The future of AI in Indian retail

This November saw the WGSN’s second Trend Talk, launched in collaboration with Amazon Fashion India.

On the agenda? ‘Fashion and Retailing in The Age of Artificial Intelligence,’ with an audience of senior executives across 39 companies in attendance. Highlights included industry development, future relevance along with how AI can improve fashion discovery and design.

WGSN caught up with event speaker Lavanya Tekumalla, machine learning scientist and independent consultant, to get her insights on how AI will disrupt retail, optimise profits and the challenges businesses face for new tech adoption.



What aspects of India’s retail will be disrupted by AI in 2019?

Both online and in-store experience in terms of customistion and personalisation. Online channels are striving to get closer to the ‘look-and-feel’ experience of bricks and mortar, while physical stores are striving to achieve the search, discoverability and inventory availability that comes with eCommerce.

In terms of practical application for fashion how can AI help optimise profits for this sector’s retail?

The potential for optimisation AI can be used across almost all aspects of retail. From trend forecasting, procurement, design, product search and discovery by end consumer, to logistics, reverse logistics and customer support.

What challenges do business faces for adopting Artificial Intelligence? And the Indian consumer?

AI models feed on data. However, data integration is one of the challenges. There’s a lot of data, but it is all fragmented, in various systems and not easy to ingest into the model.


For more insight, head to WGSN to read our India: The Rise of Social Commerce report.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.