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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.

Microsoft Enters Cashier-Less Tech Race: Will Checkout Lanes Become Relics?

The news that technology powerhouse Microsoft is working on cashier-less technology that could help retailers compete with Amazon Go signals a major advance in this area. Still, questions remain about exactly what kind of solution will best solve shoppers’ checkout pain points. While some consumers may welcome a cashier-free environment, others might want more cashiers on duty to provide assistance if needed. Tech-savvy retailers are still trying to figure out the optimal way forward. Kroger has made major investments in its Scan, Bag, Go technology, which allows shoppers to scan products either with a device provided by the store or with their smartphones. The retailer is in the process of expanding the program to 400 stores, and Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm identified the technology as one of his proudest achievements of the past few years.

GDPR Survey Study Shows Majority of U.S. Business Aren’t Fully Prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union based regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and the privacy of any European Union (EU) natural persons when transactions occur within EU states. Data protected under the GDPR includes identifiable information (names, addresses, dates of births), web-based data, health and genetic data and biometric data. These bylaws were officially enforceable as of May 25, 2018 and apply to all businesses interacting and performing marketing tasks to EU data subjects. The GDPR is based on the precedent that private information always is, or should be, private and that individuals have rights surrounding that data. The exact words according to the GDPR are that “data protection is a fundamental right.”

Wiser Integrates Data Collection On Pricing, Merchandising, Promotions

Wiser, a retail analytics platform, is designed to empower brands and retailers to customize how data is collected, analyzed, and integrated into their existing workflows. The platform gathers and analyzes billions of data points across web stores, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, emails and social media. Using a combination of data science and human validation, the solution generates powerful insights and integrates them with workflow software to drive measurable cost and time savings and ensuring profitable growth.

59% Of Shoppers Won’t Buy Items With ‘Arbitrary’ Prices

When shoppers perceive that an item’s price is unfair or arbitrary, a majority (59%) will refuse to buy the product. However, they will accept price increases or decreases that remain within a “fair” range, particularly if the changes are based on data science, according to a Forrester Consulting study that examined consumer attitudes toward pricing and promotions. An original survey in May 2017 queried 1,250 shoppers in the U.S., UK, France, Germany and Brazil and Forrester followed up with additional research in April 2018. Key findings included:

How A Digital Storefront Enhances The Physical Experience At Mizuno

Designed to “capture the new digital savvy customer and showcase Mizuno product cross-sport,” the digital solutions in place at Mizuno flagship stores are driving global customer engagement and loyalty. Mizuno operates one flagship store in the U.S., as well as others in key markets worldwide. The digital display merchandising solution, provided by Perch, features self-serve technology that brings the digital online experience into the brick-and-mortar store. This technology is a key focus of the Mizuno Experience Center, located in The Battery, the U.S. flagship store in Atlanta. Here, shoppers can immerse themselves in digital experiences to book custom fittings for golf clubs or running shoes, assess their baseball swing, get gloves steamed and more.

Bloomingdale’s Ties Training To $3 Million In Savings

Bloomingdale’s has been using the Axonify Microlearning Platform for associate training since 2013, but the retailer could not quantify the financial impact of the program until the recent addition of a new product, called Axonify Impact. With this functionality, Bloomingdale's was able to tie its safety and asset protection training…
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45% Of Retailers Still Lag In GDPR Compliance Ahead Of May 25 Deadline

Retailers targeting consumers in the European Union (EU) are counting down the days until they must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline of May 25. The regulations will introduce more stringent provisions for organizations processing consumer data. But while 55% of retailers say they were largely or completely GDPR-compliant as of April 2018, that leaves 45% that say they are lagging behind or only partially compliant, according to Capgemini. In April 2016, the EU adopted GDPR, a new set of business rules and regulations designed to protect the individual rights of European citizens, including those relating to data access, automated decision making, profiling and the right of the consumer to restrict processing. As many as 57% of European consumers will reduce spending and delete data with organizations that they perceive to be in breach of GDPR, the Capgemini study noted.

Social Commerce Best Practices: Optimize Mobile, Match Products To Platform Strengths

Social media is no longer just a place for building brand awareness or loyalty: it’s another potential storefront, a frontier where the customer journey can take on fresh new forms. There are approximately 3.2 billion active social media users today, according to Hootsuite. The major platforms have enormous audiences that are too big to ignore: 800 million Instagram users (as of December 2017), according to Omnicore; 255 million Snapchat users (as of June 2017), according to TechCrunch; 175 million Pinterest users (as of April 2017); and More than 2.2 billion Facebook users (as of March 2018).

When It Comes To IoT, Everyone Can Learn From Retail

It seems like everyone’s getting into the Internet of Things (IoT) these days. The truth, however, is that we’ve barely cracked the surface of the number and types of companies who could be selling IoT products and services to their customers and — for whatever reason — aren’t. Most of that market noise you’re hearing is from the vendors themselves, and from the traditional retailers who successfully sell IoT products in the same way they sell other products such as WiFi routers, laptops and diapers.

Retail Winners Are Taking A New Approach To Space Management

More stores opened than closed in 2017, according to IHL Group, with retailers like T-Mobile adding 1,500 new locations. Yet, JCPenney, Foot Locker, Toys ‘R’ Us and others have shuttered hundreds already this year. How are some retailers increasing sales in retail and expanding their store footprint, while others shut their doors? While there are many factors, successful retailers are taking a new, more aggressive approach to space management. Instead of relying on traditional clustering and one-size-fits-all planograms, they are taking a more ‘store-centric’ approach — investing in building robust digital models of their entire store footprint, putting digital merchandising tools in the hands of their associates, and using automation to enable visual merchandisers and space planners to quickly and easily create store-specific plans.

#RIC18: For Dunkin’ Brands, Data Identifies CX Pain Points

Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience, Dunkin' Brands   Data can provide retailers with a lot of answers — but in some cases, its most useful function is identifying which questions the retailer needs to ask. Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience at Dunkin’ Brands, shared several real-world examples of how the retailer used surveys, analysis and AI technology to figure out why the expected didn’t happen or the unexpected occurred. At the Retail Innovation Conference session titled Closing The CX Chasm, Murray was joined by ERDM Founder Ernan Roman. “Customers have unprecedented and unmet expectations about personalized value,” said Roman. “There’s a chasm between the customer experience (CX) fantasy that brands have versus reality.”

#RIC18: How TechStyle Optimizes Personalization With Continuous Testing

For most retailers, one-to-one personalization is a goal to work towards rather than an actual achievement — but TechStyle Fashion Group is an exception. The retailer, which includes the Fabletics, JustFab and ShoeDazzle brands, has succeeded in making personalization practical. At the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, Traci Inglis, Brand President for JustFab and ShoeDazzle, shared some key statistics that chart TechStyle’s progress: • The retailer sends unique emails to each of its 2.5 million members;• The emails utilize dynamic one-to-one merchandising across thousands of styles, individualized based on the customer’s preferences, clicks and purchases;• Targeted subject lines highlight the customer’s first name and the email offer; and• TechStyle personalizes the web pages members see based on their fashion and style preferences as well as their location.

Oracle Partners With WorkForce For Scheduling Solutions

WorkForce Software scheduling solutions will now be available to Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud customers, allowing these users to schedule employees in alignment with complex rules, employee availability and multiple business drivers. The partnership allows retailers to integrate the WorkForce solutions with Oracle Cloud Time and Labor and Absence…
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21 Innovative Solutions Showcased At #RIC18

At the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, innovation wasn’t limited to the educational sessions. Sponsors showcased solutions for some of the retail industry’s most pressing concerns, including marketing personalization; mobile applications; making loyalty and referral marketing programs more effective; deepening connections between retail associates and shoppers; and the latest in design and digital signage. Following is a roundup of the sponsors’ offerings.

Midmarket Retailers Seek To Grow Through AI, Channel Integration: SuiteWorld18 Recap

Although large retailers tend to have the bigger budgets necessary to address challenges such as leveraging AI, personalization and channel integration, midmarket retailers and small businesses alike are finding their own ways to forge success in these areas. Look no further for examples than Oracle NetSuite SuiteWorld, held April 23-26, 2018 in Las Vegas: 81% of companies represented at the event had less than 1,000 employees, with many seeking effective ways to refine their paths to growth. Evan Goldberg, EVP of Development at Oracle NetSuite delivered a keynote at the event titled It’s Grow Time, discussing how midmarket clients can take these leaps. In his remarks, Goldberg unveiled the NetSuite AI- and machine learning-based Intelligent Cloud Suite. NetSuite applies this intelligence to ERP platforms in three different ways:
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