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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.

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.

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Analyze This: 6 Ways Retailers Put Artificial Intelligence To Work

1VP NutonianWhen 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.

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Centralized Data Streamlines Collaboration For Happy Family

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.

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Starmount Partnership Powers Omnichannel Payments

Starmount logoA 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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LXRPlugin Brings Smart Analysis To Google AdWords Search Engine Reporting

Search marketing agency NetElixir has launched its AdWords analysis and reporting dashboard LXRPlugin, a platform designed to provide insights to businesses managing search campaigns while saving time and costs.

LXRPlugin can generate Google campaign reports as well as more than 20 analytics reports, and can detail steps needed to enhance campaign performance. The plug-in tool enables users to pull the report data directly from Google AdWords into their Excel templates.

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Analytics Solutions Help Retailers Tame IoT Data Torrent

With retailers expected to spend an estimated $2.5 billion on IoT hardware and installation costs by 2020, there will be no shortage of demand for software that makes use of data collected through in-store devices, sensors and beacons.

SAS Analytics for IoT is designed to enable organizations to accumulate, interpret and make decisions based on collected data. The solution suite is built to help businesses improve safety, reduce injuries and/or enhance product quality, all of which can potentially translate into healthier profits. Retailers in particular have opportunities to predict maintenance needs, personalize offers on the spot and trigger actions that deliver bottom-line business value.

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Prelert Machine Learning Analytics Detects Incidents And Trends In Real Time

With retailers facing difficulties monitoring high volumes of data and identifying trends in real time, Prelert launched the Retail Order Analytics solution, which focuses on providing merchants with machine learning behavioral analytics capabilities.

The solution is designed to assist digital and multichannel retailers in identifying technical and operational issues in real time in order to stem losses and protect revenue streams. Retailers can apply the solution to analyze real-time transaction metrics such as:

  • Orders per minute;

  • Carts created per minute;

  • Invoices per hour; and

  • Deposits per hour, so that revenue-impacting events can be found and fixed quickly.

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Jenny Yoo Grabs Real-Time Data With PLM Solution

Awful, garish bridesmaid dresses may be a staple of comedic films, but they're not so funny in real life. Since 2002, Jenny Yoo Collection has offered stylish, understated apparel for all members of the bridal party.

The designer recently selected a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution from NGC that provides real-time visibility to product data, along with the ability to share information with planning, merchandising, design, costing, sourcing, manufacturing and logistics departments.

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Rock/Creek Unites Digital And Store-Based Customer Tracking

Rock/Creek has a lot to gain from learning about its customers — particularly their plans for outdoor adventures. The retailer's most valuable shoppers are those who are about to "graduate"— set off on a backpacking trip across Europe, hike the length of the Pacific Coast Trail or scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Knowing exactly when these trekkers are prepping to leave allows Rock/Creek to supply them with everything they need to enjoy the trip (and hopefully survive to return and buy more products). The total "spend" from these customers easily can reach $5,000 to $6,000 per adventure, including items like specially designed shoes, GPS-enabled watches and emergency communicators.

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How IoT And Big Data Unite To Make Customer Service Smarter

1insightlyWe’ve all seen the commercials highlighting how the Internet of Things (IOT) has already changed the way we live our daily lives. If you leave your garage door open, a smartphone lets you close it with just a few taps. If you’re lost heading to a friend’s house, he can send the address to your car’s GPS. It’s amazing how we can benefit from the growing ubiquity of IoT. As a retailer, though, how exactly can you take advantage of this technology to improve the way you serve customers?

The answer touches a number of key areas. However, the most significant aspect may be IoT’s ability to make your customer service teams more proactive. With IoT and the data generated and shared from the products your customers use, your business can develop a more complete understanding of your existing customers, to serve and understand them more effectively. This allows retailers to stop reacting to customer issues and instead learn to anticipate their needs before they arise.

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Retail Success In The 'Era Of I'

Era of I OracleRetailers know that they need to be focused on pleasing the individual in order to be successful in what is called the "Era of the Individual – Era Of I," according to Oracle's recent survey of 300 C-level executives across a number of industries. And "I" includes employees as well as customers.

But although executives across industries acknowledge the importance of the individual, just 13% of retailers gave themselves an "A" grade for these efforts (more than 50% gave themselves a "C" grade), as noted in the survey report, titled: The Era I Enterprise: Ready For Anything.

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Bluefly Shores Up Marketplace Strategies With Prescriptive Analytics

Bluefly, an e-Commerce fashion retailer with more than 2,500 available brands, has partnered with prescriptive analytics platform DynamicAction to further its transition into a pure-play marketplace.

DynamicAction will analyze data from across Bluefly’s organization and prescribe business actions across merchandising, e-Commerce, marketing and operations designed to:

  • Improve Bluefly’s business performance;

  • Rank actions by business impact; and

  • Act as collaboration software to enable rapid, profitable action.

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