Retailers enter the AI game to improve customer services

February 23, 2023 | 08:00
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After fintech and technology, the retail sector is seemingly joining the race to utilise AI race after a number of businesses announced plans to develop and integrate this technology into their operating models.
Retailers enter the AI game to improve customer services
WinCommerce will benefit from Masan’s investment into Singaporean AI group Trust IQ

Vietnam’s retail market this month heard that domestic retail giants FPT Retail and Masan would spend plenty of resources on research and application of AI technology as soon as possible.

At FPT Retail, AI will be applied to develop the Long Chau chain, the brand’s successful pharmaceutical retail sector, along with FPT Shop, the electronics store chain.

FPT Long Chau has collaborated with VinUni and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology to research and develop VAIPE technology with funding from the Vingroup Innovation Fund. The application is based on advanced technologies in the field of AI and data science, and VAIPE is expected to assist doctors in scheduling and administering medication, monitoring the patient’s health indicators to give appropriate advice.

Hoang Trung Kien, general director of FPT Retail, said, “FPT wants to put modern AI technology into practical application. The introduction of VAIPE will help us improve the customer service experience.”

Pham Huy Hieu, deputy director of VinUni-Illinois Smart Health Centre, co-developer of VAIPE, added, “This cooperation will provide more solutions to help shape the trend of digital transformation of the pharmaceutical industry in Vietnam.”

Meanwhile, Masan has decided to invest $105 million in AI company Trust IQ, owned by Trusting Social in Singapore.

Trusting Social is an AI-integrated fintech that provides in-depth credit data of over one billion users to over 170 financial institutions in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines. The company has the financial backing of investment funds such as Sequoia Capital, Tanglin Ventures, 500 Startups, Kima Ventures, and Genesis Alternative Ventures.

“The speed and magnitude of our innovation is what gives us confidence about our medium- and long-term growth prospects,” said Masan Group chairman Nguyen Dang Quang.

Retail is one of the sectors with the fastest recovery speed after the pandemic, and also the most attractive business market in Vietnam with the active participation of domestic and foreign businesses.

According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s retail industry currently has a market size of $142 billion and is forecast to grow to $350 billion by 2025. Digital transformation and integration of new technologies are the way many businesses retail industry to step up to gain competitive advantage.

Vu Thi Hau, chairman of the Vietnam Retailers Association, said, “Digital transformation will be the trend of the retail industry in the coming time. Businesses can use AI and sensor fusion technology to automate the checkout process, giving customers a better shopping experience.”

In addition to retail, many other fields in Vietnam are eyeing up an AI future. VinUni from Vingroup also recently said that it is considering applying AI chat software in classrooms or for research. Representatives of cybersecurity company BKAV and Max Land real estate company are also considering the possibility of using AI.

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By Oanh Do

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