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AI offers $340-billion opportunity for retailers according to Capgemini report

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) could save companies that are able to scale and expand the scope of their existing deployments about $340 billion, according to a new global study from French technology services Capgemini.

The study, which is titled “Building the Retail Superstar: How unleashing AI across functions offers a multi-billion dollar opportunity”, also showed that just one per cent of retailers have achieved this level of deployment so far.

According to Capgemini, this could be caused by the fact that most retailers are focusing their AI efforts on sales and marketing while neglecting its applications across the value chain.

“Our research shows a clear imbalance of organisations prioritizing cost, data and ROI (return on investment) when deploying AI, with only a small minority considering the customer pain points also,” Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Global Consumer Products and Retail Sector at Capgemini said in a statement.

“These two factors need to be given equal weighting if long-term AI growth, with all of the benefits it brings, is to be achieved,” he added.

The Capgemini study looked at 400 global retailers that are implementing AI use cases at different stages of maturity. This group of retailers represents 23 per cent of the global retail market by revenue. It also included an extensive analysis of public data from the world’s largest 250 retailers, by revenue.

The researchers found over a quarter (28 per cent) of retailers were deploying AI in 2018, a significant increase of AI deployments from 2017 (17 per cent), and a seven-fold increase from 2016 (four per cent).

To tackle the stereotype that AI could cause major job losses, the results showed that 71 per cent of retailers said AI was creating jobs today, with over two-thirds (68 per cent) of the jobs being at a senior level (coordinator level or above).

Meanwhile, 75 per cent declared that AI has not replaced any jobs in their organisation so far, the study said.

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