Jessica Needle

Recent Posts

Why the Biggest Problem with AI is Human

Every brand in retail is talking about AI. We’ve read the reports, the articles, and the survey results about all the different pain points AI can solve for retailers. From all the chatter around groundbreaking innovations and the changing retail industry, brands understand this need for technology in order to adapt. 

And there isn’t a shortage of technology solutions out there either—retailers have a ton of options. 

Understanding this need, the need for tech, then why is it so difficult to actually adopt? Why are retailers still struggling to keep margins afloat and adapt to the digital consumer? 

What’s the biggest problem with AI in retail?

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Topics: inventory optimization, data, advanced analytics, digital transformation, artificial intelligence, machine learning

How Retailers Like Target and Walmart Prep for Back-to-School Shopping in 2018

“Back-to-school (B2S) season is the second-biggest shopping season of the year, with 29 million households across the United States planning to spend a total of $27.6 billion.”- Deloitte

Although it may feel like school just got out for summer, it’s never too early to start delivering on the back-to-school rush of sales, promotions and events.

With Prime Day under our belts and many legacy retailers looking for ways to compete during the summer months, we have our eyes glued to how a couple of major brands are offering a back-to-school shopping experience like no other. 

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Topics: consumer trends, consumer habits, back to school, customer experience, delivery, convenience

Why It's So Difficult to Introduce New Products to Your Assortment

“One of the biggest challenges that companies face is predicting demand for new products over time. Overestimate it, and risk warehouses full of excess inventory. Underestimate it, and your customers could leave empty handed—or you might be left with a hefty bill for expedited delivery.”Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University 

Innovate or die trying. 

The phrase is almost as overused as “retail apocalypse,” yet a concise depiction of what retailers face constantly when we think about the video-gone-viral level of speed behind the changing retail landscape and unpredictable nature of demand. 

As if determining the optimal assortment wasn’t already difficult enough, introducing new products to your strategy when some fashion trends barely last is a risk merchants must take. 

When it comes to new products, retailers are getting burned (more often than not) when a quick pivot or adjustment to changing demand is unmet. Today, these losses hurt big time, especially considering retailers are clenching onto their purse strings more tightly than ever.

Why is it so difficult to accurately predict consumer demand for a new product? And, more importantly, how can we overcome these difficulties? 

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Topics: inventory optimization, data, consumer trends, consumer habits, demand prediction, advanced analytics

An Interview with Aldo’s Sr. Director of E-Commerce on Predictive Analytics

If you’re familiar with Celect, then you know how excited we are about our latest press release, which announces our recent partnership with multinational footwear retailer, ALDO Group.

For those of you who haven’t heard—here’s the lowdown on the announcement:

By leveraging predictive analytics, Celect is providing Aldo with unique insights on customer demand to help optimize the fulfillment of online orders across its global network of stores.

Which brings me to my next point:  

Total Retail just released an exclusive interview with ALDO Group's Director of E-commerce Operations, Marc Chretien, to talk about his experience with Celect and Aldo’s omnichannel fulfillment efforts: 

“Customers have become very flexible in their purchasing patterns and have embraced omnichannel, leading them to expect these options from retailers. […] A strategy that ALDO Group has adopted is placing the most possible inventory in-store (vs. distribution centers) where both the walk-in and the digital customer can access it. The Celect technology is a great compliment to that strategy and allows ALDO Group to more accurately predict customers’ demands in real time and, subsequently, determine which stores have inventory opportunities.“Marc Chretien, Sr. Director of E-commerce Operations at ALDO Group

The Q&A provides some additional insights into how Aldo is adapting to the changing consumer and leaning on predictive analytics to make better, faster and more profitable order fulfillment decisions.

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Topics: order fulfillment, fulfillment optimization, fulfillment, ship-from-store, predictive analytics, advanced analytics

Why Prime Day 2018 Isn’t Just About Amazon Anymore

“Amazon has been getting more and more help hyping the event every year, as other retailers — seeing both opportunities and risks in being left behind — chase after deal-hungry shoppers in cyberspace with their own discounts.” Retail Dive 

It’s all going down on July 16.

The explosion of the unofficial, e-commerce, midsummer holiday is exceeding expectations since its initial launch only a measly, three years ago! It’s pretty absurd looking at the jaw-dropping stats behind the growth Amazon Prime Day continues to garner: 

According to the Goliath, Prime Day sales increased 60% year over year. 

However, it’s clear that the attention around the event isn’t just fueled by Amazon themselves. Retailers of all shapes and sizes are jumping in the ring to get a finger in their consumer’s wallets. Here’s why Prime Day 2018 isn’t just about Amazon anymore: 

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Topics: amazon prime day, amazon, amazon prime, e-commerce, holiday shopping

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