Vijay Verma, Executive Vice President, HCLTech

Vijay Verma is an Executive Vice President (EVP) and an industry leader at HCLTech and currently heads the Retail and CPG business unit for the North America. A global business voice, Vijay has a proven track record of transforming growth experiences and leading profitable charters for his Retail and CPG clients, which include several Fortune 500 companies. Vijay specializes in creating business value through inclusive culture, sustainable business models and strategic transformation programs that increase effectiveness, efficiency, and customer delight – thus imbibing a culture of cohesive growth, together. Vijay is one of the founders and early adopters of HCL’s infrastructure business in the North America and is responsible for the business-line becoming synonymous with global leadership, service excellence and a hallmark of virtue. Vijay is also an opinion columnist and a featured author for the CEOWORLD Magazine, Global Leaders Today Magazine and business alike, voicing his views driving influential impacts and creating harmonized ensemble.


Tipped to be the biggest disruptor to Google; and perhaps in digital history, ChatGPT – a variant of generative pre-training transformer (GPT) – a language model that generates human-like texts through deep learning, has arrived and how. This isn’t science fiction. It’s a force of change, a tipping point for AI-led smart industries. 

Most future-oriented cognitive enterprises across retail and CPG have moved to the cloud and adopted artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to reimagine their business landscape, digitally. They are still undergoing a major transformation as AI-enabled language models like ChatGPT continue to advance and consumer habits shift. Companies have flocked to test its human-like conversation abilities as they see promise in this new technology’s ability to further modify the business landscape. Developed by OpenAI, this powerful AI tool is being used to improve customer service, personalize shopping experiences, and even help with product recommendations. So, what does the future of shopping hold with the advent of this disruptive technology? 

Shopping in the age of ChatGPT – opportunities in the retail and CPG sector

There are various enterprise applications of ChatGPT in retail and CPG. From situations where businesses need to quickly generate natural-sounding conversations from input data to creating blocks of computer codes on demand; early adopters are already experimenting. According to Bloomberg, 30% of professionals have already used ChatGPT or other AI tools in their work. From drafting emails to writing codes, its scope of business application is truly astounding. Here’s a look at some use cases in retail and CPG:

  • Customer service chatbots: Customer-facing chatbots powered by ChatGPT can provide a more personalized shopping experience. For instance, they can: 
  1. Respond to customer queries conversationally and personalize shopping experiences by adopting the specific terminologies used by a retail company. 
  2. Handle large volumes of customer interactions. 
  3. Integrate with CRM software. 
  4. Automate repetitive tasks such as providing shipping information, managing refunds and returns. 
  5. Handle complex queries better than most other rule-based chatbots. 
  6. Reduce costs associated with maintaining a dedicated customer service team.
  7. Identify patterns in complaints or issues with products to help manufacturers improve the quality of their goods in the CGM sector.
  • Product recommendations: ChatGPT can integrate with search engine tools to support a more comprehensive product-search experience. It can learn the preferences of different customers and generate personalized retail recommendations by aggregating customer purchase history, browsing behavior, and product metadata. Other AI-based tools in the market perform the same functions, but ChatGPT is genuinely useful and has breached a threshold. This new AI rage can also support supply chain management for CPG industries. It can track consumer inclinations and identify new opportunities to help manufacturers manage their supply chains better. A Leading online fast-fashion retailer, for instance, already uses AI to manage its inventory. ChatGPT can further fine-tune industrial process flow by unleashing the power of predictive analysis to forecast consumer demands and trends. This can help manufacturers in making better decisions on product development, stocking, pricing, and their marketing strategies. 
  • Product descriptions: ChatGPT can generate natural language descriptions of consumer goods and retail products to populate product catalogs on e-commerce websites. The AI-based tool can be trained to understand the specific language used in a particular product category to generate descriptions that cater to its target audience. ChatGPT can also develop product descriptions in multiple languages for companies that operate in multiple regions. The technology can be used to provide product descriptions in virtual dressing rooms and support voice-enabled shopping assistants. For instance, an American multinational retail corporation has already launched an AI-powered clothing try-on technology for online shoppers. ChatGPT can further calibrate such customer-centric initiatives to push consumers closer to purchase. 
  • Email and SMS marketing: ChatGPT can generate personalized emails and SMS marketing messages tailored to specific customer segments. In addition to SMS messages that offer special deals or discounts, it can help compose personalized emails that remind customers of their abandoned shopping carts. With demographic information, it can provide marketing messages that increase click-through rates. Not surprisingly, about 37% of marketing and advertising professionals have already used AI, including ChatGPT for work.
  • Social media: Social media (SM) platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow businesses to create pages to interact with customers, post updates and promotions, and share product information. ChatGPT can write optimized captions and hashtags that foster maximum engagement. For instance, the technology can support SM posts that remind customers of upcoming sales and new products. ChatGPT-based models can be integrated with SM platforms to reach a larger audience and drive more sales without leaving the platform.

ChatGPT in action – Crossing a threshold in business productivity

The days of leafing through the pages of a Britannica ended with the arrival of the internet. And now, according to Harvard Business Review, the arrival of ChatGPT is a ‘very big deal’ which while may not “work differently than previous AI systems, it’s just better at what it does”. And it is doing so with massive momentum. As an open platform, its market takeover is marking a seminal moment in industrial history. Fine-tuning the scope of human-machine hybrid work, this game-changing AI tool will bring sweeping changes in business and industry. However, for now, we are only scratching the surface of how it can redefine business activity and elevate them toward new levels of productivity.

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