AI offers retail $340bn in cost-saving opportunities

Despite the huge opportunity AI technology presents for retailers, Capgemini research has found that just 1% have so far utilized it to its full potential


The use of AI in retail is set to offer around $340bn in cost-savings for retail companies, according to a new study by Capgemini.

However, the report found that just 1% of retailers have so far managed to achieve this level of deployment. Instead, most retailers are focusing their AI efforts on sales and marketing instead of employing it in use cases across the value chain where it is likely to make the most impact.

"Our research shows a clear imbalance of organizations prioritizing cost, data and ROI when deploying AI, with only a small minority considering the customer pain points also," said Kees Jacobs, vice-president – global consumer products and retail sector at Capgemini.

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"These two factors need to be given equal weighting if long-term AI growth, with all of the benefits it brings, is to be achieved," Jacobs added.

The study, Building the Retail Superstar: How unleashing AI across functions offers a multi-billion-dollar opportunity, looked at 400 global retailers that represent 23% of the global retail market by revenue and are using AI across various stages of maturity.

Capgemini also found that 28% of retailers were deploying AI in 2018, compared to 17% in 2017 and 4% in 2016.

The increasing use of AI in industry has led to widespread concern about redundancies, however, 71% of retailers in the study said AI was creating jobs today, with 68% of these jobs being at a senior level.

Of all companies surveyed, 75% declared that AI has not replaced any jobs in their organization so far.

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