The market for AI in retail is estimated to grow from $4.8 billion in 2021 to $31.2 billion by 2028, according to research from Peltarion.
But also, there are so many use cases for AI in the industry from knowledge, to insight management, inventory, customer engagement and personalisation.
There is a growing number of platforms that are enabling companies to tap into this technology and derive value for their customers, particularly for online retailers.
One area where AI is providing value is through styling. B2B company Looklet’s Style Creator software allows ecommerce fashion retailers to create fully automated high-quality photo sessions using advanced technology.
This helps ecommerce firms to showcase the newest styles to customers without having to set up and plan photoshoot after photoshoot of different outfits.
Instead, companies can use Looklet’s virtual dressing room to put together different looks on models and style them even after a shoot has taken place.
They can choose from different models in various poses and facial expressions and pick from different clothes that have been used on previous shoots so they can show off new products at scale.
Deep learning creates more efficient processes for retailers. Through deep learning, Looklet can take this even further by providing recommendations of how to style the models and offer suggestions for similar garments and looks to use.
This can make styling more efficient as well as enable companies to present a similar-looking product if the original is out of stock. Retailers can also search their existing inventory using just an image.
Looklet can do this thanks to Peltarion, the AI-as-a-service platform. First, Looklet built an image similarity model which converts each garment image into a vector representation that is then used to calculate the similarity.
Then a deep learning model built using Peltarion’s platform is helping to find similar items to a particular target image and create a list of styling combinations of those items.
When one of Looklet’s customers selects a target garment and the criterion they’re trying to match whether its shape or colour, the deep learning model can provide recommendations.
For retailers and ecommerce companies, image search can increase the speed of workflows, create more efficient processes and provide better accuracy in search results which in turn can enable them to scale their operations faster.
“Fashion and styling are highly subjective areas, but by applying AI to the massive high-quality data we have opens up totally new possibilities for our product,” Looklet co-founder Robert Ahlborg told Charged.
Peltarion CEO Luka Crnkovic-Friis added: “AI has the potential to transform so many processes for retail companies but too often there is a lack of knowledge about where to start or how the technology can bring value.
“Looklet has built a brilliant software product for its customers to create lifelike virtual shoots and Peltarion’s platform has enabled it to make this system even more powerful and efficient for its customers.”