Retailers lacking the skills need to deploy AI solutions effectively

27 per cent of UK retailers fear they don’t have the right expertise in their existing workforce to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies effectively. That’s the key finding of a new report from and WBR Insights, who interviewed 200 senior executives at major multichannel retailers.

The findings follow the release of a Microsoft report published last week called ‘Maximising the AI Opportunity’ which looked at how organisations across different sectors are unlocking the opportunities AI offers. Microsoft’s research found that 39 per cent of retail leaders are not currently using any AI technologies, while 54 per cent of retail leaders believe the ability to develop new processes will be an important skill for their staff in the next five years.’s research highlights the fact that securing talent to deliver much needed personalised digital solutions is one of the biggest challenges facing the retail industry.

“AI has the opportunity to transform the retail sector, from delivering an ever more personalised omnichannel experience for shoppers through to improving customer service chatbots,” said Greig Danes, VP of engineering at “Yet the industry has been too slow to adopt the technology and is now struggling to source the right talent to manage it. With the retail environment more cut-throat than it’s ever been, there is simply no excuse for failing to harness AI’s game-changing potential.”