Everybody’s talking about artificial intelligence (AI). The extent of its impact on retail operations is still evolving. Here are just some of the ways AI is already transforming C-store operations.
1. Pricing and Inventory Management
From optimizing fuel prices to adjusting the pricing of C-store products to meet consumer demand and competitor considerations, AI is driving continuous pricing improvement inside the C-store and on the forecourt. Advanced AI pricing programs become “smarter” over time. AI also makes it possible to automate inventory management with a high level of accuracy. AI examines a variety of factors including sales data and weather forecasts to predict consumer demand and to help make sure the right products are in stock.
2. Personalized Customer Experiences
With its ability to study buying habits and customer data, AI enables retailers to serve customers promotions and offers tailored to their preferences. This helps increase sales and customer loyalty.
3. Instant Threat Detection
AI-supported surveillance systems continuously monitor forecourt and C-store activities to detect questionable behaviors. These systems can recognize license plate numbers and track suspicious movements. They can also detect safety risks — such as unattended nozzles and fuel spills — and alert personnel in real time.
AI fraud detection systems can help prevent fraudulent transactions and data security breaches by discerning unusual purchasing activities. Although AI creates efficiencies, those efficiencies don’t necessarily equate to a leaner workforce.
“We’ve actually seen the opposite with our customers, where enabling AI requires more headcount instead of less. There’s a lot of capabilities that get unlocked and still require people to manage them,” said Tim Arits, CEO of a retail personalization platform, in a Petrol Plaza article.
Learn more about the future of AI in this CStore Decisions article.