Cegid has hosted its latest edition of Cegid Connections Retail in Rome, Italy, showcasing its vision for the future of generative AI in retail.

The international conference brought together more than 500 retail professionals to unveil Cegid Pulse, the company’s AI solution, as the centrepiece of the event.

Cegid Pulse aims to assist retail employees by connecting and simplifying tasks and processes, alerting them to problems and providing instantaneous advice, all with minimal training on the platform.

Demonstrating the solution onstage was Nathalie Echinard, head of the business unit, as she conversed with the AI in real time.

The first use case for Cegid Pulse is an instant translator for sales assistants. Retailers in tourist areas and those targeting consumers of different nationalities could benefit from real-time translation to boost sales.

The AI agent also identifies and records repeat or non-recurring customer preferences from purchase histories, such as size and colour choices, using a tagging system. Sales assistants will then be able to give personalised advice along with product recommendations formulated by the AI system.

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One of the main goals of this solution is to improve employee engagement. According to Cegid, staff turnover is 60% in retail compared to 50% in other sectors. Using technology to streamline and improve employee experiences would lead to more positive customer journeys.

The technology is part of Cegid’s accelerated investments in AI, aimed at combatting significant cost rises and drops in consumption for retailers.

The company uses publicly available large language models (LLMs) and finetunes them to fit the evolving needs of the retail industry.

Several flagship solutions are available: Cegid Retail Live Store, Cegid Retail Store Excellence and Cegid Retail Intelligence. All three will be available on the company’s upcoming “super app”.

Echinard told the audience that “on-prem (on-premises software) is a thing of the past. Crossing new milestones in retail can only be done with SaaS (software-as-a-service).”

The company already works with major global retailers such as PVH, the Benetton Group and Longchamp, and is planning to expand the capabilities of Cegid Pulse based on retailers’ feedback.