Vend rolls out Dott, an AI booster for retailers

Vend rolls out Dott, an AI booster for retailers

Dott will learn about the user's business and use big data to make suggestions for improvement

Vaughan Rowsell - founder of Vend.

Vaughan Rowsell - founder of Vend.

Point-of-sale and retail software firm Vend is launching an artificial intelligence (AI) tool as part of its new Vend Platform.

The AI tool, dubbed Dott, is part of a what Vend describes as a major platform refresh. Dott aims to help retailers make better decisions about managing their stores. The feature makes real-time suggestions and tips for retail users based on their current activity.

Dott learns about the retailers business through their use of the Vend Platform and by analysing their sales, product, customer and inventory information in real-time.

It then makes personalised suggestions to retailers on what they should do next to increase their business such as highlighting ways to engage with customers and keep them coming back or how to keep the right products in stock.

Dott will also be informed by data from the tens of thousands of international retailers using the Vend Platform.

As it learns and develops further, Dott will be able to give retailers a heads up on new product trends and customer behaviour or analyse a retailer’s sales trends and provide suggestions on promotions, Vend says.

“AI means many things to different people, from talking to Siri to autonomous cars," Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell says.

"We wanted to simply present Vend as if you had a partner in your retail business that greeted you every day and was keeping an eye on things 24/7, making really smart suggestions on what to do next to grow.”

Vend is far from the only Kiwi tech company pusing the boundaries through AI however.

Cloud accounting software developer Xero has been adding machine learning capabilities across its platform for several years.

Earlier this week, New Zealand online travel and expense management software company Serko said it was poised to roll out its Zeno AI technology globally, through an emerging agreement with ATPI Group.

Zeno uses artificial intelligence to interpret natural language queries and simplify self-managed bookings, performing tasks such as recommending flights and hotels that conform to company booking rules or reflect travellers’ habits.

Vend says it is hiring engineers to increase the size of its product and engineering teams by 25 per cent in the next six months.

That will enable it to go deeper into AI and big data as well as build for other best-of-breed platforms and new online retail channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Over the last six months, Vend has delivered a new look home dashboard, a re-built and streamlined core inventory platform and the Scanner by Vend inventory counting app.

It has also recently announced partnerships with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Square in Canada and the UK, PaymentSense in the UK and Yoco in South Africa.

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