AI transforming shopping landscape in UAE, say experts


Retail businesses in the UAE are inching closer to a full digital revamp by leveraging artificial intelligence, experts at AI company Dataiku say.

Speaking at the fifth edition of The Artificial Intelligence Forum in Dubai, experts underlined the potential of AI.

“Succeeding in AI initiatives requires fostering a culture of data creativity at the individual level,” said Siddhartha Bhatia, regional vice-president and general manager at Dataiku for the Middle East and Turkey.

“However, organisations also need to find a way to harness that individual data creativity for collective company progress and purpose,” he said.

Artificial intelligence is shown to simplify and streamline the user experience for all aspects of the market, equipping retailers with precise real-time data.

Retail giant Majid Al Futtaim has been vastly investing in automation and harnessing artificial intelligence since 2016.

This month, to capitalise on efficiency through artificial intelligence tools, Majid Al Futtaim partnered with Microsoft.

And, last September, it launched its Carrefour City+, the first cashier-free store in the region.

Smart cameras in-store track customers’ movements in real-time and records products bought, misplaced, unmarked or missing.

Country manager of Carrefour UAE, Philippe Peguilhan, said: “We have already seen a 30 per cent increase in accuracy when it comes to scanning items on the shelves, and we are very excited for what else is to come.”

The frictionless payment system works through a smartphone MAF application.

Group chief information and technology officer Sheridan Moodley said: “For every retailer, the objective is to offer the customer an incredible shopping experience.

“Technology needs to be applied at every touch point of the journey to achieve this. Technology such as digital signage leads to tailored experiences for the customer.”

Al Futtaim also recently unveiled chatbots that demonstrate how artificial intelligence is instrumental in creating accurate customer profiles and boosting personalisation.

According to a recent global study by French technology services major Capgemini, artificial intelligence can potentially save businesses around $340 billion.