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.

Retail Refresh: Using Data To Revolutionize The Shopping Experience

I recently happened upon a new Dallas boutique that stunned my technological senses. Flat screens were mounted on every wall; iPads were sitting out on each table surface, and streamlined racks of clothing — each featuring only one item per style — beckoned. The lack of crowded clothing racks confused me at first, but a stylist approached immediately and explained that I could browse the racks, find items of interest and head to the nearest touchscreen monitor to digitally select garment sizes and colors, and have them “sent” to my fitting room. Stylists would pull inventory from the back room and deliver my selections to the fitting room while I’m still browsing.

How Graph Analytics Is Powering E-Commerce

We have entered an era where e-Commerce rules retail. Consider how reports project online sales to hit more than $4 trillion by 2020, representing 14.6% of total retail spending worldwide (source: eMarketer). Over the past few years, online shopping has transformed how we buy, bringing in a new “Age of the Consumer.” Today, shoppers have access to more information than ever around products and brands, all informing their purchasing decisions. They also are taking the lead in their own online shopping experiences, with the global marketplace available at their fingertips. In turn, e-Commerce has embraced AI-powered assistants, recommendation engines and even automated platforms to help consumers consider what to evaluate and buy. Insights generated from AI platforms provide tremendous value, and can potentially drive further revenues for companies, as well as provide shoppers with a better, more customized customer experience.

Symphony RetailAI Debuts Promotion Planning Platform

Symphony RetailAI has launched SR Promotion PlanningAI, a platform designed to give category managers the prescriptive recommendations they need to accurately forecast and plan promotional events, measure effectiveness and adjust tactics with agility. The platform’s AI-based forecasting model provides recommendations and what-if analysis, allowing users to adjust the promotion parameters in real time to maximize sales, margins or volumes. SR Promotion PlanningAI also brings the power of artificial intelligence to promotional circulars, to maximize promotional lift and store traffic. 

Peet’s Coffee Takes The Guesswork Out Of Promotions With New Loyalty Solution

Peet’s Coffee was looking to expand its Peetnik Rewards loyalty program to all 240 stores following a beta test period, but needed a more reliable platform. By partnering with Paytronix, the chain got a more stable platform, along with a bonus: detailed data about program members’ activity, which has translated into valuable marketing insights and measurable benefits. The chain moved its loyalty and stored value program to a SaaS platform from Paytronix. Within six months after a July 2017 chainwide rollout, Peet’s had achieved:

Fish Where The Fish Are!

As any experienced fisherman will tell you, the difference between a long day of sitting in a rusty rowboat in the burning sun with the only bites from pesky mosquitoes versus a triumphant return to friends and family with a line full of fish for a convivial barbeque is one simple tool…a fish finder. This relatively simple technology transforms electrical impulses into sound waves in the water, reflecting the location, size and velocity of objects that interrupt them, like say…FISH. As a manufacturer of goods sold by sales reps or agents into smaller independent retailers, don’t you wish you could equip them with a fish finder to pinpoint where they should drop their line? Sure, they still need to use skill and finesse to hook and land the fish, but you’ve made their selling far more effective if they fish where the fish are.

Data Is The Bedrock, But It Needs A Purpose: Thoughts From Salesforce Connections

Two weeks ago when I attended Salesforce Connections in Chicago, one major theme captured my attention: it is vital to track, analyze and understand shopper data. “Data is the bedrock,” noted Heike Young, Manager of Industry Strategy and Insights at Salesforce, in a panel discussion that continually emphasized why today’s retailers won’t succeed without knowing the customer’s every move. It appears that successful brands are getting this message. Elite performers — brand leaders that reported a revenue increase of at least 10% in the past fiscal year — focus on data at nearly 2X higher rates than underperformers across all areas, on average, according to the Salesforce-Deloitte Consumer Experience Report.

MomentFeed Expands Yelp Partnership With Knowledge Database

Building on a partnership that began in March 2016, MomentFeedhas added Yelp Knowledge to its offering. Brands can now manage their Yelp presence directly through the MomentFeed platform, using reviews to gain unique business insights. With access to Yelp’s database of trends, reviews and performance data, businesses can gain a…

4 Retail Execs Share Data Strategy Tactics: Salesforce Connections Recap

In photo: Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce   During the recent Salesforce Connections event in Chicago, industry experts shared top takeaways and strategies around unlocking customer data to optimize the entire e-Commerce site experience. In this recap, uncover quick quotes and tips from retailers including Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants, Milk Makeup, Ticketmaster and Melissa & Doug, as well as several Salesforce executives: “80% of consumers are saying they’ll switch brands not based on products or necessarily even services, but based on experience. How will you use data to create experience for someone who’s traversing across all those different channels?” — Shelley Bransten, SVP of Retail and Consumer Goods Industry Solutions, Salesforce

Quick Quotes From Retail Execs At IRCE And CRMC

The educational programs at IRCE and CRMC, both held in Chicago the first week of June, provided insights that went far beyond just the shows’ overarching topics of e-Commerce and customer relationship management (CRM). Industry leaders from retail companies including Lovesac, Warby Parker, Oriental Trading, Shoe Carnival, Jack Grace and Hilton Hotels shared tips and tactics covering global commerce, personalization, the move from online to offline retailing, selecting the right solution provider partners, and ways to make returns a strategic part of the business. Following are quick quotes from some of the retail industry experts who spoke at the two events.

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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