One of the main questions from the show floor at NRF this year was how to bridge the gap between the sales floor and the fully connected shopper. At the event, I spoke with Andrew Busby, founder of Retail Reflections, about how brands can use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to bridge the gap between the in-store shopper and the online shopper.

“Consumers want to feel that brands and retailers have connected all the dots,” said Busby. “One of the ways that can be done is by capturing all the data that we’re all broadcasting on social media. If we can imagine a brand or a retailer being able to capture all of that over … the last six or 12 months, they’re going to know pretty much everything there is to know about us.”

That’s when AI and ML come into action. Retailers now have solutions available that can translate data, transforming it into tangible consumer insights that help you better understand and connect with their needs.

What we’re seeing now is a new standard for solutions. “A lot of the solutions at the show have, kind of as a default, AI embedded within them, so I think what we’re seeing now is a maturity of that technology,” Busby said.

Similar data insights are already empowering retail associates to better connect with consumers.