Batteries Plus dedicates initiative to generative AI

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Batteries Plus AI
Batteries Plus is focusing on AI development.

Batteries Plus is allocating resources to researching various business uses for next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The specialty battery franchise has developed a group called the Center of Excellence to explore the possibilities of utilizing the latest AI platforms in its business model. Ultimately, Batteries Plus seeks to provide enhanced support for franchise owners, stores and associates, with a goal of offering a better overall customer experience.

The retailer is particularly focusing on generative AI, which is based on machine learning (ML) and can create new content and ideas, such as conversations, stories, images, videos, and music. It has most prominently been used in retail as a platform for highly interactive and human-like chatbots based on the ChatGPT model, which interacts with users in a conversational style that mimics human interaction and uses ML to continually refine and improve its responses. 

Some of the potential use cases of generative AI that Batteries Plus' Center of Excellence is focusing on include increasing productivity; improving efficiencies; and enhancing customer experience, training and support. 

The center is also creating new conversational chatbots on knowledge bases, as well as developing tools for content creation and AI-powered developer tools. Batteries Plus said the center is also establishing AI guidelines and policies while promoting best practices.

[Read more: Batteries Plus names new digital head, plans e-commerce revamp]

"As a growing company, we're constantly looking for ways we can expand upon what we do, increasing automation and profitability to our stores and franchise owners," said Jon Sica, chief business officer at Batteries Plus. "Much like the early years of social media when companies incorporated those systems into their marketing strategy to gain huge reach at a relatively low cost, we're now in an advantageous period where we want to make sure we're uncovering all the benefits AI can provide to Batteries Plus."

"ChatGPT took everyone by storm as curious minds turned to the tool to learn how generative AI could be used in their daily lives," said Kranthi Malreddy, CIO at Batteries Plus. "We haven't seen this much revolution and rapid adoption of a technology in a long time. This AI Center of Excellence is going to be crucial for Batteries Plus to remain ahead of the curve by evaluating and utilizing the new developments in this space to help our business and provide a better experience for our customers."

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Hartland, Wis., Batteries Plus is owned by Freeman Spogli, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles and New York City. Batteries Plus currently has more than 800 store locations in operation and development nationwide.