Study: Key decision makers look to AI for ongoing success
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly topping IT wish lists as a means of improving business decisions and providing personalization.
That’s according to a new report from PwC, “Bot.Me: A Revolutionary Partnership.” The study, surveyed consumers and business decision makers on AI’s impact in the business world, the evolution of AI acceptance by consumers and AI’s changing role in addressing socioeconomic issues.
The study found that 63% of consumers agree that AI will help solve complex problems that plague modern societies. One of those issues is cybersecurity. Specifically, 68% of consumers are bullish on AI’s importance in solving cyberthreats and privacy.
AI could also be the competitive edge that companies, including retailers, need for longevity. For example, 72% of business leaders believe AI will give them a competitive advantage in the future. Meanwhile, 55% of executives believe AI’s potential to boost business productivity, inform strategy and generate growth outweighs the potential downside of employment concerns, the study said.
AI could also be the conduit companies need to efficiently reach its most loyal and profitable shoppers. For example, 67% of participants stated that leveraging AI will help humans and machines work together, and combine digital and human intelligences in the best ways possible.
One of the results of this combination will be better delivering a “superior one-to-one experience” — a priority for 63% of business leaders.
And it appears that consumers are caring less and less if that experience comes from a human or a bot. In fact, 64% of respondents stated they would rather have instant access to quality customer service than preserve the jobs of customer service representatives, according to the study.
Eco-friendly retailer to open first of its kind home improvement store
A home improvement start-up with a green conscience is expanding out of its Austin, Texas, hometown.
TreeHouse will open the nation’s first-ever net-zero energy store on June 1, at The Hill, a shopping center in Dallas. The store will be the retailer’s second location, but not for long. An additional store, planned for the Plano area, is due to open this fall.
TreeHouse offers a carefully curated selection of products and services that promote healthful and sustainable living spaces, with an emphasis on performance and design. Every product is scored based on health, performance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.
“TreeHouse is reinventing home improvement with the twin goals of ecological and human health,” the company explains on its web site. “Our core principles are applied to everything in the store. From thoughtful and innovative products to comprehensive, high-quality services — every element is designed to build a better home.”
Prior to opening in Dallas, TreeHouse has opened a Sustainable Home of the Future pop-up at Dallas’ NorthPark Center. The temporary display was built with an array of sustainable materials and includes efficient fixtures and appliances, a rainwater harvesting tank and a food recycler that turns scraps into compost. It includes educational vignettes on the importance of maintaining a healthy home.
Online fine jeweler continues offline growth
Ethically sourced bridal and fine jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth is expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint.
The company has just opened a location in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. The showroom utilizes an appointment model designed to provide a high-touch, personalized experience for every customer.
The new Georgetown location joins existing Brilliant Earth showrooms in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and San Diego (opened in early April). Next will be a location in Denver.
The 2,500 sq.-ft. Georgetown space has a loft feel, with high ceilings, glass walls, and classic exposed brick. Founded online in 2005, Brilliant Earth features diamonds and gemstones that originate from mines that adhere to strict labor and environmental standards. In addition to fair sourcing practices, Brilliant Earth is committed to initiating change in the jewelry industry, donating 5% of profits to help communities impacted by the jewelry trade build a brighter future.