- As retailers adopt more AI tools, the National Retail Federation’s Center for Digital Risk & Innovation created and published its “Principles for the Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Retail Sector,” the organization announced Monday.
- The principles fall into four categories including governance and risk management; customer engagement and trust; workforce applications and use; and business partner accountability, according to the announcement.
- The NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation will create and release more reports and guidelines for the retail industry in the coming months, per the press release.
Over the past year, major tech companies and retailers have announced their use of artificial intelligence for everything from product images and descriptions to digital assistants and supply chain optimization.
In January, Google Cloud introduced an artificial intelligence-driven tool that allows retailers to use images to track items on store shelves. The company said it plans to release more tools to help businesses streamline and digitize their operations.
E-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay have deployed AI to help sellers generate product descriptions. In August, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion announced plans to use AI for associate operations, supply chain improvements and shopper personalization features. That month, the retailer also introduced My Assistant, a generative AI-powered tool that helps Walmart staffers write drafts, summarize large documents and help new hires understand employee benefits.
In the grocery industry, AI provides use cases ranging from reducing shrink and food waste to improving inventory management. The Save Mart Companies is using AI to deepen shopper insights and help its CPG relationships, while The Fresh Market leverages the tech to enhance its shoppable videos.
Consumers are interested in the ability of AI to help them save money when grocery shopping, according to newly released Dunnhumby research. More than 40% of surveyed top-level retail executives said they expect to use generative AI for a business application this year, a Deloitte survey found.
The NRF is promoting its guidelines to push for the appropriate use of artificial intelligence in the retail industry.
Within the governance and risk management guideline, NRF states that retailers should develop a strong internal governance of AI tools and ensure that the technology delivers expected benefits. Customer engagement and trust involves transparency around AI tools, including establishing safeguards to prevent unlawful discrimination against protected classes of individuals. Workforce applications and use involves ongoing oversight and review of AI applications which may directly impact employees, while business partner accountability pushes for clear guidelines for those entities that are providing AI tools, data sets and services.
“Retailers use AI to better serve their customers, improve the shopping experience and increase the efficiency of their operations,” Christian Beckner, NRF vice president of retail technology and cybersecurity and executive director of the NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation, said in a statement. “As retailers of all sizes continue to expand their AI capabilities, these general principles for the use of AI are increasingly critical to the industry.”