The Biggest Takeaway from NRF 2019? Optimize Everything.

The word “optimize” was littered across the expo floor at NRF 2019.

From shelf space to e-commerce basket sizes to your in-store workforce – every process across the retail value chain seems to be begging for optimization. “Frictionless,” “efficient,” and “seamless” were the all-encompassing descriptors used to entice interest and engagement among attendees perusing the aisles for technology solutions, ideas, or (let’s be real) free giveaway swag. 

The need for optimization is unequivocal as retail organizations are tasked with executing costly decisions on a daily basis at a tremendous scale. Yet how to approach this problem is less than certain when there are numerous opportunities to improve decisions at each stage of the retail process. Whether your current struggle hinges on production, inventory, store operations, or last mile fulfillment — whatever the challenge may be — the technology available today will enable retailers to glean insights into the mountainous amount of data they have. 

Based on our observations at the big show in NYC, it’s apparent retailers must prioritize investments in tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics to make the optimal decisions to meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers.

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, retail trends, retail technology, NRF2019, inventory optimization, fulfillment optimization, allocation, demand prediction

4 Revealing Stats About AI in Retail You Need to Know

“Artificial intelligence (AI) offers the prospect of a frictionless existence, making us more efficient, helping us prevent mistakes, spotting the onset of potential problems before they become problems, and enabling us to spend more time on the things that really matter to us.” – Paul Clarke, CTO of UK-based online supermarket Ocado

Strategic planning for 2019 is underway as the new year unfolds. Findings from the holiday season, so far, appear cautiously optimistic as sales rose 5.1 percent to over $850 billion – the strongest in six years, according to a Mastercard report.

However, the itch for opportunity and disruption never subsides in an industry wrought with constant change. After years of navigating the tumultuous retail market, many brands are embracing advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for a chance to resurface for a gasp of fresh air. Considered by Gartner “transformational” and “high-benefit” technologies, AI and advanced analytics will enable new ways for retailers to do business that will result in “major industry dynamic shifts” and “significant revenue increase or cost savings.” Here are four revealing findings about AI in retail you need to know going into 2019:

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, retail trends, retail technology

Six Quality Sessions You Need to See at NRF 2019

The holiday season is finally winding down. As retail businesses start wrapping up the final quarter, many of you will begin prepping for the new year ahead. What better way than by kicking it off with the biggest industry event of the year?

Every year NRF’s Retail Big Show brings together over 18,000 retailers from 95 countries, with over 600 exhibitors and 35,000 attendees to discuss the latest trends, technologies, and solutions rattling the retail industry. While last year’s theme was all about retail transformation, this year’s event is all making an impact — across every facet of retail. From perfecting models to disrupting models to creating new models, the biggest indicator for success as we move into the new year will be about refining and challenging industry standards.

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, data, NRF2019, e-commerce, retail news, retail events

Dear Retailers: You’re Losing Money on Delivery. Here’s Why.

The state of order fulfillment is so far beyond what retailers could have imagined just a few decades ago. In the era of ‘see now, want now’ brands have no choice but to conform to industry expectations around quick and free delivery. Despite a shift towards one-hour, same-day, or, at most, two-day delivery, retailers still struggle to get fulfillment right, leaving money right smack in the middle of the table. Here’s why retailers continue to battle for profits from efficient order fulfillment:

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, data, e-commerce, order fulfillment, order delivery, delivery, demand prediction

A Quick Thanksgiving Retail Recap: 5 Facts That Might Surprise You

With the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday shopping stint behind us, it’s time to dig into the much-anticipated figures around retail’s performance from the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Here are 5 interesting facts on what really went down – with all the data and figures to prove it:

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Topics: brick-and-mortar retail, data, e-commerce, holiday shopping, holidays

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