AI for merchandising

03.10.2023 ShelfMatch talks

Modern digital systems are developing very quickly, and there is practically no area in which “smart” solutions have not appeared. Retail is no exception.

Reduce the time for shelf audit, avoid mistakes, get real-time reports, optimize costs – tasks that many companies regularly solve. And as digital systems quickly show their effectiveness, the demand for them becomes higher.

AI for merchandising did not arise from scratch: 10-15 years ago, several large companies appeared on the market offering solutions in the field of digital merchandising based on the use of recognition algorithms. However, it quickly became clear that even with the use of such systems, a staff of employees was needed who would confirm the results, identify those objects that the system could not cope with and would generally be included in the process. Such systems have been actively working on the market for 2-3 years, but further development was needed.

This is how AI for digital merchandising appeared. The task of recognizing goods began to be solved not with the help of algorithms, but with the help of image evaluation. At the same time, unlike humans, AI is able to recognize the image in more detail and, importantly, quickly. The AI “learns” from a certain number of photos of an object and begins to recognize it on the shelf. It is possible to supplement the number of recognized products indefinitely – the networks are being retrained and retrained in the process of work. With high-quality network training, the recognition result is in the range of 92-95%.

Merchandising with AI is quite an affordable option for both manufacturers and retailers. Technologies are constantly being improved, and in order to use them, you do not need any additional equipment other than a smartphone with a camera. Realizing that the use of AI gives a more objective control of the shelf, reduces the audit time, allows you to get objective data on the share of the shelf, more and more market players are introducing AI into the business.