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EDGE Insights

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The future of shopping: Exploring GenAI's influence on retail

Last week, Walmart re-launched 117 stores across 30 US states, focusing on improving customer engagement by redesigning layouts and integrating new tech. This was the first unveiling of its USD 9 billion grand plan to modernize more than 1,400 stores over the next few years—a key part of the company's long-term growth strategy. However, we see another emerging trend, generative AI (GenAI), which is poised to take customer engagement well beyond the scope of brick-and-mortar stores.
After ChatGPT’s massively successful launch in 2022, GenAI has taken the business world by storm in the way it delivers results. It is expected to contribute between USD 400 billion and 660 billion in additional value to the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. As a result, retailers in particular are now scrambling to use this transformative technology in the most useful way. To help complement this topical discussion, we conducted a detailed study of almost 30 real-life examples of retailers adopting GenAI. Our study found seven broad use cases ranging from personalized shopping experiences via virtual assistants and virtual try-ons to better employee training and optimized supply chains.  
In this Insight, we provide a closer look at those use cases, how they are different from already known AI/ML applications in retail, and what the industry can expect in the near future.

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