2 ways AI is powering the next generation of retail

NRF Innovation Lab: Improving the customer experience with personalization and data
November 7, 2023
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show

Join the retail community Jan. 14-16 in NYC for Retail’s Big Show to build relationships, gain insights and experience the futuristic tech that is transforming retail.

Register now!

Driven by leaps in generative AI-powered tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, 2023 has been an unprecedented year of growth for the artificial intelligence industry — largely because the potential for AI applications is seemingly endless. Any retailer, no matter the size, could benefit from AI — from customer service to business intelligence to gaining more accurate consumer insights.

However, it can be hard to sort through all the noise. Identifying the problem to be solved with AI and deciding how to pick a partner to help can be bottlenecks to growth and efficiencies for retailers. That’s where the NRF Innovation Lab at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show comes in. The NRF Innovation Lab showcases new technology from more than 50 companies using the latest applications in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, machine learning, facial recognition, robotics and more.

Read on to learn more about just two of the companies you’ll see in the NRF Innovation Lab that are powered by AI, and get a real-life look into how artificial intelligence is generating impact and excitement among retailers, and improving the experience for consumers across the board.

The next generation of personalization

Today, it’s impossible for retailers to manually curate for millions of online customers. PSYKHE AI is a machine learning and psychology-powered recommendation-as-a-service platform that enables retailers to hyper-personalize the customer experience. Its mission is to remove friction for consumers through proprietary, psychographic data that enables personalization across different categories for a consumer.

Through a shopper’s interactions in the “shirts” category, for example, PSYKHE AI can personalize shoes, swim shorts and furniture categories for the consumer.

PSYKHE AI is currently working with a select cohort of fashion retailers and will be integrating with enterprise retailers in 2024. While contracts are currently under confidentiality agreements, the company says its partners have seen a five-times increase in revenue, a three-times increase in basket value, a 26 percent increase in customer retention rate and a 4 percent decrease in product return rate — underscoring the value that precision personalization can provide for a retailer.

Among other personalization tools out there, PSYKHE AI’s models are different in a few ways:  They personalize per-user; they curate the exact merchandise a shopper is likely looking for as they scroll; and they have patented the use of psychographics. In addition, the tracking enables personalization for all users, including non-logged-in users —  normally over 80 percent of customers — and their models apply learnings every 10 seconds and affect personalization in near real-time.

“Timing is on PSYKHE AI’s side,” says Pierre N. Rolin, the founder and CEO of Ankh Impact Ventures and an investor in PSYKHE AI. “There hasn’t been this level of personalization in retail before. They bring the per-user recommendation strength of TikTok and Instagram to ecommerce at a time when retailers are struggling to differentiate themselves and are competing among other things, on customer experience.”

Moving forward, “2024 will be a year of exponential growth for PSYKHE AI as we launch with enterprise customers, trial in-store personalization with a select few and expand capabilities with Shopify and Salesforce integrations,” says CEO Anabel Maldonado.

The next generation of business intelligence

Business intelligence can be a powerful tool to collect, analyze and transform raw data into actionable insights. However, in retail, innovations in these kinds of tools have largely been stuck in the 2000s. To truly dig in and understand the data requires a slew of time-strapped data engineers to manually write customer queries to generate insights.

Zenlytic is a next-gen tool that combines powerful analytics with a natural language interface to provide enterprise-grade business intelligence that works better (and faster) for everyone.

Artificial Intelligence

Read more of NRF’s coverage on generative AI and artificial intelligence in retail. 

Zenlytic works across the retail industry but has seen a lot of excitement and traction in particular from high-SKU fashion brands that use Zenlytic to optimize logistics, attribute marketing spend and track SKU success at a very detailed level, including luxury Italian footwear company Koio and LOLA, a women’s hygiene company.

The company reports that at Koio, the head of marketing saves some 20 hours a week making reports using Zenlytic and uses Zenlytic to optimize product offerings for a new audience — leading to revenue growth in its new female category by over 31% year on year. At LOLA, the vice president of direct-to-consumer and Amazon starts almost 80% of data queries through Zoe, Zenlytic’s conversational AI that lets users talk directly to their data.

Across legacy BI tools and AI tools, Zenlytic says it has a few core differentiators. Zenlytic’s proprietary semantic layer technology ensures significantly higher accuracy than other AI-driven tools, and is the only chat-native BI tool on the market, which is important because data questions are almost never answered with a single email. Additionally, Zenlytic’s centralized data model ensures a retailer can ask questions across all of its data. 

“Gen AI has been fundamental to Zenlytic’s success,” says Scott Friend, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “By powering a new level of truly conversational interaction between the user and the computer, gen AI has allowed for the tremendous underlying business intelligence capabilities of Zenlytic to be accessed by nontechnical users in an intuitive and out-of-the-box fashion.”

Looking ahead, while ecommerce and DTC are Zenlytic’s largest customer segment and a priority for the company, it is also expanding its customer base in SaaS, financial services, fintech, health tech and consumer software.

Interested in seeing PSYKHE AI, Zenlytic and other cutting edge innovators in action? Register for NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show, Jan. 14 –16 in New York City, and visit the NRF Innovation Lab.

Related content

NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show
NRF Retail's Big Show
Join us back in New York City for retail's biggest event.
Read more
Beautiful Co-founders Drew Barrymore and Shae Hong to Deliver Closing Keynote at NRF 2024
default image
ollaborators Drew Barrymore and Shae Hong will deliver the closing keynote at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show.
Read more
AI and supply chain are top of mind for venture capitalists heading into 2024
Big Show Innovation Lab
Insights from Commerce Ventures and NewRoad Capital Partners on retail tech opportunities and trends in the year ahead.
Read more