UCL School of Management

14 December 2016

How artificial intelligence is changing our Christmas shop

Retailers are using artificial intelligence to enhance shopping experiences, according to research from UCL School of Management

Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to improve the online retail experience (Photo: Jens Kreuter)

Retailers are using artificial intelligence (AI) in new ways to enhance and personalise shopping experiences, according to Rikke Duus and Mike Cooray.

Dr Rikke Duus, Senior Teaching Fellow at UCL School of Management, and Mike Cooray, Professor of Practice at Ashridge Executive Education, have written an article examining the ways in which retailers use AI to interact with their customers. This article was originally published in ‘The Conversation’ and republished today in the ‘i’ newspaper, and on NewsWeek.com.

“The use of AI in retail offers opportunities for mass customisation and helps customers to narrow down their choices faster” say the pair. However, it also reduces the element of discovery and exploration, which consumers enjoy about the shopping experience.

The next phase of AI in retail is ‘conversational commerce’. “The term ‘conversational commerce’ was coined in 2015 by Chris Messina who leads the development and expansion of Uber’s partner ecosystem. Conversational commerce arises from the convergence of messaging apps, natural language interfaces and brands allowing consumers to chat, message and talk with brands and services with the help of chat bots.

“Conversational commerce may move us from being helpless recipients of the work of AI – say, being presented with products we didn’t know we needed – to having direct conversations with AI and becoming active partners in the process. In fact, we may not even be able to tell if we are talking with an AI bot or a human.”

You can read the full article on ‘The Conversation.’

Last updated Thursday, 15 December 2016