With the news of Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, the deal has Amazon gaining a lot more than just a brick-and-mortar grocery store brand. This sort of acquisition has big implications for what the future of retail might look like and how artificial intelligence could play a role.

Even offline, retail shops are constantly collecting data on their customers. Everything from shopping to spending habits can be tracked. This data can be used to train AI models to help the retailers predict product or category demand, as well as starting to automate labor.

Retailers are already embracing AI to better market their products. Consumer data is being processed through deep learning algorithms, offering insight into how users interact with products and how messages resonate with shoppers. Digital assistants, powered by AI, are going to become even more powerful when it comes to retail purchases through suggestions based on prior purchases and offering deals and coupons.  

As competition ramps up between Amazon and retail giants like Walmart, we expect to see AI and machine learning carve out even more of a presence to better tailor marketing efforts – on and offline – to consumer behavior and demand.

Written by IEEE on July 17, 2017