Technology Record - Issue 31: Winter 2023

146 budget, dietary restrictions and meal plan ideas. This introduces an element of conversation into the shopping experience that will work to not only retain customers, but also attract new ones too. “We often see marketing as a ‘one-way’ communication between a brand and consumers, with the brand shouting out into the world and hoping their message sticks,” says Rajagopalan. “Generative AI now enables brands and shoppers to have conversations in natural language and create personalised content. For instance, a brand can now generate three different versions of the same marketing campaign but tweak the language used in each one to better address the needs of different audience demographics.” Easing the adoption process Despite the growing number of use cases, there are many retail organisations that are still wary of adopting generative AI due to concerns regarding security, potential job redundancies, and more. However, there are steps they can take to mitigate the risks. “With any new technology, every organisation should be fully vetting it and ensuring they have the right talent and processes to support it,” says Rajagopalan. “The process is no different with generative AI. But if you consider how broad its capabilities are and the fact that most people have already started using it in their personal lives, it is all the more important for organisations to define and publish responsible use policies and guidelines for their employees.” Incorporating AI into business operations doesn’t have to be a complicated process, says Rajagopalan, noting that there are a range of solutions and resources that can help. “An increasing number of softwareas-a-service applications are shipping with generative AI features built-in,” she says. “This is a great way for businesses to see the benefits of generative AI and learn how to use and optimise it without having to take on the burden of building, governing and maintaining their own software.” The Microsoft partner ecosystem is also working in this space to bring AI-powered solutions to retail organisations. At NRF 2024, which will take place on 14-16 January 2024 in New York, USA, firms including Blue Yonder, Fractal, Fashable and Sitecore will be at the Microsoft booth highlighting uses cases for the generative AI solutions they have built. Taking the leap The impact of AI on businesses is expected to continue growing in the future. According to a market research report published by Fortune Business Insights in June 2023, the market value of AI in retail is expected to grow by 34.1 per cent by 2030, reaching $55.5 billion. For organisations that are taking a ‘wait and see approach’ to generative AI, the time to act may come sooner than later as, according to Rajagopalan, “soon, everyone will be using generative AI in their personal lives, and it will be harder to avoid employees and customers demanding it in work and personal life.” FEATURE Photo: Dominos Domino’s Pizza UK and Ireland is using Dynamics 365 to better predict customer demand