The retail and e-commerce space has experienced rapid digitization over the last few years. The pandemic further accelerated this trend, with online sales up 32.4 percent in 2020 compared to the year before.
To stay competitive in this space, retailers need to ensure they can deliver a consistent customer experience. Doing so involves managing complex data sets related to eCommerce, website up-time, and more to fully understand the available business intelligence related to customer experience.
Artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) is an area of technology that refers to the strategic use of AI, machine learning (ML), and machine reasoning (MR) to simplify processes and optimize the use of IT resources. Gartner expects AIOps service usage in companies will rise from 5 percent in 2018 to 30 percent in 2023.
The retail sector can leverage AIOps for a variety of purposes, from predicting customer responses to improving services. Here are four ways that AIOps integrations can give retail companies a leg up on their competition:
1. Increase Prediction Accuracy
Consumers expect personalized experiences, and therefore retail companies need to be able to leverage the vast data collected to improve their customer interactions. Any outage – whether at the point of sale or with inventory management – can impact a consumer’s experience. But with AIOps, chain retail outlets can leverage a centralized cloud system to manage rapidly changing inventory and evolving supply chains to ensure that any failure nodes or cascades are prevented ahead of time.
2. Contribute to Revenue Growth
Perhaps the greatest of all contributions that AIOps can make to retail businesses is to improve revenue. Every second a website is down can negatively impact sales. In fact, when Amazon’s website went down for roughly 13 to 15 minutes, it cost them an estimated $203,577 every minute. AIOps that offer preventive healing can recognize and respond to small issues before they lead to outages—minimizing dollars lost due to downtime. In addition, AIOps make IT infrastructure more agile, thereby enabling companies to shorten their go-to-market time for new products. This could potentially increase customer retention, speed getting products to market, and provide overall efficiency to business, which will ultimately translate into growth.
3. Improve Operational Efficiency
AIOps can support retail teams with everything from sales to customer relationships. Historically, the complex data sets surrounding these areas of a retail business had to be processed manually which was tedious and opened the door to errors and inefficiencies. AIOps can streamline many IT operations processes and narrow down potential problems, evaluate their impact, and provide step-by-step assistance for different departments.
4. Expedite Digital Transformation
AIOps can support the digital transformation that many retail companies are currently
undergoing. Organizations that leverage AIOps rely on advanced algorithms to detect and react to events in real-time. This gives companies more autonomy over their IT infrastructure. By reacting in real-time, AIOps can minimize disruption to the customer and improve their experience with the business.
Retail companies can use AIOps to not just streamline IT operations but boost overall productivity. Some AIOps services now provide their solutions as a SaaS offering, making them easier to adopt and more accessible to retailers of all sizes. With the trend towards e-commerce continuing to grow, retailers looking to get an edge over competitors will benefit from automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to improve their services.
The author, Howard Zhang, is the director of pre-sales at Heal Software Inc.