AI in Retail

Artificial intelligence (AI) significantly shifts how we work, play, and live, impacting virtually every industry. Consumer expectations are higher than ever, and many organizations implement AI technology to meet changing needs effectively.

Retailers, in particular, are faced with increasing customer demands and fierce competitors – so it makes sense that AI and retail are becoming increasingly intertwined. AI in retail presents a new realm of possibilities for retailers, allowing them to operate more efficiently while simultaneously delivering an improved customer experience.

As a thought leader in the tech industry and the co-founder of her own AI technology company, Susan Sly is deeply engaged in the potential for artificial intelligence in retail applications.

Understanding How AI is Used in Retail

Using AI for retail purposes is already widely practiced by a multitude of companies, often in ways that consumers have yet to consider.

At its core, AI allows data to be converted into actionable insights, which can then be used to make informed decisions that improve business outcomes. Without AI, the sheer volume of data available can be overwhelming. Once AI technologies are implemented, retailers are far better equipped to construct connections that drive measurable improvements and customer satisfaction.

Here are just a few examples of AI for retail:

Demand forecasting and management

AI allows retail stores to better collect and organize insights from consumer, competitor, and marketplace data, streamlining demand forecasting. Retailers can clearly understand customer behaviors and trends better, so they can make informed business decisions about pricing, product placement, product supply, and more.

Customer Analytics

One fascinating application of AI in retail is in-store heat mapping, which utilizes computer vision and cameras to track a customer’s journey through the store. This technology shows a retailer which products are picked up and put down and where the customer travels after leaving specific zones, thus improving the ability to develop an engaging shopping experience.

Inventory management

Accuracy is paramount when it comes to retail inventory, and AI offers a myriad of options for improvements. Rather than operating within data silos, AI retail technologies work towards creating a comprehensive view of products, stores, and shoppers using various sensors and software. One type of AI inventory management technology can alert employees to misplaced items or low stock, while another can mitigate loss prevention strategies in real-time.

Customized online shopping experiences

One of the most widely-used AI technologies today is linked to how retailers personalize their customers’ marketing and shopping experiences. Advanced CRM systems rely on AI to learn consumer preferences and behaviors, which can then be applied to deliver more proactive, tailored outbound marketing. As a customer shops on a retail website, they can be presented with personalized shopping experiences, recommendations, content, or rewards, as AI systems curate an experience suitable for each customer journey.

Customer service

AI-powered chatbots are yet another popular incorporation of artificial intelligence in retail, which can be observed across nearly every customer-facing industry. With AI technology, a retailer can respond more efficiently to customer service requests while reducing labor expenditures. On-demand support satisfies customer needs, improving the overall retail experience and boosting the brand’s reputation.

Optimized operations

AI-enabled logistics management can successfully calibrate a retail platform distribution, staffing, and delivery operations in many ways, elevating efficiency while reducing effort.

The Future of AI in Retail

Computer vision is emerging as one to watch in terms of forecasting the future of AI in retail industry applications. Computer vision is a specialized type of deep learning AI enabling a machine to “see” and interpret visual data.

Thanks to computer vision, retail businesses are gaining access to new opportunities for predictive analytics, forecasting demand, inventory control, and customer experience – and the advancing technology is only elevating the speed and convenience with which growth can occur.

Of course, there will also be questions about computer vision ethics. It is expected that much of the discussion will be centered on finding a balance between consumer privacy and business objectives.

Artificial Intelligence in Retail Statistics


The global AI in the retail market was valued at nearly $5.8 billion in 2021.


Between 2022 and 2030, AI in retail is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that exceeds 24%.


Machine learning is the market leader in AI, claiming more than 30% of the 2021 market.

In terms of applications of AI in retail, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain and logistics, and inventory management have the largest shares at present.

Influencing Women in AI Retail

Although AI is one of the most rapidly growing fields within the technology industry, it still has a disproportionately low number of women business leaders. That certainly isn’t for lack of skill, talent, or innovation on the part of women; one needs only to look towards today’s women-led tech companies to see the incredible power of women in AI.

Susan Sly is a co-founder, co-CEO, board member, and investor in RAI, a company specializing in AI-driven computer vision technology.

Specifically focused on AI in retail and healthcare, RAI is currently one of the first US companies to do a large-scale computer vision deployment at the edge. Susan believes that her success as a woman leader in tech comes with a crucial responsibility to support and empower other women in the field. She serves that responsibility by fulfilling several roles and sharing her experience and perspective.

Event Speaker

Susan has made a number of appearances as a guest speaker for events within the tech industry, presenting on topics such as startups, time management, and entrepreneurship. Her workshop-style presentations are designed to create an interactive learning environment for participants and have been requested at engagements hosted by MIT, Lenovo, Intel, and other tech organizations.


Her commitment to supporting women in AI also extends to her investments. Susan is highly selective about the companies she invests in, preferring to support women-led companies and tech startups with demonstrated gender equity.

Susan’s Experience in AI and Technological Innovation

As an award-winning woman in AI and technology, Susan hopes to serve as a role model for her fellow women in the industry. She views her career as a constant learning journey and wants to share her most valuable experiences with others so they can also learn and grow from them.

Learn more about how Susan Sly is working on expanding the possibilities for women in AI for retail now.

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Susan Sly is an inspiration to women, from overall health, to finance, to relationships.

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As a former NFL football player, I’ve had many coaches over the years. The great ones could always inspire me to be better. I’ve had the privilege of hearing Susan Sly speak on multiple occasions, and she reminds me of some of those great coaches. Not only is her information educational and inspirational but she has that ability to connect with the listener, therefore, moving them action. She’s one of the more powerful speakers I’ve every listen to.

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What an inspiring, dynamic, magnetic speaker, presenter, and trainer. Susan Sly has got it all. She captivates an audience with her sincerity, integrity and wisdom. If you are thirsting for the best life you can live, then get in a room with Susan. She will inspire you to heights you never even dreamed of. Her personal story will compel you to live life to the fullest, thanks for the inspiration.

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