Or rather Artificial Intelligence, as I am indulging in a little bit of ‘ Red Top’ headlining. For those of readers who are not from the U.K., and I think there maybe two, it relates to headlines created by the more ‘popular ‘ (a phrase I use with a certain amount of reservation) newspapers . But I digress. This is one technology, that I suspect, will have the biggest impact on retailing in the the both short and medium term future.
At the forefront, in terms of retailing, is a company called Syte. They are an organisation based in Israel that has created a product that I suggest is quite simply extraordinary. It is so very simple in its execution yet undoubtedly highly complex under the ‘hood’ . The basic principle is you take a pic of an item, you are then showed where it can be bought, are there any equivalents ?are there different versions ? Where’s the best price? And the list of possibilities goes on and on. The images below are examples of articles of clothing ..
They currently hold a data base of analysed images of over 112 million. This number is updated live on their web site. This is by no means exclusively clothing. This is reflected in the organisations that are currently working with Syte , ranging from Samsung through to Argos and Boohoo.
I am not a spokesperson for this company nor am I qualified to make judgements about the efficacy of Syte.ai. So I don’t want to go on about them too much. But what I can see is that this is the immediate future of retail or at least a significant part of it.
There will be those who say that is ‘all well and dandy…but I can’t afford this form of technology….’ . Of course, however I think there are two important considerations …
- Being aware of what the big players are doing and how they are doing it.
- Today, high-end technology has a habit of trickling down the chain very quickly , and much more affordable versions are likely to come into play making it more accessible and useable.
There is a third factor concerning technology and that is some of it has a very short shelf life. In the absence of a ‘crystal ball’ we can only make judgements on what we have and know. As most major IT organisations are sinking vast sums of ‘dosh’ into AI, we must assume that it is at very least part of the short-term future of retailing.
For those who are not convinced that his holds any relevance for them, I will finish wth a qoute from Sun Tzu (a Chinese military strategist from over 2.5 thousand years ago , who is strategies are still used today).
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”