How Alibaba leverage machine learning to disrupt retail and create pathway to reimagine online-to-offline shopping experiences

Alibaba has leveraged Artificial Intelligence (AI) to disrupt China Retail Industry for the past 19 years. Nevertheless, 81% of retail consumption in China still comes from the offline channel [1]. Realizing the importance of offline presence, the giant online e-commerce shifts its gear towards Omnichannel strategy. In 2017, Alibaba opened futuristic groceries stores, Hema, offering 30-minute deliveries and facial-recognition payment. In the same year, T-mall pop-up stores are introduced in collaboration with over 100 domestic and international brands, promoting inventive "Retailtainment” shopping experiences [2]. While offline stores around the world are suffering, the giant e-commerce leveraged AI and made a brave move to enter the physical world in an innovative means. Or this will be another significant retail disruption, reinventing offline shopping experiences…

Can AI save brick-and-mortar retail?

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With the increased penetration of e-commerce, declining in-store traffic, and retailer bankruptcies, brick-and-mortar retail is experiencing tremendous headwinds. Neiman Marcus has recognized that digital innovation is critical for the future viability of retail and is seeking to optimize and personalize the customer experience at every touchpoint using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.