Anyone with experience of working in a fashion retail store in the early 1990s will remember the hallowed role of the window dresser, or visual merchandiser.

Back then there was a considerable degree of art involved in visual merchandising, depending who you asked the window had to grab attention and interest in between five and seven seconds.

Now in the eCommerce world the online merchandiser’s role is almost entirely data driven. Their tools are databases, spreadsheets and analytics software. What’s more, whilst their bricks and mortar colleagues have limited space to hold stock, the website has a virtually unlimited stock holding.

In this article by our friends at Apptus, we explore the opportunities now available to ecommerce retailers to make their online merchandising completely personalised, relevant and above all automatic. This shouldn’t be any surprise as recently when asked about the adoption of emerging technology at the Retail Hive Live: eCommerce meets Fulfilment, members stated that AI was their biggest priority above Robotics, IoT, Self-driving vehicles and Drones.

So this heightened interest and awareness coupled with staggering results from retailers who have taken the AI-leap of faith (with one retailer experiencing an eight times high click through rate for their automated site compared with the manual site) surely means 2018 could be a year for the machines one way or another?