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.

For MGM Resorts Casinos, Price Optimization Is A Sure Bet

For the vast majority of brick-and-mortar retailers, customer demographics shift gradually: the neighborhood gentrifies or goes downscale, or a competitor's closure drives more people to a particular location.

For the 150 different retail stores located within 15 MGM Resorts International hotel casino properties, however, the customer base can change radically from week to week or even day to day. That's one of the factors that makes pricing both a challenge and a major opportunity for these retailers.


Big Data Goes Small (Business)

1Norm Merritt ShopKeepCorporate behemoths are no strangers to big data. Big box retailers like Walmart have been leaning on detailed analytics for some time now, using insights to inform business strategy and enhance their competitive advantage. Take Target for example — linger too long in their shoe department and you may receive a coupon for those running shoes you checked out online, but never bought.

These capabilities have largely remained the privilege of retail giants, but thanks to advancing technology — such as smart point-of-sale systems — small businesses are getting a piece of the big data pie, giving them the tools needed to take back Main Street. For the first time, independent merchants have access to previously uncaptured and inaccessible data — a capability that will forever change consumer-merchant relationships. It’s a real-life David and Goliath story, small merchant versus corporation, with big data as the proverbial slingshot. How small businesses apply these analytics, however, will determine the outcome of this unprecedented opportunity.


Mobee Selects Grimes For Chief Revenue Officer Post

Mike Grimes MobeeCrowdsourced insights provider Mobee has chosen Mike Grimes as its new Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Grimes, who has more than a quarter century of experience in digital solutions for retail, will lead the company's go-to-market strategy, sales and business development efforts.

"Crowdsourced intelligence will play an important role in the future of retail, just as Waze and Kickstarter have transformed navigation and funding," said Grimes in a statement. "Brands and retailers are seeking new ways to collaborate, and Mobee's platform provides a unique lens into the behaviors of their common denominator — the shopper."


Timberland Tablets Blaze A Trail Connecting Physical And Digital Commerce

Timberland Tap Wall Herald Square 1.16.16There's a bit of the great outdoors in one of the most urban locations imaginable: the Timberland store in Manhattan's Herald Square, literally steps from the Empire State Building. The retailer is in the midst of a 90-day pilot there that provides visitors with technological "Sherpas" in the form of NFC-enabled tablets available at a kiosk/charging station. When shoppers use a tablet to tap tagged inventory, rich product information comes up on the screen.

"We're creating a blended physical/digital environment where we can show product and immerse customers in the Timberland brand, while gaining a better understanding of their preferences in-store, online and post-visit to help shape our retail strategy," explained Timberland's VP of Direct to Consumer Kate Kibler in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.


How To Forge Ahead In The New Year: Lessons Learned From #NRF16

Positive vibes reverberated throughout the vast exhibit halls and session spaces during #NRF16. Retailers, solution providers and industry analysts all seem ready for an exciting, disruptive and innovative year.

The six members of the Retail TouchPoints editorial staff also felt this vibe. Here are the key themes, lessons learned and Quick Tips from our insiders' perspectives:


SAS Demonstrates IoT That Improves Customer Connections In-Store

1sasWith IoT expected to take a major step forward in retail this year, solution providers are tasked with unleashing the most practical platform to meet the demand. During #NRF16, analytics software provider SAS illustrated the roles the technology may play when it demonstrated its own IoT capabilities.

SAS Analytics for IoT is the company’s first offering in the IoT space, and is expected to be released in spring 2016.


SATO, Intel Combine IoT Solutions With Big Data Analytics

1satointelSATO Global Solutions (SGS) is collaborating with Intel to provide a data-driven, end-to-end IoT solution designed to improve inventory accuracy.

According to McKinsey, IoT innovations in store layout, automated checkouts, and inventory management are expected to impact retail by up to $1.2 trillion worldwide by 2025, as a result of transforming business processes and enabling new business models.


Giant Eagle Deploys Task Management Tools To Manage Constant Change

Realizing that dealing with the unexpected is actually the norm, supermarket chain Giant Eagle is in the process of restructuring its store operations, task management and communications to reflect this reality.

In an #NRF16 Big Show session titled Real-Time Customers Require Real-Time Store Operations, Chris Kelly, Senior Director of Operations, Planning and Engineering for the 422-store retailer noted that "Store associates are being asked to do things they have never done before," due to a combination of new offerings, larger stores, omnichannel demands, a greater shift to local products and new regulations from agencies including the FDA and OSHA.


ShopperTrak Unveils Advanced Analytics Platform At #NRF16

1shoppertrakShopperTrak, a provider of in-store consumer behavior insights, introduced its Advanced Analytics platform at the NRF 2016 Big Show. The platform is designed to integrate multiple data sets into a centralized location to provide added insight for retailers and mall owners/operators. 

With these data sets aggregated from both internal and external sources, retailers can further analyze all relevant information in order to understand what is happening in their category, market and store.


Don’t Lose Out On Millennial Buying Power With A Bad Mobile App

1VP PushBy 2017, Millennials are set to become the generation with the strongest buying power in the U.S., with $200 billion burning a hole in their collective pocket. Born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, Millennials are in many ways the first truly digital and mobile-driven generation for retailers to contend with. But, while more than 85% of them own a smartphone, a recent Accenture study found that rather than shopping consistently online, Millennials actually prefer the in-store brick-and-mortar experience.

The question of how retailers can capitalize on this contrasting pairing of behaviors can be answered not just by deploying mobile applications, a tactic many have been using to varied effect for the last few years, but by launching mobile applications that offer seamless location-based services to shoppers as they tread that thin line between mobile and in-person engagement.


Infor Invests $25 Million For Stake In Predictix

1infor predictixInfor, an enterprise software vendor, has invested $25 million in cloud-based retail analyst Predictix. This partnership will give Infor a small stake in Predictix with the opportunity to purchase the company in full.

With this investment, Infor will become a reseller of Predictix. This will allow the company to deploy, manage and support its big data analytics applications for customers in the Infor cloud. Infor will also infuse Predictix into the development of Infor CloudSuite Retail, a cloud-based management suite built for Whole Foods Market, a mutual customer.


RetailNext Brings Aurora Sensor To Expanded Platform

1RetailNextRetailNext has extended its platform capabilities to include its new Aurora sensor. It will unveil the Aurora at the NRF BIG Show in New York City from Jan. 17 to Jan. 19, 2016.

The Aurora sensor is integrated into RetailNext’s cloud-based and on-premise platforms and is designed to simplify shopper behavior measurement by leveraging sensor fusing video analytics, Bluetooth BLE and Wi-Fi technologies.


WFM Giant Kronos Grows Even Larger With Empower Software Acquisition

Kronos logoWorkforce management powerhouse Kronos Inc. has acquired Empower Software Solutions for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition adds nearly 1,000 organizations to the client list of the $1.1 billion company, and extends Kronos' leadership in the retail industry by adding innovative retail scheduling functionalities to its portfolio.

Kronos will support the acquired customers through a dedicated team of Empower Software employees, and these customers will have access to a complementary array of Kronos WFM solutions.

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