Enabling Talent and Meeting Consumer Demand at the Intersection of Physical and Digital
Last year, in Apparel’s 4th annual Report taking a look at how digital technology is evolving in the retail store, we started by considering AI and the impact it is having across the retail universe. We noted that one of the common goals of AI — which undergirds the micro-targeted marketing, the deep analysis of shopping patterns on both the individual and aggregate levels, the identification of trends in style and fit, and so forth — is to figure out those fine nuances that serve consumer demand while putting consumers at ease and learning their trust. On some level, we noted, AI is about engineering human intimacy.
And yet, the Report concluded that achieving real human intimacy is still far beyond the capability of AI, or robots, and that, for now, humans — armed with mobile devices, provided with one view of inventory and one view of the consumer — are still your best bet for engaging and delighting the customer. In other words, people are needed to make a human connection.
When we’re talking about the merging of digital with the physical store, the quest for a human connection — or to say it another way, for talent — is one of the greatest challenges faced by retailers, as well as by the entire supply chain, across industries.