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Business Intelligence / Data / Analytics

In order to be successful in today’s omnichannel retail marketplace, merchants must collect information from numerous internal and external sources, then analyze that data. New solutions can help to optimize incoming data in order to deliver the business intelligence and analytics needed to move retail businesses successfully into the future. This section offers feature articles, special reports, industry viewpoints and the latest news to help retailers make sense out of the growing influx of information.

Avery Dennison Releases IoT-Enabling Smart Products Platform

Packaging materials and solutions provider Avery Dennison has released the Janela Smart Products Platform, a digital enablement window designed to connect footwear and apparel products to an IoT “software brain” that creates product experiences when users connect using a smartphone. Over the course of three years, Avery Dennison will digitize a minimum of 10 billion apparel and footwear products from fashion, performance and footwear brands, giving them unique, item-level digital identities before shipping globally.

Left Behind: Only 15% Of Retailers And Manufacturers Have Access To Supply Chain Data Featured

Although the supply chain remains integral to retail’s timeliness and customer experience capabilities, industry players are still having difficulty gathering data that could streamline its processes. In fact, only 15% of retailers and manufacturers have access to the data they’re collecting across their extended supply chain, while just 23% of those that have access actually analyze data for decision making purposes, according to a research study from Capgemini Consulting and GT Nexus.

How To Manage New Overtime Pay Rules Featured

Proposed changes to overtime pay rules that are scheduled to take effect at the height of the holiday season have retailers worried and angry about the impact on their labor budgets and bottom lines. The Department of Labor rules change, which will go into effect Dec. 1, 2016, roughly doubles the current overtime pay threshold of $455 per week, or an average of $23,360 annually. The new threshold will be $913 per week or $47,476 annually. Workers making less than this amount will now be eligible for overtime pay when their work week exceeds 40 hours.

#RIC16 Spotlights Retail's Most Creative Disruptors Featured

The retail model that has held sway for the last 2,000 years — build a store, stock it with appealing products and wait for customers to come in — is broken, and Ken Hughes knows who broke it. The consumer and shopper behaviorist was the keynote speaker at the second annual Retail TouchPoints Retail Innovation Conference, held May 9-11 in New York City. Hughes identifies the "Blue Dot" consumer as the culprit behind today's industry upheaval. To make his point he spread out a paper road map and noted that in order to use one of these, an individual had to know where she was in relation to the wider world. But smartphone map apps now do this for us automatically, creating a "you are here" Blue Dot. "That consumer is not a small part of a big world; they are the world, and they are at its center," said…

Top Takeaways From #RIC16 Innovation Labs Featured

This year's Retail Innovation Conference, held May 10-11 at Apella in New York City, brought together 185 of the industry's most innovative retail executives, who shared uniquely valuable retail disruption and innovation trends. Also featured at #RIC16 were eight Innovation Labs, highly focused workshop sessions covering a wide range of current "pain points." Presentations were led by the industry's leading solution providers and their customers. Here are some key takeaways from these sessions:

Goodwill Uses Analytics To Discover Flaws In 'Super Saturday' Sales Strategies Featured

While retailers often turn to discounts and sales to drum up consumer interest, a lack of data behind the decision-making process can limit these promotions' revenue-generating benefits. With the help of analytics software provider Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), Goodwill of Greater Washington was able to identify the shortcomings of its “Super Saturday” sales promotions, which helped the organization craft more efficient campaigns in its Washington D.C. stores. When local Goodwill locations began to hit downward trends in sales, particularly throughout the winter season, the retailer decided to launch “Super Saturday” sales designed to offset the losses and bring more consumers into the stores. But the retailer began to suspect that while the promotions were building store traffic, they might not be achieving the goal of improving revenues.

Apple-SAP Deal Tailors iOS App Development To Retail Business Needs

The iPhone and iPad have just become more enticing to retail professionals as well as web developers looking to build out new apps for their retail clients. Apple and SAP are partnering to combine the devices’ mobile capabilities with features from the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. This joint effort will deliver a new iOS software development kit (SDK) and training academy so that developers, partners and customers can build native iOS apps tailored to individual business needs.

Fun.com Boosts Email Conversions Up To 15% With Personalized Offers Featured

When a once-a-year purchase cycle is built into your name, as it is for HalloweenCostumes.com, marketing’s task of retaining customers becomes extremely challenging. "People will buy a costume only once a year, so we need to 'win back' the customer every year," said Mark Bietz, CMO of online retailer Fun.com, parent company of HalloweenCostumes.com. Bietz and his marketing team use a number of tools and tactics to stay in touch with Fun.com's customers throughout the year, such as providing tips for throwing a great party and reminders about the costume they purchased the previous year. But it's a personalization solution from Qubit — which Fun.com deployed beginning in September 2015 — that is having the most dramatic impact.

Engaging Customers Differently: From Tagline To Reality

The end goal for all retailers should be to achieve “customer intimacy,” according to Aptos CEO and Culture Leader Noel Goggin. During his keynote presentation at Aptos ENGAGE in Las Vegas May 2-5, 2016, Goggin showed how a series of retailers, including Payless ShoeSource, Plow & Hearthand rue 21 have embraced cloud, CRM and other technologies to improve customer relationships. With these examples, he encouraged retail attendees to “take that relationship with the customer and drive it to where you want to go.”

1-800-FLOWERS Automates Gift Recommendations

Still wondering what to get Mom for Mother's Day? Move over Watson…GWYN can help. GWYN, which stands for "Gifts When You Need," is an artificial intelligence-powered gift concierge that uses natural language processing to engage in automated conversations with 1-800-FLOWERS shoppers. Currently in beta test, the interactive platform guides customers through the shopping experience across the retailer's online brands, including Harry & David, Cheryl's cookies, Fannie May chocolates, The Popcorn Factory and 1-800-Baskets.com.

Analyze This: 6 Ways Retailers Put Artificial Intelligence To Work

When a shopper walks into a retail store or visits a retailer’s website, data science isn’t likely top-of-mind. But everything — whether it’s physical or online — is strategically placed to optimize the customer experience and maximize sales for the retailer, or at least it should be. From store location, product placement, items on sale, which employees are working, etc., there is strategy behind these seemingly simple things to ensure the retailer makes the most out of every aspect of its operation. And the early adopters are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to solve their most pressing data-driven problems. Here are six ways retailers are putting AI to work.

Centralized Data Streamlines Collaboration For Happy Family Featured

Though it's owned by a multinational conglomerate, Happy Family Brands still maintains the attitude — and the staffing levels — of a scrappy, agile start-up. That means collaboration and communication are always at a premium, particularly when it comes to managing complex multi-stage tasks like introducing a new product. To raise the stakes even higher, because its products are organic baby foods, numerous regulatory, food science and quality assurance (QA) requirements must be met along the way from original ideation to delivery to the retailer's shelf.

Dunnhumby Acquires Stake In Aptaris To Optimize Promotion Analytics

Customer science company dunnhumby has invested in Aptaris, an enterprise marketing and promotions management technology provider, just a few months after the two companies announced a strategic partnership agreement. With the partnership, dunnhumby can further extend its data analytics to retailers.

Starmount Partnership Powers Omnichannel Payments

  • Published in News Briefs
A new partnership between Starmount and Aurus offers retailers the ability to implement payment solutions that are capable of processing both in-store and e-Commerce transactions. Retailers will be able to incorporate payment-as-a-service with their Starmount POS solutions, including Starmount Engage mobile POS, managing consumers' payment processes separately from their POS transaction data.
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