AI can add $9 billion to Aussie retail sector by 2030
If Australian retailers play their cards right, they could unlock billions of dollars in value by the end of the decade with the responsible adoption of generative artificial intelligence (GAI).
According to a new report, Australia’s Generative AI Opportunity, GAI could contribute between $45 and $115 billion a year to Australia’s economy by 2030 and retail has been identified as one of the four key sectors poised to benefit from GAI.
Indeed, the technology could add between $3 and $9 billion annually to the sector in Australia.
“Having invested heavily in omnichannel capabilities during the Covid pandemic, Australia’s retail industry is now primed to integrate generative AI into existing digital platforms,” says Kate Pounder, chief executive officer at the Tech Council, which collaborated on the report with Microsoft.
The key drivers are better customer support and personalised experiences as well as streamlined backend operations. According to the report, GAI can automate 30 per cent and augment 32 per cent of the tasks performed by a shop sales assistant, for example. This means more time can be invested in improving customer experiences and products.
In addition, GAI can improve the productivity of customer support workers by 14 per cent as well as drive greater customer engagement and personalisation of products.
“This stands to benefit companies striving to innovate and stand out and customers wanting better service and prices.”
Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) is one Australian company that is exploring GAI. Its chief financial officer, Adam Campbell, recognises the technology’s potential to significantly increase FCTG’s profitability while delivering a better customer experience.
“We have recently been exploring several use cases for generative AI with some of our key partners in this space to help us optimise processes, increase our efficiency and generate more valuable insights,” Campbell says.
“This could not only lead to significant revenue and productivity gains for FCTG, but also a better service offering for customers across our multiple brands. We’re excited to keep exploring how generative AI makes a mark on our business and the travel industry as a whole.”
The report also identifies the barriers that industry and government face in capitalising on GAI in four key areas: technology capability, enterprise readiness, awareness and skills, and responsible AI.
It outlines the strategic actions that both adopters and policymakers need to take for Australia to overcome these challenges including defining the opportunity and vision for GAI, assessing readiness, incentivising adoption and innovation, upskilling the workforce and developing responsible AI governance frameworks.