Is AI The Future Of Retail?

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Disclosure: I am a Microsoft Advocate.  I have been provided with access to some of the company’s new technology – a Surface Book 2 – for evaluation purposes, as well as getting privileged access to some Microsoft Canada executives.  In return, Microsoft has asked that I share any opinions and insights with readers of this blog.  They have not asked me to guarantee anything – nor have they attempted to influence what I post.



Is AI The Future of Retail?

There’s a lot of talk about the future of the retail industry. Walk down any street; through any mall.  There are empty stores wherever you look.  There are many who have forecast the end of physical retail.  I think they are wrong.  The success of my business depends on a retail.

A lot is written about the importance of technology in retail.  AI (artificial intelligence), VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) for retailers looking to survive.  The problem is that many of the articles I read every week talk in general terms about the technology and its value.  There is little written about how retailers can implement new advanced technologies.  There is little, if anything, written about the challenge of integrating technology into existing workflows and in-store customer experience to creating competitive differentiation and tempt customers and prospective customers to visit a physical location – rather than shopping form the comfort of their couches.

In the last few weeks I’ve had the chance to talk with Microsoft Canada’s Director of Retail Strategy – Dave Rodgerson.  Having spoken with him at the #FutureNow event, I asked for the opportunity to talk with him on camera.  The location was the Microsoft retail store in Mississauga’s Square One mall.

I started by asking Dave about his vision of the future of retail.