Stephen Sze, Director of Software Engineering of Alvanon, says AI makes it possible to automate lots of manual tasks in the supply chain, which allows for shorter lead times and much faster response times.
From personalised recommendations to targeted newsletter offers, artificial intelligence is a bedrock of retail.
But as lines between physical and online retail blur, the technology is being integrated into brick-and-mortar stores to shape the products shoppers see and the service they receive. Fashion brands and store operators are investing accordingly: retail spend on AI is forecast to grow from $2 billion in 2018 to $7.3 billion by 2022, according to Juniper Research.
We sat down with Alvanon’s Director of Software Engineering, Stephen Sze, to ask him 3 questions that will help you leverage AI.
1. What is the key area in which you see artificial intelligence (AI) changing the way that consumers behave, and what impact is this having on the way retailers respond to them?
With the help of AI, consumers are sold a more personalized and unique experience. In apparel, they expect that algorithms can accurately determine their size and fit, or tell them what styles will flatter their body shape.
Retailers, in this omnichannel world, will have to cater to these new expectations through adopting technologies that can cater to these expectations while constantly finding fresh ideas to gain consumer retention.
- What do you see as the best opportunity for apparel businesses to use AI to improve the way they operate their supply chains?
The low-hanging fruit lies in automation of certain operational processes. AI makes it possible to automate lots of manual tasks in the supply chain, which allows for shorter lead times and much faster response times. In today’s world, agility and flexibility is probably the most important aspect of any apparel business that wants to continue to grow and thrive.
- What’s the one thing you’d like people to understand about your company’s technology in the age of AI in apparel?
Alvanon uses the latest AI technologies and Machine Learning techniques to develop our body technology. Our team of data scientists, AI/Machine learning technologists and developers work alongside our consulting group to develop innovative yet practical solutions for the evolving apparel supply chain. As a result, our body technology is currently used in more than 600 brands and their supply chains globally.