How Are Retailers Using Artificial Intelligence?

Over a third use the technology in search efforts

Author: Rimma Kats

February 28, 2017

Artificial intelligence (AI) adoption is still limited, but among retail marketers who do employ the technology, many use it in their search or recommendation engines.

A January 2017 survey from Sailthru, which aggregates and analyzes user data sets for companies to create personalized customer experiences, polled retail marketers in Canada, the UK and the US about how they use AI to accomplish their goals. Respondents were primarily from ecommerce retailers, but included retailers with ecommerce and physical retail locations.

The largest share of retail marketers using AI—over a third—said they use it in search efforts. Nearly as many said they do so in recommendation engines for their products or content.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter reported using AI in their programmatic advertising efforts, and another 13% in chatbot efforts.

Overall, marketers—not just retail marketers—use different forms of AI.

A separate survey from Narrative Science found that among the 58% of US business executives who already had AI-powered solutions deployed at their company, nearly a third cited voice recognition and voice response solutions as the AI technology they use most.

Just under a quarter (24%) of respondents used AI primarily for machine learning, and 15% used it for virtual personal assistants.