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Enhancing Retail Efficiency

Abstract

Digital transformation in retail sectors is found to enhance accuracy and efficiency in the retail business. The usage of AI technology in retail trade has assisted in strengthening and empowering business and also helped in improving retails operations. This study has aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in retail companies. This study has given focused on two main questions: What are the uses of AI in the online retail company Boohoo and What is the effectiveness of using AI at Boohoo? This study has made the application of qualitative research methods along with interpretivism philosophy to enhance customer experience and offer better services. This study has even applied experimental research designs wherein data have been gathered only through secondary research. This study has made the usage of Boohoo Group Plc, which is a UK-based online fashion retailer. This study has reviewed how artificial intelligence has assisted the company in enhancing its operation in the retail sector. It has been acknowledged from the case study that the company had faced significant issues before the application of artificial intelligence. The company was not able to increase its sales and was facing a severe financial crisis. However, after the application of artificial intelligence, the company has attained significant growth in its sales. The company had seen an increase of 39% and international development of 44% by the end of 2020. It has been acknowledged that artificial intelligence is of greater importance in the uplifting of the business. It is recommended that artificial intelligence can help in cost reduction, make tasks automated, and will also be speeding the worktime. However, it is recommended that organizations train their employees regarding artificial intelligence technology to work with it and attain benefits from it effectively.

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1. Brief background

In the past few years, digital transformation in the retail sector has been swift. This has significantly increased the accuracy and efficiency of the retail business. This would have been impossible without the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The implementation of AI technology in the retail business has enabled empowering the company and thus helped in improving the retail operations significantly (Kaur et al., 2020). In this regard, it has been argued by Oosthuizen et al. (2020) that retail companies looking forward to gaining a competitive advantage should look further to implementing AI in business. Besides, it has been further stated that enterprises not applying AI in business are at a greater risk of market share loss to the competitors than the one implementing it effectively. AI means using different technologies such as predictive analytics that help retail companies to collect and analyze various data that can be further utilized to forecast business-related decisions (Oosthuizen et al., 2020). AI has a massive advantage in retail business operations. The collection of data related to the marketplace, consumers, and competitors using AI enable retailers to forecast the demand more accurately. This, in turn, is likely to positively impact the performance of retail companies in the long run. AI can help retailers in providing improved purchase experiences to customers. In the competitive environment, the retailers need to drive the customers’ interest, so differentiation of products and services is essential for the continuous growth of the business. In this regard, AI through predictive analytics can helps retailers in gathering in-depth market insight about the latest trends in innovation (Kaur et al., 2020).

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Taylor (2020) highlighted in his report that the current pandemic situation had made the retail industry focus more on the online mode. In this scenario, online fashion retails are blooming at a fast rate. In this period, Boohoo had announced that it had a rise in a sale about 44% higher than the previous year. The businesses around are facing enormous challenges posed by the outbreak of covid-19. In this regard, Boohoo is looking forward to implementing AI in its online retail fashion business to improve its operations globally (Taylor, 2020). This study thus aims to study the effectiveness of AI in a retail companies.

1.2. Research aim and objectives

The study’s primary aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in retail companies. To understand the significance of AI in detail, the case study of Boohoo Group plc UK has been considered in this study.

Based on the aim, the following are the research objectives of the study:

To evaluate the concept of AI

To analyze the advantages of AI in the retail sector

To evaluate the implementation of AI in Boohoo

To identify the effectiveness of AI in the online retail company Boohoo

To investigate the improvements that can be made in the retail business of Boohoo following AI

1.3. Research questions

Based on the aim and objectives, the following are the research questions for the study:

RQ1. What are the uses of AI in the online retail company Boohoo?

RQ2. What is the effectiveness of using AI at Boohoo?

1.4. Company overview

Boohoo Group plc is a UK-based online fashion retailer formed in the year 2006. The company was established by Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane. The company initially started as a single brand boohoo. With the growing competition and innovation, the company has become the house for 7 brands boohoo, boohoo MAN, Pretty Little Thing, Nasty Gal, Miss Pap, Karen Millen, and coast). The company not only focuses on style but also aims to provide quality and up-to-date products to the customers. The company has now grown internationally and thus serving people globally. The company offers a wide range of fashion products such as clothing, jewelry, bags, cosmetics, and sunglasses, among others. The latest statistic of the company reveals that company revenue in the year 2020 was £1,745m. Furthermore, the company’s growth in the UK has been 39%, and international growth has been 44% as of 2020 (Boohoo PLC, 2021).

1.5. Rationale/Significance of research

In the present competitive world, the essence of AI is visible in every sector. The retail industry is one of them using AI within its business operations to improve its performance globally. In this regard, it can be highlighted that the use of AI among online fashion retailers has helped transform the fashion industry to a large extent. AI has not only improved production efficiency but also helped in improving the user’s experience in shopping. Thus, the companies not using this technology in business are lagging in identifying the areas that require changes for future growth in the long run (Haus von Eden, 2020). In this study, Boohoo Group plc in the UK has been selected as a case study. Agility and flexibility in service were the two main factors of success for Boohoo. However, the unprecedented situation due to the outbreak of covid-19 has also impacted the business of Boohoo. In this regard, it can be highlighted that Boohoo has always been an adapter of new technology in the industry. Thus, in this scenario, also Boohoo does not remain away from adopting the latest technology in business, such as AI. The global coronavirus has emerged as an accelerator of change for the company (Decision Marketing Co., 2021). Thus, it would be inspiring to study the implementation and effectiveness of AI in the retail company and how it helps set new boundaries for business growth in the post-covid-19 period. In this study, Boohoo has been selected as the case study as it would enable the researchers to evaluate the actual need for data-driven technology as such as AI, in looking forward to business opportunities in the long run.

1.6. Dissertation structure

The following is the dissertation structure for the study.

Chapter 1: Introduction is the first chapter of the study. This chapter focuses on giving a brief background about the area of research, aim & objectives, research questions. In addition, the chapter also discusses the significance and reason behind selecting the particular company for the case study.

Chapter 2: A literature review is the second chapter of the study. This chapter reviews in detail the secondary information available online and discusses the different areas.

Chapter 3: Research methodology is the third chapter of the study. This particular chapter discusses the methodology followed in the data collection and analyzing it.

Chapter 4: Findings and analysis in the fourth chapter of the study. This chapter presents the findings from the data collected and analyses it.

Chapter 5: Discussion attempts to discuss the findings of the study in alignment with the research objectives.

Chapter 6: Conclusions is the sixth chapter of the study. This is the last chapter, and it highlights the essential findings and provides recommendations for future research, if any.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

The literature review chapter provides in-depth information about the subject area of the study. In this context, this chapter has been divided into sub-heading, and each of them allows for necessary information about AI in a Retail Company. The first sub-heading of this chapter is about Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is a broad concept. However, this heading provides just a brief about AI that can help understand the research area. This would be followed by analyzing the advantages of using AI in business operations. The third sub-heading is about investigating AI in the retail company focusing on Boohoo, an online fashion retailer in the UK. This is further followed by analyzing the effectiveness of AI in retail and Boohoo in the long run. Finally, the chapter reviews the challenges faced by Boohoo and how implementing AI would be beneficial for the company’s performance.

2.1. Understanding the concept of AI

In the present global scenario, AI has become one inevitable part of human life. It helps people to find the solution to complex problems. AI is also known as machine intelligence. AI generally simulates the characteristics of human intelligence and applies them in the form of algorithms in the machine to generate the solution for complex problems. AI algorithms can be used in learning, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and language understanding (Tecuci, 2012). Wang (2019) stated that from the business point of view, it is the combination of various tools and methodologies used by multiple businesses to solve the problem. On the other hand, from the programming perspective, it includes symbolic programming, which is used in the study for problem-solving. Apart from this, AI is used in many other ways in the present world of technology, for instance, self-driving car and personal cars (Wang, 2019).

AI has some primary characters, which are further highlighted in the discussion. AI has the capability of adapting and predicting from a massive set of data. AI uses algorithms to understand and discover the patterns of the problem. Besides, this is capable of making productivity decisions after adequately analyzing the situation. AI takes the help of algorithms to construct various models. AI provides support in finding the correct way of performing a task. This highlights the characteristic of continuous learning. AI is an advanced tool that helps people analyze the data in detail to make a better decision for the problem (Tecuci, 2012).

The research conducted by Saleh (2019) highlighted that there are various types of AI. In this regard, the AI known today is called weak AI or narrow AI. It is designed to perform a fragile task; for instance, it includes internet search, facial recognition, and others (Figure 1). In addition, many researchers worldwide are working on developing strong AI or Artificial general intelligence (AGI). In this, the machine will design so that it can solve any problem with their intelligence rather than specializing in solving a particular situation. Narrow AI can perform better than humans as it performs a specific task, for instance, solving an equation and playing chess. On the other hand, AGI would serve better cognitive tasks (Saleh, 2019; Das. et al., n.d).

Future of AI

Saleh (2019) has further divided AI based on functionalities. This includes a reactive machine that does not store any memories or past experiences for deciding for the future. In this regard, the Deep Blue machine of IBM, which has defeated the grandmaster of chess Kasparov in chess, is an example of a type of reactive machine. This machine generally reacts according to world perception. Another form of AI is limited memory. This type of machine typically stores data for a shorter period. Moreover, this data can be used for a limited period. For instance, this type of technology is used in self-driving cars where the data related to car speed, speed little, and others are stored (Saleh, 2019).

AI Branches

There are major’s branches of AI, which have been highlighted above in figure 2. In this, Natural language processing is one type where the computer communicates with humans with their languages. This has made the laptop perform vital tasks, for instance, read, hear, text, speech, and others. Wang (2019) further stated that in today’s world, this machine could analyze more information than humans, which are language-based without any exhaustions. On the other hand, machine learning help to predict more accurately with the software application. This primarily develops the algorithms that can receive the data and predict the desired result (Wang, 2019; Saleh, 2019).

2.2. Advantages of Using AI in business operations

AI has enormous impacts on the life of people in various forms, which include intelligent applications and intelligent devices which are designed to understand the behavior and customer’s preference as well as their needs. This provides data to companies to plan according to customers’ needs, which helps the companies increase their quality of services and productivity (Nadimpalli, 2017). According to Tecuci (2012), in the present scenario, AI is one of the primary drivers which lead to innovation. AI has become an essential tool for the business where enormous data is generated. In is regard, AI plays a crucial role in developing valuable information within a short period. Anica et al. (2021) has stated that customers’ needs have gradually changed with the changes in technology. In this scenario, they have high expectations from the company. Thus, the importance of AI has increased in the modern world of technology. For instance, companies use various forms of AI applications that are personal assistants and chatbots, to assist their customers in time (Anica et al., 2021).

In the present global scenario, the competitive market has been reshaped by applying AI in business operations. For instance, Boohoo is one the leading online company with a customer base of around 14 million worldwide. Moreover, the company focuses on the age group of people 16 -40 years (Boohooplc, 2020). This data signifies that AI can play a vital role in managing a vast data set of the business. AI will help the company to collect all the necessary information from the specific market. For instance, the company will collect information regarding age, spending habits, and other vital factors. This data will help the company to understand the market in a better way. This will provide an edge over the competitor, which will create a brand reputation for Boohoo. AI plays a pivotal role in reducing the cost of production, which in turn increases the profit of the organization (Kalicanin et al., 2019). In addition, Chowdhury & Sadek (2012) stated that another advantage of AI is reliability. The information generates through this system is reliable and accurate.

Moreover, AI makes the decision-making process faster, which saves the valuable time of the business. Apart from this, it also helps in reducing human error, which allows the company to enhances its efficiency. Therefore, it can be understood that technology plays a crucial role in developing the business better. Besides, the importance of AI will increase in the future because there is a paradigm shift in business operations where the worldwide market is globalized (Chowdhury & Sadek, 2012).

2.3. Studying AI within the fashion retail companies

The type of fashion products preferred by the customers expresses their individuality. This can only be achieved through the business operations of fashion retail companies. In the present scenario, the fashion industry has seen enormous growth in recent times. In this, AI plays a vital role where this is transforming the industry in many ways. In this regard, it has changed the way they are manufacturing their products and marketing. Moreover, AI technologies have changed every sphere of fashion retail companies which include, design, value chain, logistics, and others (Forbes, 2019).

Market value of AI in the fashion retail worldwide from 2018 to 2027

In a study, it has been depicted that the market share of AI in the fashion retail market in the year 2018 was 270 million US dollars. It is expected a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 36.9 within a period of 2019-2027, and the market share will be 4.4 billion US dollars within 2027(Statista, 2020). The above data signify that AI is playing a crucial role in developing fashion retail companies globally. For instance, Boohoo group Plc a leading online fashion retailer in the UK, has started focusing on AI technologies to enhance their service quality for their customers. This company has around 8.9 million customers in the boohoo segment.

On the other hand, in the case of Pretty little thing and Nastyal, the customer base is around 6.3 million and 1.8million, respectively (Boohooplc, 2020). The above data shows that the overall customer base of the company is enormous. In this case, AI would play a vital role in managing the vast customer data efficiently. In the fashion industry, companies are looking for new ways to introduce their products to customers to create demand and brand awareness. In this regard, fashion retailers are using AI technologies to enhance the online shopping experiences for their ultimate customers. In this, to improve sales, the companies are using an intelligent automated system. This is turn, can improve the overall sale processes online by using this AI technology (Nadimpalli, 2017).

Apart from this, retail companies have started using conversational assistants in the form of chat bots. On the other hand, using various voice assistant devices such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa has been helpful for the retail companies in offering efficient service to customers. This conversational interface helps the companies to gather data regarding the needs of the customers. This system enhances customer satisfaction where this system saves the valuable time of the customer and help them to find products faster on online site (Forbes, 2019). Moreover, it also helps to understand the purchasing behavior of the users. AI has changed the way of shopping in this context, and the customers can take a picture of the clothes they like the most or by matching real-life photos with the help of intelligent image recognition. Moreover, the mobile app based on AI technology helps the customer take a screenshot of the product for their future needs (Forbes, 2019; Wang, 2019).

AI technologies help in enhancing the fashion design and overall manufacturing process. In the present trends, the fashion industry is changing very fast. In this regard, Boohoo needs to remain update regarding the current market trend and prepare for the next season. In a study conducted by Forbes (2019), it has been highlighted that AI reduces 50% of projection error of the future trends. In this regard, the forecast based on the previous year’s sales cannot generate accurate data traditionally for the future by the retailers. AI helps in improving the productivity of the company. In this, the AI technology detects the fabric defect and ensures that sound quality is maintained as per the standard.

Moreover, it also helps reduce the wastage of raw material by making a proper prediction based on algorithms. Furthermore, this industry also has a significant impact on the environment. In this regard, AI adoption would help in the appropriate utilization of natural resources in a planned manner (Forbes, 2019).

2.4. Effectiveness of AI in Retail Company

Based on the above discussion, it can be stated that the use of advanced technology is the main reason behind the transformation of retail companies. Previously, human creativity was the key factor behind the success of fashion retailers. However, the implementation of AI in retail has made assembling, manufacturing, and marketing more accessible for the company. In addition, AI is also effective in enhancing customer’s purchase experience and satisfaction level. All these together result in a high retail sales rate (Oosthuizen et al., 2020). According to Marr (2019), it has been stated that in the past few years, AI has gained considerable importance due to the increase in the large data set. Fashion retail has been the leader as many companies have implemented this, intending to deploy AI innovations. For example, Zalando is a German fashion retailer, implemented the AI that has been effective in helping the customers to make decisions about cloth based on virtual fashion. In this case, AI has enabled the customers to link their style preferences with its products. Thus, AI has been effective in influencing the purchase decisions of the customers (Marr, 2019). In this regard, it can be highlighted that Boohoo, in the recent period, has gained many new customers due to pandemics and people started focusing more on online shopping. In this regard, the company plans to implement AI in its business operations to reduce the issues associated with extensive data set. Thus, implementing AI would be effective for Boohoo to ensure customer satisfaction and an improved purchase experience in the long run (Oosthuizen et al., 2020).

Retail companies operate and deal with customers, employees, investors, partners, and other people. Thus, to become a responsible retailer of society, companies are now adopting AI to ensure data privacy and security. The use of AI also helps retailers in ensuring transparency in business and thus delivering value to the customers. It is apparent from this that AI is effective in assisting retail companies in operating their business ethically and somewhat in society (Anica et al., 2021). Apart from this, Daqar & Smoudy (2019) has highlighted that using AI in business is also effective in offering personalized services to customers. In this regard, based on the report of Accenture (2019), it can be stated that personalization is the growth path for fashion retail companies. The use of AI can help retailers to identify the lifetime value of existing customers. For example, Stitch Fix, an online-based styling service company, is using AI in its business operations along with stylist experts who help in creating personalized products for customers globally. For personalizing a product/service, AI uses customer preference data, lifestyle, feedback, and other associated factors (Accenture, 2019). Thus, based on this, it can be understood that the implementation of AI in Boohoo would be effective in offering personalized fashion products to the customers based on their preferences, which in turn will have a positive impact on performance and profitability.

Personalization increases selling and operating with more precision help minimize overall costs (Accenture, 2019). To this, Oosthuizen et al. (2019) has stated that implementing AI in retail companies helps get better insight into customer and market data. This was effectively deploying the inventory and thus having better pricing (Oosthuizen et al., 2019). In this context, transforming Boohoo into a data-driven online fashion retail organization would effectively offer products based on customer preferences keeping in mind the company’s purpose. In addition, AI would help in boosting productivity and ensuring the growth of the company in the long run. The report of Accenture (2019) further highlighted that AI has the potential to impact the retail business significantly. Past researches in this regard have reflected that companies adopting AI and analytics have shown a higher growth rate as compared to others. Furthermore, 81% of companies recognized as AI leaders have experienced more significant than 10% growth in business operations in the past year. Therefore, it is apparent that AI implemented in Boohoo would be effective in business growth and profitability if the technology is implemented in the correct direction.

2.5. Challenges faced by Boohoo and how implementing AI would improve company performance

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The Boohoo group is one of the fastest-growing fashion retail companies in the UK. The company is a leading business where it delivers a wide range of trending products to its customers via an online platform. In the present scenario, the company is facing significant challenges in terms of environmental and social issues. The company is working on these vital areas, which will increase the productivity and brand reputation of the company (Forbes, 2019).

Top ten areas where AI is used in retail business in the UK as of 2019

In a study, it has been highlighted that AI plays a crucial role in managing the overall business. In this regard, from figure 4 above, it is apparent that AI is used 100% in the company’s data analysis. Moreover, the AI used in e-commerce is around 83% in the UK. In addition, chatbots are used approximately 77% to improve the quality of services and enhance the customer experience in retail companies (Statista, 2019). Besides, 57% of business in the UK uses AI in Warehouse management, and 47% businesses use AI in Logistics management. Therefore, based on the above statistics, the importance of AI in improving the value chain of business of Boohoo Plc UK can be understood.

The above data highlighted that AI had become the inevitable part of retail companies, which helps the business improve its overall performance. According to the report of Boohooplc (2021), Boohoo is planning to develop more quality products based on personalization by 2025. In this regard, the company implementing AI technology would be beneficial to gather more accurate data about the customers’ demand and market trends. Therefore, through the effective use of AI, the company would be able to produce more personalized products according to the customers’ needs (Boohooplc, 2021).

According to the report of Sentance (2020), the pandemic has hit the fashion industry badly as the performance of top fashion clothing brands such as Cath Kidston and Debenhams has been affected. In this situation, the brand Boohoo seems to be in a good position as the company’s sales raised initially. In 2020, Boohoo had revenue growth by 44%, and gross profit was up by 42%, indicating good performance in pandemic (Sentance, 2020). The company has also experienced increased customers; thus, it planned to use the AI-driven platform- Bloomreach engagement. This platform would help the website users customize their web experience and optimize their searching process, thus improving the overall customer experience. This would be effective in developing relationships between the brand and customers. Furthermore, it would be easier for the company to understand the target market practices and provide enhanced customer service (Decisionmarketing Co., 2021).

Apart from this, implementing AI technologies would help the company to enhance its efficiency and productivity. In addition, the company will use AI to improve its product design which in turn will improve the durability of the product and minimize wastage. Besides, Boohoo has a plan to reduce the carbon in the value chain, which includes all the crucial activities, for instance, manufacturing function, procuring raw material, and others. In this regard, the company has set a target of around 52% reductions by 2030 (Boohooplc, 2021). All these projected factors will have huge impacts on society and the environment. This can only be achieved by Boohoo after the successful implementation of AI in their business.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1. Introduction

The chapter presents the procedures for developing the research methods that are required to complete the current study. The chapter elaborates on the stages of methodology in the study to ensure reliability and validity. The chapter includes a detailed discussion about the philosophies, research approach, and methods of data collection, the process of research, and analysis of data. The chapter closes the debate by considering the ethical consideration and research limitations of the projects. The chapter aims to meet the research objectives and aims by collecting valued information to attain better knowledge. AI today is being used across the retaining sector to improve the experiences; thus, valued, credible and reliable data are being focused upon to meet the aims. The methodology has been designed on the Onion model and indicates the specific path to meet the research objectives.

Onion Model

3.2. Research Strategy

The research strategy in this research study is an applied one and is not new. Various pieces of academic journals are available regarding the relevance of AI in the retailing sector. The research strategy is to explore the information gathered in the retailing industry that is changing due to AI. The proposed research study takes a new advanced form in terms of research but is based upon the existing subject.

3.3. Research Approach

The research study intends to explore and investigate the effectiveness of AI in the retailing sector so that better experiences are created. This is being done by focusing upon the objectives of the research studies along with the factors influencing AI presence in retail. Research approaches are mainly of three forms which include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. Qualitative reproach is elaborative and considers descriptive information to identify changes in the behavior (Kothari, 2004). The qualitative study is about identifying various factors based upon the changing behavior of people through practical observation. On the other hand, the quantitative approach tends to gather information which is in numeric form. The evaluation is statistically and classifies features based upon the statistical models. This approach is being used to implement a relationship between the variables that are identified. The finalform of the research approach is a mixed approach which is the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods as per the research topic.

However, for the effectiveness of the research study and to gather relevant information about AI in the retail sector quantitative approach is being used. This approach will help to collectdata which is in the form of numbers and statistics to precisely seeking measurement by analyzing the AI effectiveness in the retail sector (Flowers, 2009). This method separates the objectives from the subject, which is about attaining valuable information about AI in the retail industry. This research approach is used to get results of AI in the retailing sectors by testing the system to gather valid information. The information is attained from customers in the retail industry by examining the AI advances and their easy accessibility. Through this approach, facts and information is gathered to meet the research objectives. The numeric data is used to develop a holistic understanding of the use of AI in the retail sector. This approach is suitable for investigating AI and its vitality in the retail sectors impacting the business dynamics.

3.4. Research Philosophy

The research philosophy is the belief about gathering data through an influential phenomenon so that the analysis of the information is adequate. The scope of the study is determined through philosophies that include pragmatism, positivism, and realism. The stand is used in this research, so that clear choice are made for better data analysis along with interpretation. In this study, pragmatist philosophy is being considered to make from real-time decision-making regarding the effective use of AI in the retail sector. This philosophy is essential for better analysis to attain information based upon accurate and practical outcomes so that the benefits and limitations are considered (Bajpai, 2009). The AI is being implemented in the retail sector to improve customer experiences and offer better services. This philosophy supports decision-making and innovative practices about the application of AI in retailing operations. In this research study, the data collection process is secondary, and therefore this pragmatist philosophy is suitable to attain vital information about the retail sector currently using AI. The research philosophy offers greater flexibility in the research work while pragmatism develops efficiency level through the experiences achieved in the retail sector owing to AI.

3.4.1. Epistemology

The concept of the epistemological model is based upon three factors which include truth, belief, and justification. It is a branch of philosophy and is used to address the cultural factor to verify the validity of the research study. To ensure the authenticity of the survey, secondary data is being used to attain a depth understanding of AI in the retail sector. The impact of the AI is elaborated regarding the performance of the retail business. The limitations and problems faced in the study are being determined through the help of valued information. The vital information is being collected and addressed to identify the research problem to attain a better understanding. The positivity of the AI technology in the retail company is determined and analyzed to meet the research objectives.

3.5. Research Design

Research design is the outline that involves the analysis of the study considering upon the various activities to analyze the study, i.e., to determine the effectiveness of the AI in the retail sector to increase the potential focusing upon the case of Boohoo. The research design is divided into three aspects while dealing with the research study,including exploratory, descriptive and casual research. The exploratory research design is used to attain a proper understanding of the topic based on perceptions and thoughts. Descriptive design tends to determine the characteristics of the stated population to correlate the problems of the research study (Bunchanan & Bryman, 2009). The last casual design is about elaborating the cause and effect relationship amid the stated variables.

In this research study, to determine the effectiveness of AI in the retail sector to increase productiveness,the exploratory research design is being used. It explores the research-based relevance of AI to analyze the existing problems with a solution to the retail industry. It is conducted to provide better research upon the use of AI in the retail sector so that the business operations are effective. The research designing is to collect valuable information and data about the retail industry, especially Boohoo Company, through the quantitative process to understand the impact of AI critically. This research design offers a better-researched model about the effectiveness of AI to improve performances and focuses upon the process in a detailed manner. This is used to identify the problem and then conduct future research in an open-ended way. It analyses the problem faced in the retail business and then determines upon investigating the AI and its impact on effective decision making.

3.6. Data Collection and Data Analysis Techniques

For the success of the research study, one of the most vital elements is data collection based upon the objectives. Primary and secondary are the two forms of data collection that influence the research study. Primary data collection implies collecting data through interviews and questionnaire surveys to gain information from various information.

In this research study, the secondary data collection method has been used so that proper numeric and analytical factors leading to the use of AI in retail can be attained in broader perspectives. The central aspect of using secondary data is to achieve better insights by focusing upon reliable, valid, and authentic sources. The secondary sources ensure the reliability and validity of the numeric data attained from the company website and genuine government sites (Brown & Suter, 2012). In this research study, secondary data is collected, authentic and reliable to meet the stated objectives. The secondary is being collected using the case studies based upon the company Boohoo to attain a better understanding of AI and its effectiveness in improving the performances in the retail operations. The data is gathered by valuing the increase and efficiency in the business process through AI, which is reflected in the business finances. The information is collected to attain better insights and analyze the perception in the retail sector owing to the changing performances. The authenticity is ensured by collecting data from peer-reviewed journals, books, and also online websites. This method of data collection is helping to develop a better understanding of the concept of AI and its effectiveness in improving the performances in the retail sector. This data collection intends to meet the research objectives by investigating the problems faced in the retail industry. The collection of data adds value and helps attaincomplete information regarding the performance and operations in the retail business.

For the effectiveness of the research study, the predictive analysis is being considered where the previous performances of the retail sector are examined with the new model after the application of the AI. The investigation is done by considering the volumes, easy-to-use software, the AI, and the changes in the environment in the retail sectors.

3.7. Limitations

The limitation faced in this research study is the lack of qualitative methods. The study is limited to secondary data, which is gathered from various credible and reliable sources. One of the significant limitations is the time factor that acts as a constraint. The limitation can be that the research is based upon quantitative secondary data analysis, thus limiting the commentary on this subject.

3.8. Ethical Consideration

Ethics has a role to play while conducting a research study in terms of gathering data and interpreting it. Ethical consideration has been followed as the numeric and statistical data have been collected from the company website and other authentic sources to ensure relevance. None of the gathered data are misinterpreted, and the facts are supported through credible sources. Relevant, credible secondary sources have been used to attain information about AI in the retail sector.

Chapter 4: Findings

4.1 Introduction of Boohoo

Boohoo is a fashion retail firm that was founded in Manchester in 2006. It was founded by Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane. Boohoo.com is progressed from a supplier of fashion outfits to its own established online retailer of fashion based in the UK. It was born through a fast fashion market, and the company has aimed to become one of the leading fashion brands driven by investment, innovations, and integrations. As per Boohoo’s 2019 annual report, they give significant preferences to people of demographic 18-30 years old of women and men. The company has primarily emphasized women, wherein its own five brands for women include Boohoo, Pretty little things, nasty gal, Karen Millan, and Miss pap (Boohoo, 2021). However, there is only one brand for men, which includes Boohoo MAN. Each of its brands has emphasized different women and has tried to understand their concept. Boohoo has explained itself as being ‘fashion best friends’ for its customers. The company has expressed its mission statement, which demonstrates that they want its growth in both the UK and internationally. The company has made language-specific websites like French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian to attract international customers. However, each of the clothing is similar on all the websites. The company has made diversification wherein new products are developed for specific markets (WWD, 2020).

The company is always on with 24*7, which show over 500 new products a week. It has the latest items wherein fashion can be assessed quickly. They have all those items which every girl wants in their wardrobe. They have lots of designs of clothing with an outstanding style that reflects individuality. Their philosophy is pretty simple, wherein they do not take life or fashion too seriously. They have millions of followers on social media and also fans worldwide. The company has used charity sample sales, bake sales, shop takeovers, swap shops, etc. They keep developing collections and have made charitable donations for different causes such as breast cancer awareness, girls’ empowerment, etc. They have also played an active role in the support and fundraising for Red Cross.

The company has applied to recycle fibers to produce products wherein it has encouraged sustainability in products. The company has helped in reducing the environmental impacts of clothes. The company wants its customers to re-wear everything. One can recycle old clothes, shoes, and accessories through regain apps and attain discount codes in returns. The packaging of the clothes is also being done through recycling contents. The dispatch bags are made utilizing 100% recycled contents and are fully recyclable. As an online retailer, Boohoo has made social media using an integral part of its marketing strategy. The company sells only its brand clothing that has given them more profits and control over the profit margins and products.

4.2 Challenges faced by Boohoo company

Boohoo has seen a significant decline in the sales of its products after a lockdown in the UK during May-June of 2020. The company was paying less than half of the UK minimum wages to its employees due to a decline in sales and losses. The share prices of the company decline wherein shall fell 45% from GBP 3.8750 to 2.10. various retailers associated with the company refused or canceled the orders as they were not satisfied with the company’s performance. The customers were also not purchasing the items as they were compelled to stay at home themselves. Environmental, Social, and governance (ESG) investment has become a central essential area of interest. It is crucial for the long-term survival of its companies. The company faced a significant issue and decline in brand reputation as workers were not provided with proper protective equipment against Covid-19(Boohoo, 2021). The garment workers were paid lesser as little as £3 an hour. This has raised concerns regarding the condition of starting ethical trading. The company also faced issues after unveiling the record profits and announced controversial bonus schemes. The company has given the focused on enhancing its relationship with online influencers and customers. They have used their knowledge and connections to create fast fashion engines.

However, the company made usage of AI which enhanced the sales of the company. The deals, expected to surge 29%, came in at 40% after the shopper started buying lockdown fashions. The company applied AI to boosted up its sales which have helped the company to jump its sale by 28-32% and is predicted to increase by 36-38%. The company has re-energized its brands and successfully integrated and re-launches its brands on different platforms. The Ai has reported enhancing the jump in full-year core earning wherein benefitted through digital shopping at the time of Covid-19 pandemic. The company was facing a decline in the supply chain after the allegations were put forward regarding the working conditions and lower pay in factories. However, companies apply different AI-based technology to bring transparency and clear out the wrong allegation imposed on them (BBC, 2020).

4.3 Benefits of Artificial intelligence in Boohoo company

Boohoo, which is a leading fast-fashion brand, has started to make the application of AI-driven image recognitions to give alternatives provided to customers who were looking for products that are out of stock. The company’s website has offered through refinements and even advanced its search technologies to permit its consumers and have advanced search technologies. It has also allowed customers to upload their pictures of similar identity items linked with the catalog of Boohoo. The consumer-facing AI tool was highly influenced by deeper metadata which had tagged every product in its inventory to tally the images being uploaded by its consumers (Irish times, 2020).

The metadata which is applied by the Boohoo company is of more excellent value and is playing a significant role in the experience of the consumer. The information of products that are linked with e-Commerce photography has made the assets more innovative and identifiable, which has fueled innovation such as AI-driven visual search, machine learning, image recognition as well as a recommendation through online means. The company has taken the help of ‘Shop the look.’ It is acknowledged that in the past, Boohoo used to face issues and did not add valuable metadata at the time of the production process because capturing data gold was manual and time-consuming. However, after the company has applied the right AI tools and technology, metadata enrichment has become automated, which has helped in the easy transfer of metadata through software. It has enabled in assets management platforms and even in consumer-facing eCommerce platforms (BBC, 2020).

The innovative, creative professionals of Boohoo are making the usage of global edit in its photography production process to manage its ingest and enrichment of metadata through capturing platforms such as Capture One and also lightroom. The international edit automated enrichment process shaved assisted in streamlining productivity wherein providing the ability for creatives to scale and meet the increasing demands for content. It is optimized for the consumption model. Boohoo also got benefitted from AI, wherein it has applied this technology to keep its favorite items well-stocked through receipt analysis and returns to review which stores require what. Moreover, in marketing mode, Boohoo is analyzing social media data to control fashion conversations which have allowed social data to give information regarding the latest trends that have been marketed to provide prioritize and segments that are interesting for a brand. The company is also found using data analytics which has combined various factors like search queries, social media activities, feedback of consumers, and e-commerce sell-throughs which provides clues regarding what is likely to become a trend (Boohoo plc, 2020).

AI has helped Boohoo in overcoming its current challenges of marketing and even assisted in maximizing penny spent upon acquisitions which have never been so essential. Boohoo have leveraged customers and advertising data wherein AI along with its predictive insights have permitted in driving customer to acquire and optimize campaigns for lifetime relations and values. It is acknowledged that Boohoo has also built a single customer view in its 13 brands through the implementation of AI-driven customer data, bloom reach engagement, and also experience platforms (Bourke, 2021). The AI has assisted the company is expanding its brief in showcasing the ability to strengthen communication with customers and drive consistent and personalized journeys of customers. The engagement pillar of Bloom’s reach has helped in offering data platforms of customers and also email campaigns, app tracking, SMS, and also mobile push notifications. The usage of Bloom’s reach technology and retail experiences have helped in enhancing links with customers and also in growing business firms. It was found that the use of bloom’s reach technology has helped the company to show revenues jumped by 32% and earn an income of £486.1m in the past three months’ time (WWD, 2020).

The principle technology projects have started with newer payment solutions and have led to provide country returns portals. It has given higher returns flexibility and embarked company to refund the customers immediately when the couriers collect its parcels. Social logins are also generated for the UK customers who have assisted in grabbing a more significant number of customers and their attention. AI-based technology has helped in continuous improvement in contents, personalization, functionality, and ease of usage. Visual searches ate added to the websites that enable its customers to search for the same items either through uploaded photographs or through images upon the websites. The usage of apps by millions of customers has helped generate considerable growth in the number of visits (Boohoo plc, 2020).

4.4 AI in boosting Boohoo retail operation

Although, Boohoo’s retail has gone through certain rough times due to covid-19. Various types of factors have influenced the buying decision of consumers of Boohoo, which includes fluctuations of the economy, changes in the political outlooks, and also changes in the supply chains. The mentality of people has altered, which has brought a significant emphasis on the company’s operation. However, AI has helped the company to enhance its operation to a greater extends. The usage of ultra-fast fashion retails helped the company to deliver its products to customers in a significantly lesser period with a span of two weeks. It has enhanced the speed of various innovators of the fast fashion industry. Apart from this, AI has also helped Boohoo to increase its speed. As per the research being gathered through Goldman Sachs, data have uncovered a correlation between retailer speed and Like for Like sales growth after applying Artificial intelligence tools. Although, fast fashion retailers were flat and were lost before artificial intelligence. However, the company has reported LFL sales enhanced by about 30% (WWD, 2020).

Boohoo has also applied EDITED’s technology which has assisted retailers in outperforming. This technology has made usage of machine learning which has helped retailers stay upon every trend upon how fast they alter. Entire teams of apparel buyers, planners, and merchandisers have relied upon data to make decisions regarding style to stock, ways to price them, and processes to bring newer products to the customers. This has helped in achieving balance regarding excitement and have spot-on profitability without any discounting. EDITED has made the usage of artificial intelligence to assist retailers in staying upon topper trends and how faster they altered. The Edited has given Boohoo help to access complete market data at a simple touch of a button. This time data analytics software has helped retailers and brands trade fasters and has assisted in looking towards the whole global market right away from different colors, patterns, and shapes (Manoff, 2018).

The AI system has helped to a greater extends, which has assisted in providing both capability and technology to stay successful. It has helped in staying aligned with business strategy to increase growth, profitability and also make sustainable competitive advantage through data. The peak offers results focused on the artificial bits of intelligence technology and solution in the whole retail values chain. It has controlled demand and supply cycles and has also improved the experiences of customers of Boohoo. AI systems have also helped the business to do more incredible things to be performed with data. Boohoo has reinvented its operations and also expanded brand experiences with its newer innovations in the cloud. The company has Peak to AWS retails competency programs. This solution in retails operations which are powered and vetted through AWS has helped Boohoo customers to enhance its transformation, customer engagement efforts, and also modernization. The usage of AWA retail competency partners, which have undergone validation through AWS to ensure alignment to the AWS effective practices to build secure, resilient, higher performing, and efficient cloud infrastructure. It has also given customers to enhance confidence while making decisions (Reuters, 2020).

Boohoo is also found making usage of forecasting, which is an artificial intelligence technology used in the fashion industry. Newer technologies have helped the company enhance its retailing business and manage inventory by making the help of AI-powered tools to increase demands. Chatbots are also a more contemporary form of artificial intelligence that helps in providing fashion advisers that offer 24*7 connections for customers to assists in making purchasing decisions. The Savvy AI algorithms have assisted Boohoo in tailoring product recommendations and permitted retailers to get access to items they want to buy (Irish times, 2020).

The majority of the business is applying various marketing strategies and sending more significant amounts in digital channels and mainly paid to advertise. Boohoo has also used similar techniques to boost its sales, but it became difficult for the company to stand out from the crowd on google and social media. However, after the usage of the AI-powered Ad Optimization solution by Boohoo, the retail performance of the company has boosted to a greater extends. The use of an AI-powered Ad Optimization solution has helped me providing more excellent results over a shorter period. There was an enhancement in the website sessions and also an increase in the transaction. This has also assisted in driving massive growth in customer acquisitions. This has also helped Boohoo to find precious customers in a cost-effective manner (Reuters, 2020).

It was also encountered that Boohoo also used AI to stay competitive online, wherein it tallies with rivals’ offerings. The AI has helped the company automatically adjust apparel item prices on Amazon with the help of Amazon repricing software. Since prices on Amazon keep fluctuating every 15 minutes, the usage of AI can help fashion to update its pricing every 10 seconds and deliver optimal pricing. It has been analyzed from the study that the revenue of the company got doubled over a year, which reached $308.6 million. As Boohoo’s shoppers are generally females of age 16 to 24, adopting retails of visual search has played a significant role in their habits. This generation of people are glued to their smartphones and does not generally use text-based searches and make visual-oriented searches only (Manoff, 2018).

Chapter 5: Discussion

5.1 Advantages of AI in the retail sector

It has been acknowledged from the study that AI has a significant impact upon the lives of people that includes innovative applications and also more intelligent devices that are designed to recognize customer’s behaviors, preferences, and needs. It can be seen from findings that Artificial intelligence has even benefitted Boohoo company to provide alternatives given to the customers who are looking for items that are out of stock. The AI has also provided the company with refinements and also advanced its search technologies to permit customers and possess advanced search technologies. AI has become the main tool for primary drivers that have resulted in innovation (Saleh, 2019). It has acted as the primary tool for businesses in which data are generated. AI has also been found to act as an essential tool for companies that helps in producing valuable data within a shorter period. As the customers’ needs have been changed to a greater extends because of changes in technology, the importance of AI has been enhanced in the modern world. It was analyzed that AI has helped its customers get similar items linked with the catalog by uploading their pictures. AI was found to influence deeper metadata that had targeted each of the products in inventory to review the images uploaded by customers. The metadata associated with artificial intelligence is of greater importance and has played a central role in customer experience. AI has fueled innovation utilizing AI-driven visual search, machine learning, image recognition, and recommendation employing online means. It was analyzed that in the past, the company faced problems and never used to add values metadata during the time of the process of production as data capturing were time-consuming and manual (Tecuci, 2012). However, when a company makes usage of AI tools as well as technologies that have assisted in transferring the metadata utilizing software, AI is found to help in the management of assets platforms and also allows consumers who are facing issues in e-commerce platforms.

It has been acknowledged that AI is found to play a central role in gathering every required data through specific markets and understanding needs in better ways. AI has also declined the production costs that have also enhance organizational profitability. Apart from that, it is also recognized that AI is reliable wherein data are generated through a system wherein AI makes the decision-making process fast and also saves the business’s time. AI is also found to assist in declining errors of humans that help the company increase efficiency (Boohoo plc, 2020).

5.2 Implementation of AI in the online retail fashion sectors

It has been analyzed from the literature review and findings that advanced technology is one of the main reasons for the transformation of the online retail company. The usage of AI in retails has made manufacturing, marketing, and assembling effective for the company. AI is also beneficial in the increase in the purchasing experience of the customers and also assisted in enhancing customer’s satisfaction levels. The AI is also found to improve sales of retails and also enhance the more extensive data set. AI has also assisted its customer in linking styles preferences with the company’s products. AI has been effective in impacting the purchase decision of customers. Boohoo have attained various newer customers because of pandemic after the company has applied AI in its business operation. It can be acknowledged from the research study that AI not only helps to speed up the procedure of the fashion industry but has also eased in making of decisions (Wang,2019). AI has also helped retailers’ companies to make their business operation ethically and legally. Ai is effective in providing personalized services to its customers. AI has assisted retailers in acknowledging the lifetime values of present customers and even assisted in creating customized products for the customers in a global context. It has been noted from a case study that AI has helped the company in offering personalized fashion products to customers linked with preferences which have a positive influence upon performance and profitability. The precession has even assisted in minimizing overall costs, and its implementation in retail companies has assisted in having better insight into customers and market data. AI has helped in deploying inventory and has also assisted in having better pricing. It is found that online fashion retail organization is effective in proving effective products linked with customers’ preferences keeping in mind the purpose of the customer (Kalicanin & et al. 2019). The companies that adopted AI and analytics have shown a higher growth rate and even assisted in business growth with profitability.

Apart from the above, it is recognized that AI has also assisted the company in increasing its operation to a greater extends. The use of ultra-fast fashion retails has helped the company deliver products to customers in a lesser period and with a span of two weeks. It is found that fast fashion retails have assisted companies in providing products to customers in a significantly lesser period. The usage of EDITED technology by the company has helped retailers in outperforming. Such technology is of greater importance as it helps use machine learning that has allowed retailers to stay in trends with retailers. It is found that apparel buyers and merchandisers rely upon data to make decisions regarding stocks and assist in processing newer products to the customers (Marr, 2019).

Moreover, AI is also found in helping customers to get access to market data with a simple touch of a button. It is stated that AI systems can enhance business operations wherein enhance growth. Sustainable competitive advantage and also profitability utilizing data.

AI also helps businesses perform effectively and expand the experience of brands with newer innovations in the cloud. AI also increases customer engagement, transformation, and modernization, ensuring alignment to build secure higher performing and adequate cloud infrastructure. Customers also attain confidence when making effective decisions. It has been analyzed that newer technology associated with the company has helped increase retail business and manage the inventory with the assistance of AI power tools (Oosthuizen & et al., 2020). Chatbots, which is one of the practical artificial intelligence tools, has also assisted the company in pronging fashion advisers and also offer 24*7 connections for its customers to help in deciding on a purchase. The Savvy AI algorithms are also beneficial in product recommendations and also permitted its retailers to get access to items that are required. AI has also applied marketing strategies and has helped boost sales and thus have made them attain a competitive advantage. The use of AI-powered Ad optimization has also assisted in giving effective results over a shorter period. It has also helped give its customers values in a cost-effective manner (WWD, 2020). Hence, it can be stated that Artificial intelligence has assisted retail fashion organization in a greater extends wherein it have increased organizational growth and profitability.

5.3 Improvement that needs to be made in the retail business with AI

It has been analyzed from findings and literature review that Artificial intelligence is a technology linked with cognitive computing, attaining grounds each day in business sectors. It is a solution set which performs functions like humans. It acquires, identifies, and also processes data to provide solutions like human beings. However, it is found that there are specific challenges that companies regularly face that AI can solve quickly, which include higher costs, repetitive tasks, hours spent performing complex tasks (Forbes, 2019).

It is analyzed that retail companies can enhance their performance with the help of AI technology. These technologies can reduce operating costs and also enhance sales and productivity. AI can help in focusing complex and creative tasks and even assist in making grinds automatically. Artificial intelligence can also help in improving retail performance by providing advanced solutions at lower costs. AI is an effective tool that can assist the company in the optimization of work. It can even help use bureaucratic resources, which costs money (Anica et al., 2021).

It is also acknowledged that artificial intelligence can also be helpful to know the preferences of customers and can even assist in supporting higher volumes of data traffics at high speeds. The usage of customer data, along with the ability to integrate with third-party systems, is also found to have effective in meeting the customers’ needs utilizing existing resources. It is also stated that the implementation of chatbots is also effective in enhancing customer retention and boosting cross-selling and up-selling strategies through interacting with users (Tecuci, 2012). Through the connection of chatbots with other apps such as email marketing platforms and CRM enhances the sales and also the loyalty of the customers. It can thus be stated that retail organizations can improve their operation utilizing artificial intelligence, wherein it can be noted that companies should build omnichannel communication, enhance sales and also reduce costs.

Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations

6.1. Conclusion

This research seeks to add to the information base to evaluate the efficacy of artificial intelligence in retail organizations through the use of the boohoo group plc UK case study. Based on the study objectives, it has been reviewed that AI is now one of the unavoidable parts of human lives in the contemporary global environment. This enables individuals to solve complicated issues. AI Algorithms may also be used to learn, solve problems, think logically, and comprehend the language. In the current technological environment, in particular, self-driving automobiles and personal cars, AI is employed in many more ways. According to the stud, AI uses algorithms to build different models. Accordingly, AI supports identifying the right approach to accomplish a job. The study further explained that AI is an innovative technology that allows individuals to study the facts in greater depth to decide the problem better. It has been found from the study that the current AI is characterized as weak AI or narrow AI. In that connection, it is created primarily to execute a poor task, such as internet search, face recognition, etc. The study categorized AI further according to its functionality. In this connection, a form of reactive machine is the Deep Blue IBM machine, which defeated the grandmaster of chess Kasparov in chess. The device usually interacts with the view of the world.

On the other hand, the study further postulated that limited memory AI is another type of AI. In general, this sort of equipment stores data for a shorter duration. It is also stated from the study that this machine can analyze in today’s environment more information than people who use language without any comprehension. Machine learning, on the other hand, allows software applications to anticipate more accurately.

The study’s objectives further postulated that AI has enormous consequences on people’s lives in several ways, including intelligent apps and intelligent devices that learn both their actions and customer preferences. It gives organizations data to prepare per client requirements that assist businesses in enhancing the quality and productivity of their services. Meanwhile, with technological advances, customers requirement have steadily evolved. They are highly expected from the firm in this circumstance. In the current world of technology, the relevance of AI has therefore grown. In this regard, the study’s objectives go on to say that with a client base of around 14 million, Boohoo is one of the world’s largest online companies. The firm also focuses on the 16-40 year age range.

Moreover, these statistics show that AI may play an essential part in managing a large data set. It has been analyzed from the above study that AI plays a vital role in decreasing manufacturing costs, which enhances the company’s profit in turn. Furthermore, the study revealed that reliability is a further advantage of AI. This method provides trustworthy and accurate information. In addition, AI speeds up the decision-making process, saving the company’s worth of time.

Furthermore, it also helps to reduce the human mistake that allows the firm improve its productivity. The objectives of this study also showed that AI has a crucial function to play when the retail business is transformed in many respects. In this respect, the manner their products and marketing are manufactured has altered. In addition, AI technology has changed all fashion retail firms, including design, value chain, logistics, and other industries. In this perspective, Boohoo Group Plc, one of the UK’s top online retailers, focuses on AI technology to improve their customers’ quality of service. It has been demonstrated that it would be beneficial to turn Boohoo into an online fashion retail firm based on data to provide consumer preferences items with a company objective in mind. Furthermore, AI would also assist improve efficiency and secure the company’s long-term development.

Furthermore, the retail firms began to use chat bots with their conversation helpers. In contrast, it has proven helpful for retail firms to provide an effective service to clients by employing various voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. The consumer also can capture the screenshot of the product for his future requirements with the mobile application based on AI technologies. It is also comprehended from the study’s objectives that assembly, production, and marketing for the firm have made AI’s retail adoption easier. Furthermore, AI also improves the purchasing experience and consumer happiness. In this context, all of this adds up to a very high retail sales rate. It had been analyzed from the study objectives that many new consumers have obtained Boohoo through the pandemic during the last time, and many individuals have begun to focus more on online shopping. It has been reviewed, in this context, that the company aims to apply AI to decrease the problems associated with big data sets in its business processes. The implementation of AI is therefore effective for Boohoo to assure long-term consumer pleasure and a better buying experience. Based on the study objectives, the study also explained that by 2025 Boohoo plans to produce more quality customized items. In this sense, it would be helpful for the firm to use AI technology to collect more precise data about the demand and market trends of its consumers. Thus, the firm could manufacture more customized items according to clients’ needs by using AI effectively.

Furthermore, the firm was also seeking to leverage the AI-driven platform the Bloomreach engagement to grow the number of consumers. It is also reviewed that the platform will enhance the entire consumer experience by helping customers personalize their web experiences and optimize their process of researching. Consequently, Boohoo plans to minimize the carbon content of the value chain that covers every meaningful activity, such as production, the procurement of raw materials, and so on. The firm established a target of 52 percent reductions in this respect by 2030.

However, the study findings suggest that after a lockdown in the UK in May-June 2020, Boohoo saw a substantial drop in sales of their items. The firm has utilized AI to expand its sales by 28-32 percent, which is expected to rise by 36-38 percent. After the claims involving working conditions and poor wages in factories were made, the firm was experiencing a decrease in the supply chain. However, companies use various AI-based technologies to provide transparency and clarify wrongful claims. This study has further explained that to enable its customers, the company’s webpage has made improvements and even made its search technology more advanced. It also allowed consumers to post images of similar identities with the Boohoo catalog. The metadata used by the firm Boohoo is more essential and plays an integral part in user experience. The findings also showed that Boohoo also benefits from using this technology by AI so that its renowned products are correctly stored through receipt analysis and returns to see what shops need. It has also been recognized that by implementing AI-driven customer data, flower reach, and experience platforms, Boohoo has built a single perspective of customers in its 13 brands. The study further noted that Boohoo also used EDITED technology that helped shops to surpass their performance. This technology has helped merchants keep up with every tendency to discover how quickly they change. The company had also welcomed retail expertise programs Peak to AWS. This technology, powered and controlled by AWS in retail operations, has helped Boohoo clients improve their processing, customer engagement, and modernization. The study's findings also suggest that Boohoo has also been discovered to employ forecasts that are an artificial intelligence technology in the fashion sector.

Furthermore, using an ad optimization solution driven by AI has enabled the firm to provide higher outcomes over a shorter period. In this context, the website sessions have been improved, and the transaction also increased. It was also discovered that Boohoo employed AI to stay competitive online by comparing its offerings to competitors. In this context, the AI has helped the company to change the pricing for clothing on Amazon by using the replacement software from Amazon. Therefore, following the evaluation of the complete study, it can be concluded that AI in retail worldwide can assist organizations in increasing workflow efficiency. However, by accessing and utilizing the automated process, Boohoo can use all the information to design experiences that make a significant and beneficial difference in customization, style, and personalized marketing.

6.2. Recommendation

Based on the study, it can be recommended that the retailers should invest in AI technology classes and not only in unique apps to ensure that these technologies are employed throughout the value chain for different tasks. Based on the study, the retail managers of Boohoo need to concentrate on growing AI technology throughout the whole value chain to gain full advantages for the long run. Furthermore, it is also recommended that the company broaden its views and move away from a restricted concentration on technology expenditures exclusively for distribution channels or consumer-oriented solutions. The proposed conceptual framework can enable the company to change its value chains to compete and flourish in the evolving retail market to increase and preserve competitive advantages. Meanwhile, the company needs to have qualified workers to assist in adopting AI, and the demand for experienced experts is even higher. Providing high-quality data at each touchpoint in an AI-enabled retail value chain is highly reliant on skilled workers. This can generate vulnerabilities and risks if the data are less than optimum, as businesses might inadvertently develop prejudices that have adverse effects through data supplied for intelligent automation. In this context, future study is recommended to evaluate how the organization might tackle these weaknesses and minimize possible prejudices. Finally, it is also recommended to expand AI applications throughout the retail value chains; therefore, it will necessitate the establishment of the appropriate platforms, the availability of data, and the long-term commitment of workers to the projects.

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