Across the weekend, AI was a repeated theme of discussion among experts and exhibitors. Visitors were greeted by an AI-powered virtual assistant from bitHuman that helped them find their way around the Javits Center. The company’s CEO, Steven Gu, spoke of how customers are increasingly opting for a “phygital experience” mixing physical and digital shopping through AI-assisted tech. “If someone is asking for a product that is out of stock, the virtual agent will be able to show the QR code and online links for the customer to purchase,” he said.
Salesforce senior vice president for AI and emerging tech transformation, Marc Mathieu, added that generative AI assistants use existing customer data to reach out at key moments in decision-making through digital storefronts and messaging apps. “It’s really making that relationship with the customer more relevant, more personalized, and therefore more long-term. It builds more loyalty,” he said.
Among the innovations exhibited, AI also featured heavily. While IBM showcased how their Workforce Experience platform uses AI to measure store metrics and give associates real time information on inventory, Google Cloud also launched a new generative AI-powered chatbot, as well as a large language model feature that the company said will bolster the quality of product searches. Google Cloud’s new research found that 81% of UK retail decision-makers feel an urgency to adopt generative AI in their business, with over half ready to deploy in the coming year.