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.

EBay, Cosabella, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Lead The Next Wave Of AI Implementation

Retailers are beginning to share more about both the benefits and the limits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Major benefits often include higher customer satisfaction, increased conversions and higher revenues. At NRF 2018, Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail and Technology, hosted a panel featuring three success stories from eBay, Cosabella and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM that showcased how and where AI can help retailers bolster the customer experience. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM ‘Human-Nurtured’ Approach To AI Deployment Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, pointed out that his company’s GWYN (Gifts When You Need) AI-powered gift concierge, still needs a human touch in order to function correctly. The technology, powered by IBM Watson, enables shoppers to enter a conversation with a bot that adapts and learns human language with every interaction. “We often say automation for automation’s sake would clearly deliver the wrong message,” McCann said during the session. “To some degree, we take a human-nurtured augmented intelligence approach. How do you get that balance to make sure that the technology is making the right decision? It’s a learning process, and it’s what we’re going through with GWYN. We need to show that GWYN is understanding what to look for, what attributes need to be put into…

How Should Retailers Leverage IT Expertise During RFID Deployments?

IT departments are increasingly involved in retail RFID deployments, and for good reason. Along with store operations, they are responsible for systems, data and process infrastructure (or nervous system) across the retail chain. Based upon my experience, here are five critical areas at various times of an implementation where IT expertise is required to ensure successful RFID deployments. Perform frequent, accurate updates of product master data: If you want to reap benefits from an RFID implementation, it’s paramount to identify the information required and then maintain accurate and up-to-date data. After all, what good is tagging merchandise if you can’t keep up with new products as they are launched? Many apparel retailers have 10-14 new collection “seasons” per year. For some fast fashion retailers, that number could be as high as 50. So specify requirements ahead of time, and garner a clear understanding of all the information that needs to be put into the system. Pay particular attention to mapping out data fields correctly. And while updating inventory numbers daily may not be feasible, obtaining accurate information at least weekly if not more frequently will contribute to your project’s success.

Retail Price Myths Broken Down: The Shoppers Speak On Their Views Around Pricing And Promotions

In an era of ubiquitous Big Data, and where shoppers increasingly engage online at every phase of the purchase journey, we should have a more detailed understanding of shopper perceptions around price and promotion than ever before. Yet the reality is that retailers and industry pundits all too often blindly rely on conventional wisdom that is frighteningly out of synch with shoppers’ true sentiments about retail pricing and promotions. Rather than second-guess what’s in shoppers’ minds, we at Revionics decided to go straight to the source, commissioning Forrester Consulting to survey shoppers in the U.S., UK, France, Germany and Brazil.i

Tyco Strengthens Analytics With Google Cloud Collaboration

  • Published in News Briefs
Tyco Retail Solutions is collaborating with Google Cloud to strengthen its market leadership in next-generation real-time analytics, and store execution and performance solutions. The companies will work to deliver retail use cases marrying real-time edge intelligence and decision making with core cloud computing. The initial phase of the partnership integrates…

How Amazon Flexes Its Private Label Muscle

Amazon has a number of powerful assets, from logistics expertise and one-click payments to its quasi-captive audience of Prime members. But one of its strongest weapons flies almost under the radar: the retailer’s growing “muscle” in private label. “Amazon has access to more customer search and purchase data than anyone else,” said James Thomson, Partner, Buy Box Experts. “This data, properly analyzed, gives Amazon a huge advantage over all brands, most of which can at best buy scanner data from the odd retailer. With its own customer data, Amazon is able to know the product gaps and price points that are likely to succeed.”

STRATACACHE Creates Interactive ‘Store’ On NRF Show Floor

  • Published in News Briefs
Visitors to the STRATACACHE booth #2074 at the NRF Big Show Jan. 14-16 will be able to see how marketing technology, sensors and artificial intelligence can combine to improve in-store experiences for consumers in an immersive “store” environment. The booth’s back wall features a persona-building visualization technology demonstration, highlighting real-time…

The Secret To Retail In 2018: Win Customers With A Connected Workforce

Have you ever noticed the most successful retail businesses have a fairly simple plan? Author Michael Leboeuf said it best: “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” What truly makes an exceptional customer experience is at the heart of every business — its employees. From stores to corporate headquarters to warehouses and distribution centers, employees are driving customer loyalty and creating lasting impressions on the shopping journey. Consumers now expect personalized and intelligent interactions with retail associates and brands. Employees expect mobility and connectivity regardless of locations to gain access to information anytime, anywhere. At the same time, technology teams are facing expanding complexities with dated legacy systems and the need to modernize infrastructure. If not addressed, these challenges can lead to high employee turnover, siloed communications, unsatisfied customers and inconsistent customer engagements.

New Kantar Consulting Firm Encompasses Retail, Brand And Marketing

Kantar has launched an integrated retail, sales and marketing consultancy, Kantar Consulting, by merging its four founding brands: Kantar Retail, Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures and Kantar Vermeer. The new firm employs more than 1,000 analysts, thought leaders, software developers and expert consultants. Kantar Consulting will provide a range of…

Study: Outdated Planning Solutions Hamper Customer-Centricity

Retailers know that success in today’s environment requires them to align their systems and organizations around fulfilling customer-led demand. But outdated planning systems and the legacy of channel-specific inventories still present major stumbling blocks many retailers. Still, brands including Uniqlo, Zara and Bonobos have solved some of these challenges, in part by more closely aligning customer data with planning systems. In its 2017 Merchandise Planning Benchmark Survey, Boston Retail Partners (BRP) set out to gauge the current state of retail planning processes and systems, including merchandise planning, assortment planning and localization, store planning, allocation, omnichannel demand planning and space planning. “To innovate the customer experience, [retailers] must transform their disparate systems, processes and organization into one cohesive environment with the ability to offer customers a seamless shopping environment across any channel and the capability to deliver merchandise immediately — wherever it is needed,” according to the report.

Electronic Express Adopts Omnichannel Solution Suite

  • Published in News Briefs
Electronic Express has selected the Jesta I.S. retail platform to support its goal of unified commerce. The Nashville-based retailer, which was founded in 1983 as a single 80-square-foot store, has grown into the largest independent consumer electronics and appliance retailer in Tennessee. However, rapidly increasing e-Commerce sales had created a significant…

How Mobile Data Integration Is Turning The Shopping Mall Into The Third Place

Dire headlines about the state of the shopping mall conjure images of department store closeout signs, empty food courts and lonely mall Santas. But as the holiday shopping season approaches, that dreary picture is far off from reality for the innovative retail centers that are fostering modern-day community spaces. By creating experiential and social environments where people convene more than simply “buy stuff,” commercial retailers and brands are establishing what have come to be known as society’s third places — the next stop after home and work. It’s this lifestyle experience-driven reimagining that is reinvigorating yesterday’s shopping mall, and in many cases, mobile technology and data is behind the evolution.

Why Retail And Hospitality Are Getting Personal

Technology has certainly shaped how we shop. Today’s retail and hospitality strategies reflect companies’ responses to ubiquitous consumer technology. Smartphones alone have dramatically shifted power from companies to consumers by giving consumers abundant retail research, hospitality reviews and mobile commerce at their fingertips. As a result, consumers have come to expect an experience that acknowledges their individuality with relevant service.

Exclusive Q&A: How Alex And Ani Elevates Personalization To The Gift-Giving Level

Personalization is a complex but necessary task, which can become even more complicated when the holiday season rolls around and gift-giving gets into high gear. Alex and Ani, a brand built on the premise of customization, is tapping the benefits of personalization to help consumers choose the best gifts for their friends and family. In an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints, Katherine Bahamonde Monasebian, Head of Marketing and E-Commerce at Alex and Ani details why:

Cash In Data Analytics: 5 Big Data Use Cases for Retail

The retail industry continues to accelerate, and with it, the need for businesses to find the best retail use cases for big data. Sales alone are expected to grow by 3.5% in 2017, and e-Commerce continues to make massive gains with an expected growth of 15% this year, according to Kiplinger. New sources of data, from log files and transaction information, to sensor data and social media metrics, present new opportunities for retail organizations to achieve unprecedented value and competitive advantage in an expanding industry space.
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