Early-stage startups are employing machine vision, 3D body scanning, consumer tracking, and AI-powered assistants to help retailers and consumers.
AI is quickly infiltrating the retail industry, with commerce ranking as one of the top categories for deals to AI startups over the last few years.
Companies large and small are developing and implementing AI-powered technology in order to automate, customize, and track the consumer experience online and off.
Corporates are making big moves to incorporate AI and machine learning to power in-store operations.
- Walmart is incorporating “scan and go shopping” which would allow certain customers to bypass checkout lines by using the Walmart app.
- Amazon has even grander ambitions, launching their partially automated Amazon Go store prototypes. The Go concept leverages AI to allow shoppers to walk in, grab anything they want, and then leave, eliminating the checkout process.
- Even grocery chains are getting in the mix as they face new threats from Amazon. UK-based Tesco has taken on similar AI-powered automated checkout initiatives.
“We’re putting AI front and center as a driving force to make [smart commerce] happen.” – RJ Pittman, Chief Product Officer, eBay
While large corporates have the resources to experiment with AI-powered technology, early-stage (series A or earlier) startups are also at the forefront of developing this retail tech.
Using the CB Insights database, we surfaced 9 early-stage startups using AI to create solutions in retail and commerce. We selected these companies based on CB Insights proprietary Mosaic algorithm and recency of funding. Beyond automated checkout and 3D body scanning technology, we also see startups employing machine vision and visual search to help retailers better serve consumers.