How Target and Canadian Tire Use Generative AI for Personalized Shopping Experiences, Driving Revenue and Productivity

Produced by


Cari Covent

Head of AI and Emerging Technology
Canadian Tire Corporation

Azita Martin

VP of AI for Retail, CPG and QSR, NVIDIA

Melissa Ludack

VP Technology Services and Innovation, Jacksons Food Stores

Hayley Tabor

Vice President, Global Industries
Dell Technologies

This session, held during NRF 2024, was centered around how Target and Canadian Tire are leveraging Gen AI for personalized shopping, revenue growth, and increased productivity. Throughout the session, Hayley Tabor, Vice President of Global Industries at Dell Technologies, facilitated the discussion, prompting panelists to share insights into their companies' Gen AI journeys, including use cases, alignment with business goals, and data management strategies. She emphasized the importance of responsible AI practices and executive buy-in in ensuring successful implementation.

Cari Covent, the Head of AI and Emerging Technology Strategy at Canadian Tire Corporation, outlined the company's comprehensive AI strategy, focusing on four main pillars: shifting mindsets, boosting employee productivity, enhancing customer shopping experiences, and developing a responsible AI framework. Canadian Tire's approach to AI, including Gen AI like ChatGPT, prioritizes a human-centered approach to problem-solving and aims to leverage AI as a tool to solve problems in innovative ways. They have identified high-value use cases aligning with their business strategy and have undergone extensive discovery processes to evaluate their viability, desirability, and feasibility. Canadian Tire emphasizes responsible AI practices, including collaboration with partners and adherence to ethical frameworks. Despite facing hurdles such as managing expectations and adapting to rapidly changing technology, Canadian Tire remains committed to leveraging AI to transform the way they work. They anticipate a shift towards comprehensive system solutions that will revolutionize business operations.

Play Video

Melissa Ludack, the Vice President of Data Science at Target Corporation, shared insights into their approach to implementing AI, particularly focusing on Gen AI, within their marketing and digital businesses. She highlighted the significance of executive immersion sessions to ensure alignment with organizational goals and the exploration of various large language models through partnerships to inform their strategy. Target emphasizes experimentation, setting tight timelines, and maintaining flexibility to pivot quickly as essential components of their AI journey.

Target's strategy involves leveraging existing AI solutions alongside Gen AI, positioning themselves as strategic planners in the middle ground between visionary leaders and fast followers. They prioritize use cases grounded in business objectives, human-centricity, and measurable impact. Target's data management practices involve certifying data sets for consistency and reliability, ensuring that all AI initiatives operate within the same ecosystem.

In terms of responsible AI, Target applies a framework built on principles of privacy, accountability, transparency, and security. They establish governance structures, including a centralized platform for managing language models and a steering committee to assess risks associated with use cases. Melissa emphasized the importance of executive buy-in, experimentation with diverse models, and agility in implementation as key lessons learned.

Looking forward, Target anticipates advancements in personalization to enhance the guest shopping experience and the evolution of digital co-pilots and assistants, shaping how consumers interact with AI tools. Overall, Target remains committed to leveraging AI to drive innovation and improve customer experiences while prioritizing responsible and ethical practices.

Azita Martin, Vice President of AI for Retail, CPG, and QSR at NVIDIA, highlighted the importance of leveraging generative AI to drive business value, citing examples such as employee productivity enhancement, SEO optimization through descriptive product descriptions, and creating marketing campaigns using multimodal capabilities.

Azita emphasized the significance of multimodal capabilities in AI evolution, enabling interactions with images and videos to enhance customer experiences. She stressed the importance of training models to represent brand values and employing techniques like supervised training and guardrails to ensure appropriate responses, thereby dubbing generative AI as an assistant for both employees and customers.

Furthermore, Azita encouraged businesses to take proactive steps in AI implementation, emphasizing the need to select impactful use cases and partner with experts to stay competitive. She expressed excitement about ongoing innovation in the AI space and encourages individuals to stay informed and adapt to leverage emerging capabilities effectively.

JUNE 2024