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Amazon also uses AI or ML for forecasting demand, stocking adequate inventory, fraud detection and product search ranking etc.

The online retail giant, seeking a rapid pace of expansion in India and with investment over Rs 13,800 crore, it is now eyeing for a major chunk of retail sector in the country using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The concept of AI and ML have become more widespread than ever before and are often used interchangeably. Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”, while Machine Learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves. Apparently, Amazon was among the first users of customer data collection and analysis for improving services and personalising the shopping experience.

Rajeev Rastogi, head of Artificial Learning, Amazon India said that both transformative technologies are being used in several ways to improve customer experience. For instance, he said, apart from guiding sellers on categorization, Amazon also tracks products that have high sales during festivities or holidays, and based on such factors, it suggests the best products and deals that can woo customers.

Amazon also uses AI or ML for forecasting demand, stocking adequate inventory, fraud detection and product search ranking etc. The Seattle-headquartered company soon plans to launch event-based deals in India. These deals will specifically be offered on occasions such as Rakshabandhan or Diwali.

Rastogi predicted that AI will be heavily leveraged during this Diwali festival season as well and the technology will be used to improve the customer’s address as India poses a unique challenge of inadequate or not well-informed delivery addresses which leads to failed deliveries.

The company also uses ML to provide customer product recommendations, special deals and better shopping experience based on their historical browsing trends and buying behavior.

“Advertising is another area where we use ML. It helps in showing relevant advertisements and promotions to users based on search queries,” said Rastogi. Amazon India, which started operations four years ago, has grown 124% every year, and in the second quarter of 2017, it logged 88% year-on-year growth.

Amazon India also launched its new business-to-business (B2B) retail service called Amazon Business to reach a higher base of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This move is seen as Amazon’s new revenue streams amid a fierce battle for market share with Flipkart.

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