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When It Comes To AI, Most Retailers Are Still In ‘Education’ Mode

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We recently conducted a survey of 100 retailers to find out what they are really doing with artificial intelligence technologies. Despite the buzz of all the potential, when asked to choose the most pertinent statement to describe their efforts to date, retailers indicate that it is still early days for AI adoption. More report being in the “educational” phase than any of the other options we offered (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Still ‘Early Days’: But For How Long?

Source: RSR Research, October 2022

Once more, good news comes in small doses. While most retailers have at least one AI project in pilot, we had expected to see more further along the maturity curve. In all likelihood, retailers have far better ideas of ways AI could help than their investments to date would suggest. In fact, they’ve been telling us that very thing since our earliest forays into AI inquiry back in 2017. When it comes to advanced use cases? Of course, they could use more education from the industry about the possibilities. But as we reveal in the Technology Enablers section of the full report, (Artificial Intelligence In Retail: What Now?), the jury has long been out on some very real, very right-now functions that benefit from the analysis and intelligence that AI solutions bring to the table.

Perhaps the brightest spot in the figure above, however, it is that very few retailers (only 10%) are currently doing “nothing” with AI-enabled analytics. That is excellent news. If you’d like to know exactly what they are doing with these next-gen technologies, make sure to download the full report.