Internet giants bolstering AI capability to help retailers better tap consumers' shopping preferences

AI can help vendors and retailers achieve higher profit margin with the same floor space as it cuts down labor costs.
Internet giants bolstering AI capability to help retailers better tap consumers' shopping preferences
Ding Yining / SHINE

Smart cashier systems have been adopted at a number of supermarkets and retailers to help raise operation efficiency. 

As artificial intelligence becomes part of people’s everyday life, Internet giants are also bolstering their artificial intelligence capability to help retailers shift toward a digital economy to better tap consumers’ shopping preferences.

Tencent showcased its retail industry solutions at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, which combines technologies such as facial recognition, computer vision, and machine learning to help retailers enhance operation efficiency.

Tencent said its AI Lab and advanced robot laboratory will carry out research to link its AI capabilities with a wide range of industries and applications.

At its computing conference, Alibaba showcased a smart cashier system which allows faster check-out process to be used in supermarkets and convenience stores.

The system has been adopted at Alibaba's Hema Fresh Market, a retail format which combines dining and on-demand delivery.

AI could help vendors and retailers achieve higher profit margin with the same floor space as it cuts down labor costs, said Zhou Qi, founder and CEO of Shanghai-headquartered Geant Investment, which developed and promotes Vingoo Juice machines.

"The upgrade of automated cashier systems and more advanced image recognition algorithms mean that retailers can operate out of a smaller shopping space," he told Shanghai Daily in an interview during WAIC.

Geant Investment's X-24h Smart Convenience Stores use image recognition software to detect what products shoppers have picked from the shelves so that the purchase and payment process could be made quickly.

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