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The pandemic strongly influenced consumer tastes, particularly the need for faster, more seamless purchasing experiences. Students in the Gen Z cohort have expressed an interest in using technology to help them shop in physical stores. According to a recent survey conducted by the CM Group, Gen Z customers born in 1997 and after prefer to purchase in a store over online shopping more than any other generation, and 75 percent prefer to use their smartphone when shopping online, compared to 69 percent of Millennials.
AiFi, a startup headquartered in California, is a customizable AI platform that allows merchants to install and expand autonomous shopping solutions at an affordable cost. The company’s technology is being utilized to open various retail types, including grocery stores, sports stadium canteens, university convenience stores, and more. According to the organization, the camera-only solution powered by AiFi does not require weighted shelves, which cuts down on implementation costs and time. Moreover, AiFi makes use of innovative tracking algorithms, and it is being claimed that they stretch up to 10,000 square feet to accommodate a variety of shopper journeys, including app, credit card, gated, and hybrid entry.
The deployment process of Aifi has the following steps:
- Talking to an AiFi onboarding expert in order to find a solution for your store.
- Installing cameras and hardware (no shelves)
- Connecting and testing integrations to other retail solutions available.
- Begin collecting real-time data.
- Educating customers and stakeholders on the new technology available in your store.
The advantages that the organization claims are:
- Flexible Installation
- Safe and Contactless
- Operational Efficiency
- Optimized Productivity
AiFi recently announced a $65 million Series B funding. This round of funding also brings AiFi’s total capital to $80 million. It would be used primarily to expand the company’s technical team in order to meet the growing demand for the company’s solution. The company has claimed successful platform integrations and strong customer feedback, and accordingly, the company’s retail partners have made strategic investments that demonstrate a desire to scale with AiFi.
The company has claimed to power one of the most extensive contact-free frictionless markers in collaboration with ALDI South Group in London. In addition, the company has also worked with Carrefour in France to open a first-of-its-kind 10/10 Flash concept store and claimed to have installed the first autonomous Carrefour City+ in Dubai. Plus, AiFi has extended to NFL stadiums and music festivals. The benefit of the same, according to the company, has been a 50% reduction in average transaction and line time and a 170 percent boost in per cap sales.
Amreen Bawa is a consulting intern at MarktechPost. Along with pursuing BA Hons in Social Sciences from Panjab University, Chandigarh, she is also a keen learner and writer, having special interest in the application and scope of artificial intelligence in various facets of life.