Ten years ago, using artificial intelligence to optimise retail processes, power product recommendations and improve the customer experience was the sole province of cutting-edge ecommerce powerhouses like Amazon. But other retailers are now catching up.

According to a 2018 study by Juniper Research, spending by retailers on artificial intelligence tools will grow almost fourfold between 2018 and 2022, reaching $7.3bn per annum – up from an estimated $2bn in 2018.

By 2022, the research found that retailers will be investing in AI tools to improve everything from customer service to sentiment analytics, automated marketing and demand forecasting.

Ten years ago, using artificial intelligence to optimise retail processes, power product recommendations and improve the customer experience was the sole province of cutting-edge ecommerce powerhouses like Amazon.

But the second half of the 2010s has seen a huge acceleration in the capability and availability of artificial intelligence and its subsets – machine learning and deep learning – and a veritable explosion of potential applications in retail, both ecommerce and bricks and mortar.

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