Over the past year, we’ve heard much about artificial intelligence (AI). It’s in the news and on social media. You’ve probably heard about its positives and negatives and details about its use in business and society.
Abasto is a publication dedicated to bringing new ideas to retailers, so this column focuses on how Hispanic grocers can best use AI in 2024.
At Groceryshop 2023, a September technology trade show for retailers and brands, more than half of the exhibits and several educational sessions addressed AI-related topics.
Industry leaders discussed how their companies incorporate this concept into their operations. One exhibitor, Invafresh, explained how its customers use AI to reduce fresh food waste by matching supply and demand more accurately.
In a session called “Tapping Generative AI to Elevate Shopping Experiences,” Surabhi Pokhriyal of Church & Dwight and Veeral Shah of Nestlé USA discussed how the industry rapidly moves from hype to AI implementation.
Shah insisted that AI “will be one of the biggest technological breakthroughs of our lifetime.” Pokhriyal said, “The hype with AI is definitely real.” Adding that retailers and brands have a wide range of business use cases.
Artificial intelligence for Hispanic grocers
For Hispanic grocers, Groceryshop 2023’s message was clear. AI can be leveraged to transform store operations and elevate the customer experience.
For starters, AI changes the game’s rules by deploying recommendation engines that analyze customer data and preferences. It enables retailers to tailor their product offerings and promotions.
By leveraging AI, a tailored shopping experience can be created for each customer, increasing loyalty and sales.
One of the biggest challenges in food retailing is effective inventory management.
AI can optimize stock levels by analyzing historical sales data, seasonal trends, and local events that may influence demand.
With this information, it can reduce overstocking and understocking problems, minimize waste, and improve profitability.
AI improves supply chain management with predictive analytics, anticipating fluctuations and identifying bottlenecks.
This ensures a steady flow of products and helps reduce costs associated with rush orders and emergency shipments.
Competitive pricing is another essential element in any retail sector; Hispanic food retailers are no exception.
AI-based pricing algorithms analyze market dynamics, competitor pricing, and customer behavior to suggest optimal pricing strategies. This allows retailers to maximize revenue without alienating price-sensitive customers.
AI-based chatbots and virtual assistants provide customers with instant assistance and answers to their questions. This can be especially valuable for helping customers find specific products and offering cooking tips. Or providing information on dietary preferences and allergens.
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AI also benefits Hispanic grocery employees by automating routine tasks such as inventory tracking and data entry. This allows staff to focus on value-added activities like customer service and merchandising.
Happier and more engaged employees can have a direct positive impact on the shopping experience.
Other benefits for Hispanic Grocers
AI also helps you make environmentally friendly decisions by optimizing transportation routes, reducing energy consumption, minimizing food waste, issuing real-time alerts about potential problems, and ensuring that customers are always offered safe, high-quality products.
Fusing culinary traditions and AI-driven technology holds enormous potential for Hispanic food retailers.
By leveraging AI to personalize customer engagement, streamline operations and improve the overall shopping experience, they can meet the demands of an ever-growing customer base and thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape in 2024 and beyond.