AI is often used to improve our digital lives, but one leading Canadian firm is partnering with a global entity to bring the valuable tech to an often-overlooked sector.
Rubikloud is working with Intel to merge new and old technologies with the intent to improve the in-store retail experience and give customers a more personalized experience, whether they’re online or offline. The Toronto-based Rubikloud will leverage their AI platform to transform retail and help companies keep up in a market that is set to explode.
“Intel and Rubikloud have created a powerful solution for retailers to compete and thrive in an automated world,” said Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud. “Retailers will see material uplifts to promotional revenue, inventory stock out rates, and loyalty revenue.”
Global retailers are expected to spend $2 billion on AI by the end of this year, and that will grow to $7.3 billion by 2022 according to Juniper Research. On top of that, several experts and reports have shown that personalization is the key to improving the retail/customer relationship. This includes tailored and timely offers on products customers want to buy, when they want it and at the price they’re willing to pay.
This partnership between Rubikloud and Intel is nothing new, as the latter was the lead investor in Rubikloud’s recent $37 million Series B funding round. Intel saw Rubikloud help some companies improve their retail sales by close to 10 per cent in a single year, and with Intel’s focus on changing the supply chain, head office and front of store, the two were primed to work together.
“An increasingly important source of data for retailers comes from in-store sensors, such as RFID tags and computer vision systems,” said Stacey Shulman, chief innovation officer in the retail solutions division at Intel. “Combining that localized sensor data with Rubikloud’s AI solution can drive more timely and richer insights for retailers to act on.”
Intel’s retail technology will combine with Rubikloud’s platform to unify operations and solve long-existing business challenges. Intel brings edge to cloud technology that can streamline how stores operate, while Rubikloud can offer promotion and loyalty data—when they are combined, retailers will know how much stock they have in the back of their store without leaving a register or storefront. Retailers can also avoid not having enough (or even too much) stock, and run promotions when they have too much of one particular item.
Rubikloud has been growing at a quick pace over the past three years. After raising their Series B earlier this year they expanded their Toronto office by adding 60 new employees.
Small companies growing through the adoption of digital technology is a hugely important step to stay relevant in a world dominated by e-commerce. Governments are even beginning to take notice—the province of Ontario recently expanded their Digital Main Street program outside of Toronto to help small businesses keep up with rapid change.