“AI in retail”

Panel moderated by Florian Rotberg, Managing Director, Invidis Consulting

Members of the Panel:
Alain Wilmouth, CEO, 2CRSi UK LTD – Tranquil PC Limited
Stevan Dragas, EMEA Digital Signage Segment Manager, Intel
Sara Öhrvall, Senior Advisor, Axel Johnson
Iman Nahvi, CEO, Advertima Vision AG


Highlights from the panel debate:

Computer scientists who helped build the foundations of today’s artificial intelligence technology are now warning of its dangers. The potential is there, but there are also risks. What does it mean for society?

Sara Öhrvall:
Experts have a pressing need to communicate more clearly and loudly regarding the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. We still haven’t fully resolved the issue of aligning AI systems with our human rights and values. Currently, there exists a “black box” where we cannot comprehend all the inner workings of the system. Therefore, we must prioritise transparency in the data we input, ensure the reliability of the output, and scan it for any violations of human and gender rights. The cost of developing such systems has skyrocketed, making it incredibly expensive to stay at the forefront. Consequently, commercial pressures have intensified, forcing a rushed release of AI technologies without time for discussing these crucial questions. There is a significant gap between the rapid development of AI and our understanding of its long-term consequences.


What is the real impact and benefits of generating AI for retail?

Sara Öhrvall:
The benefits certainly lie in customer interaction. The interface allows for more efficient communication with various target groups without driving the costs. There are already great opportunities to produce content more efficiently and distribute it with tailored messages. It is a great way to create drafts and proposals quickly. Of course, we need a human overview to ensure everything is qualified correctly.

Where are we with retail analytics nowadays?

Iman Nahvi:
What we have learned is that DOOH is not yet there. That is why we (Advertima Vision AG) started to focus solely on in-store retail media. Many factors need to be in place to make it work and effectively target customers. In the last few years, retailers have built their own infrastructure. After establishing the retail media ecosystem, they are now considering how to access the in-store audience in a similar way. However, bringing it into the physical store is not the same as in the online space.  Online, you have real-time data from every individual shopper. The physical store is more like a black box. You only have access to checkout data and loyalty data, with no real-time addressability in the store.

You can count people in front of the screen, measure their attention, and build an audience profile with attributes such as age, gender, and group composition. By utilizing smart-targeting and audience verification technology in-store, it becomes possible to connect with online retail media. The data collected will be sent in real-time to the experience platform, influencing the messages displayed. The selected ads will appear on the screen within a second. All of this is made possible through AI, as we now have real-time data on the audience.