Kingfisher, the parent company of the B&Q and Castorama brands, has unveiled what it claims is the industry’s first artificial intelligence-powered assistant to help consumers with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

More businesses are utilizing AI to improve customized shopping experiences for customers to save money and increase revenue.

Kingfisher, a FTSE 100 company, said on Tuesday that the virtual assistant will answer clients’ DIY questions online and give step-by-step instructions on a variety of home improvement tasks, as well as product suggestions.

Customers might ask the assistance things like “How do I install a worktop in my kitchen” and “Which saw should I choose to cut my worktop?” The helper will respond with pertinent suggestions.

The assistant will soon be able to analyze photographs to do visual searches and answer visual inquiries, in addition to chatting with consumers via text chat.

The virtual assistant, which can work in different languages, will first be available on the website and app of Kingfisher’s Castorama France business. If it is successful, it will be extended to its other companies, including B&Q and Screwfix in the United Kingdom and Brico Dépôt in France.

We’re hugely excited by the potential of this technology,” said Tom Betts, Kingfisher’s group data director.

Kingfisher is the UK’s biggest home and DIY retailer. Its brands include B&Q and Screwfix, as well as Castorama and Brico Depot in France. It has approximately 1,300 outlets in ten European nations. Pasternoster Stores was created in 1982, and it purchased up British variety store Woolworths, which already owned B&Q. 

In 1989, it was renamed Kingfisher. Kingfisher sought to take over Asda in 1999 but was defeated by US food chain Walmart. Woolworths was spun off from the business in 2001 and closed in 2008. The group has been pursuing a five-year transformation process under the One Kingfisher name since early 2016, to leverage its size. 

This is aimed at generating a cohesive and distinctive offering throughout the whole organization, as well as developing digital capabilities and optimizing operational efficiency. However, with profitability continuing to plummet, the hiring of new CEO Thierry Garnier has meant that this strategy may be abandoned, with rumors that the business may be divided apart.

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