbots of its messenger application for future use cases such as customer service or payments.

Customers are now able to use Facebook messenger for services such as ordering a takeaway through the Just Eat online food ordering firm. 

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