IKEA has started to use AI-enhanced platform developed by Optoro Inc. to manage returns in 50 of its US locations, reported WSJ on March 2.

New AI-powered system integrates other retail management software in order to identify the optimum destination for the returned items. Based on past transactions and real-time data, machine learning algorithm predicts the item price ,if sold in various channels, and in case the cost of selling exceeds the price, AI recommends to donate the item to the charity.

The IKEA’s business development manager Selwyn Crittendon shared that new system will  help cut the costs, given that now it will take much less effort and time for staff to decide on what to do with returned items, but more importantly, it will help company to achieve its “100% circularity and zero waste” goal.

Currently approximately 15% of the returned items end up as waste. With 10% of all purchases being returned, previous system had a room for improvement. AI-powered system will help to “minimize any waste” coming from IKEA operations, explained Crittendon.

Co-founder and CEO of Optoro Tobin Moore also shared that retailers for long ignored the returns problem, that resulted in both negative business impact and items ending up in landfills, that is why new technologies present a great opportunity to revisit industry standards in the retail industry.

As Future Time previously reported, in February Amazon has started to use artificial intelligence for the customer service chatbots.

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