AI, machine vision tech focuses on wooing return shoppers for Gul Ahmed

Machine learning, video analysis helps textile giant attract retail shoppers and convert them to paying customers.

Retailers are on a constant quest to understand what customers do in their stores: What do they look at, touch, reject or buy? Do they return? Answers allow store operators to adjust inventory, refine store layout, price goods, optimize costs and give customers a better experience.

After six years of operating its own brick-and-mortar stores, century-old textile giant Gul Ahmed has gained an understanding of shopper behaviour through machine vision technology. The project aims to streamline operations, attract return customers and  boost revenue -- goals that are in line with what CIOs across the Middle East use to justify large-scale expenditures in IT, according to Gartner.

The company sells its textile merchandise online as well as in retail stores, and has a presence in the UAE, Pakistan and the UK. Across the MENAP (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan) region, it operates over 100 stores for Ideas, its direct-to-consumer (D2C) business launched in 2013, for Eastern fashion apparel and home linen.

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