- Reshaping of retail and logistics landscape is a simple yet effective strategy.
- Technology in the form of AI had opened up new avenues for logistics and other businesses, making their operations more efficient.
- AI is assisting retail and logistics companies in aggregating customer demand and simplifying distribution networks, while optimising their store performance and driving revenues.
Over decades, there have been buzzwords and technology trends ranging from Big Data to Cloud to internet of things (IoT). And presently, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into business operations across various sectors have seemingly become the talk of the town.
With propagation and aggregation of so much data, deriving an essential sense out of it becomes challenging at times.
Ta-da! AI strikes in.
AI is based on concept of technological learning from experience and improving at every step while answering complicated questions.
Interestingly, AI has been embraced by numerous sectors such as healthcare, entertainment, retail, financial, logistics and transportation, and continuing to experience an enormous transformation in their respective businesses.
No doubt, coronavirus has thrown multiple challenges for several countries and businesses worldwide.
As Australia along with the whole world is adapting to ‘new normal’ of living, working and shopping, it looks like AI is all set to grab this opportunity and support businesses.
AI is revamping the retail and logistics businesses and adding a competitive edge to several companies in the industry.
The key to retail and logistics sector is efficient and speedy delivery of goods and services.
Do you know, by leveraging AI one can make informed decisions?
AI involves study of data-patterns; retail and logistics companies can project demand, stamp out delay in shipment, plan and integrate the various operations of their businesses well in advance.
Moreover, AI can help predict customer behaviour and their demands - sales prioritisation can be done and accordingly, demands of customers can be met.
You open a website and then automatically a pop up emerges- asking how may I help you? Well, AI has this amazing invention called chatbots.
The question is, how are they deriving value for the businesses?
These chatbots stimulate intelligent and meaningful engagement with consumers; answering all their questions, thereby helping retailers to retain their customers and attract new ones, resulting in their business growth.
Furthermore, AI-driven analysis can help in bringing transformation in retail and logistics companies, while assisting them in aggregation of the customer demand and simplifying their distribution networks.
There is another range of exciting AI invention called AI-enabled robots.
This buzzing new Sci-Fi word has a significant impact on retail and logistics space; distribution and supply chains can be optimised, with smarter decision making and increased automation.
These AI-enabled robots can help retailers to achieve considerable savings from stock shortage and stock-out situation. Moreover, they offer flexibility to retailers to move their sales personnel on more challenging tasks, driving higher sales.
Also, these robots can offer customised product recommendations; advice is driven by the analytical insights extracted from combination of customer’s data such as their age, location, and purchase history.
Globally, some companies have adopted this concept of AI-enabled robots, and they are reaping various benefits.
The giant retailers, Amazon.com and Walmart, are already using these mobile robots in their warehouses and retail stores; the robots are performing various functions such as inventory scanning, materials handling, and cleaning.
Also, DHL has collaborated with Amazon; this association offers a voice-based service to know the delivery status of customer’s parcel by using Amazon Alexa-Echo.
Have you heard about the fashion retailer H&M? Yes!
They too, are using AI to track the status of their stock, and help a store know, which product to promote at different locations.
On the home front, let us look at one of the retail logistics company that is embracing AI.
Kogan.com Limited (ASX:KGN), an e-commerce company has seized everyone’s attention after witnessing a massive surge in its customer base, online sales, with robust earnings during the crisis period.
Further, it seems that KGN is well-positioned to climb up the ladder of growth; specifically with paradigm shift in the shopping pattern of consumers to the online marketplace.
KGN, with its business empire, has earned a considerable profit, and raised capital of ~ AU$100 million and is all set to launch SPP for another AU$15 million, as notified on 11 June. On 18 June, KGN released SPP booklet for stakeholders, entailing details of the offer and how to take part in SPP.
Moreover, KGN is set to make its mark in the current market situation as its capital raising process went well.
Did you read; A look at Kogan.com Share Price: A rich list e-tailer
The raised fund will also benefit other shareholdings of Mr Ruslan Kogan, CEO, KGN.
eStore Logistics, (providing eCommerce and shipping services entity) with 19% stake of KGN’s CEO, is expected to receive some funding from recent capital raising by KGN.
What is buzzing in the street for eStore Logistics?
As per latest media reports, it is believed that eStore Logistics is investing AU$40 million into AI-enabled robotic fulfilment centres and is planning to grab more distribution centre sites to form a chain of robotics-enabled warehouses across the Australian market.
It looks like, eStore Logistics is following footsteps of fulfilment centres network of Amazon that relies on robots and consider them as part of its operations.
These robots are expected to be in the form of household robotic vacuum cleaners. They would be used to fetch the inventory stored on shelves or pallets from the warehouse, even before products are packed for shipment.
One of the fulfilment centres of eStore Logistics has AI-enabled mobile robots that are supporting its team in delivering the products on the same day when the order is received.
Did you read; 3 ASX E-tailers That Made It Big: KGN, WES, BBN
With the change in demand from customers for faster delivery, this step will enable eStore Logistics and its clients, to provide the best service possible, including cost-effective and same-day delivery.
Changes are happening at a swift pace and surviving in the marketplace; one needs to have certain mindset, certain edge to keep up and deliver products fast, with the most in-demand products at best prices.
There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.
Are you wondering if the year 2020 might not have taken the right start? Dividend stocks could be the answer to that question.
As interest rates in Australia are already at record low levels, find out which dividend stocks are viewed as the most attractive investment opportunity in the current scenario in our report.