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April 27, 2021

Artificial Intelligence in Retail

In their efforts to separate themselves from the virtual world of online shopping, brick-and-mortar supermarkets are using emerging technologies of their own, putting artificial intelligence at the heart of their battle for market share. From offering innovative in-store shopping experiences to providing on-demand delivery services, retailers of all kinds are exploring new solutions that use AI to multiply fulfillment strategies, increase customer satisfaction, and compete in a world driven by technology.

The future of artificial intelligence is here, and it’s changing almost every aspect of the grocery shopping experience.

Artificial intelligence involves a combination of algorithmic retailing, deep learning, and machine learning: computer programs learn from experience and use that to get better at what it does. For example, AI analyzes results and then makes predictions and decisions for the future. What’s key is that AI does things humans aren’t capable of—such as nearly instantaneously analyzing enormous amounts of data.

“It’s weaving its way into nearly everything,” says Gary Hawkins, CEO of Los Angeles-based Center for Advancing Retail & Technology. “Retailers have realized the world is changing really fast and they’re not competing just with the store down the street but with Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, who are investing tens of millions of dollars in technology every year.”

Optimizing the In-Store Experience

It’s difficult for humans to step back and accurately look at their business, but artificial intelligence can. AI can help ensure a business is running smoothly by keeping the right products on shelves and deliveries coming at the right time.

Distribution centers use AI to fulfill orders, and wholesalers are using AI technologies for their demand forecasting. Routing delivery trucks, scheduling people and order fulfillment is also made easier and more efficient with AI-powered technology.

Customer Experience is Key

While AI has unlimited possibilities in retail, it’s best to focus on practical solutions that seek to benefit both the customer and their shopping experience. Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL) does that by simplifying the shopping experience through state-of-the-art hardware and software technologies – uncovering the true potential of AI-powered retail.

To remove friction from customers’ shopping experience, Walmart is streamlining the inventory process and making sure shopping carts are available and registers are open.

The key to a better in-store experience for customers is optimizing inventory and availability. AI-powered technology can use real-time information to explore efficiencies that will allow associates to know more precisely when to restock products, so items are available on shelves when they’re needed.

Grocers can also mitigate common problems with inventory by adding better technology at the source of the issue – the shelving display. Look at your produce aisle, or more specifically the bagged produce section. It can often be disarrayed with bags falling off the shelves and products in the wrong spot. Untidy shelves complicate the restocking process for employees and turn customers away.

The simple answer to those inventory challenges is SpaceGrid® II pusher display systems from Retail Space Solutions. The innovative design in SpaceGrid II features trays that easily slide forward for efficient backfilling and inventory management. At the same time, the patented controlled-pusher movement provides just the right tension to securely push products forward – while keeping them in the right place and reducing the risk of false out-of-stocks.

With the SpaceGrid II, you can ensure attractive, organized displays that drive quick buying decisions – ultimately improving the customer shopping experience and your bottom line.

For more information on the SpaceGrid II or other pusher trays from Retail Space Solutions, visit or call 1-800-279-5291.