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Companies like KFC, Volvo, and ASOS, are using artificial intelligence to add value and boost customers experience 

Bosses of non-tech companies in a broad range of industries are starting to worry that AI could scorch or even incinerate them, and have been buying up promising young tech firms to ensure they do not fall behind. In 0217, non-tech firms worldwide spent around $21.8bn on mergers and acquisitions related to AI, according to PitchBook, a data provider, about 26 times more than in 2015. Startups without revenue are fetching prices that amount to $5m-10m per AI expert.

Here are five examples of non-tech companies that use AI to boost customer experience. Let’s discover! 

KFC –  I know what you want to eat 

KFC’s collaboration with “China’s Baidu” is a prime example of using AI to boost customer experience. They use facial recognition to predict what a customer might want to eat, based on the time (breakfast, brunch, lunch…), the estimated age, gender and mood. For example, a 20s male would be offered “a set meal of crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and coke”. Also, KFC claims that the system will remember what you ate for the next time.  

It’s not surprising that such an experiment is running in such a big tech China. The Chinese are really big on speed, efficiency and personalization and this merger between the offline and online world, seems right up their alley. They are also a lot more comfortable with digital ordering and the use of facial recognition.  

Volvo – no more breaking down 

Another great example is Volvo’s Early Warning System that examines over one million events every week to predict which car parts will need to be changed or repaired. Volvo has been testing cars with sensors that report on driving conditions, for instance on icy roads, and they even deliver these data to the Swedish highway authorities. 

This is something that goes beyond great customer experience. It’s about the safety of the drivers and their family. It’s even about insurance, stretching the longevity of a car and of course, about the learnings that Volvo will receive from permanently monitoring the data of their cars. 

Read more: 5 AI-powered examples for retailers during and after COVID-19

ASOS – what you see is what you get 

ASOS, a UK-based clothing retailer, utilizes computer vision to assist customers looking for what they like. Customers can upload a photo of a film star or influencer wearing something, and the computer will scan their huge database of clothes to find something that is similar, and more affordable. 

This is an example of how a retailer can keep customers happy, and get them coming back to buy more. Users of ASOS’ visual search view 48% more products than other consumers and are 75% more likely to make a return visit. They even place orders that are worth 9% more. 

Boxed – no need to “buy” anymore 

This is another great example as this could really be the start of fully-automated buying. Boxed is an American online and mobile membership-free wholesale retailer, and it created an AI tool called Smart StockUp that predicts when customers are running low of the type of daily products that they regularly purchase, like toilet paper, detergent or milk. 

Boxed looks at both the shopping history of individuals as well as more general re-stocking patterns to make the recommendations. It will also ask users a few questions at the start that will help them refine the predictions. After that, users will receive recommendations for “Need These Now” and “Need These Soon” products. If Boxed guessed correctly, shoppers can click to add them to their cart. The genius thing is of course that the more you buy at Boxed, the smarter the system will become and the better it will get to know your restocking patterns.   

AI solutions is a perfect match for many little problems that people struggle with. AI is not always about the giant leaps, big changes at corporate level or tools that change business game. It’s at it very best when it makes the lives of customers and employees better, in a sequence of small but meaningful steps. AI applications from these non-tech business giants will be an inspiration for many startups as well as many other small and medium enterprises. 

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