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

3 Practical Reasons Retailers Should Adopt AI in 2019

In the world of retail, the goal is simple: sell product. 

However, reaching that goal is a completely different story. When you throw competition, customer expectations, stores, inventory, logistics, and fulfillment into the mix, things reach a whole new level of complexity. The challenge is really two-fold:

  1. ) First, demand is seemingly unpredictable, with a multitude of factors influencing a consumer’s desire to want to buy something. 
  2. ) Secondly, there’s the issue of optimization – how can retailers leverage their inventory more productively? 

Overcoming these challenges requires retailers to better predict demand and optimize their inventory decisions more effectively to ultimately maximize every opportunity for a sale. Artificial intelligence and advanced analytics technologies are growing to be the tools of choice for retailers when it comes to optimizing inventories as customer expectations force retailers to invest heavily in digital capabilities.

Many retailers, according to Gartner, are “simply not optimizing their most significant assets.” What asset is more important than a retailer’s inventory? Here are three reasons retailers should adopt AI for inventory optimization in 2019:

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Topics: allocation, merchandise planning, inventory, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, brick-and-mortar retail, data, advanced analytics, order fulfillment, demand prediction, markdowns

3 Retail Inventory Management Challenges for the 2018 Holiday Season

As the sugar high from Halloween subsides, retailers are shifting their focus to the next holiday spending rush this season: Black Friday. The dangerous combination of pumpkin-spiced lattes, a strong economy, and product deals and discounts will fuel consumers into the eagerly awaited shopping period for retail.

The outlook on holiday spending this year is optimistic. Retailers are getting holiday ready and pulling out all the stops, such as Target and Walmart's free two-day holiday shipping rollout and Wayfair's holiday pop-ups

However, the difficulties in achieving success during the holidays always fall back on how effectively a retailer can manage their inventory. Are you providing the right product, in the right amount, at the right time and place? Here are some of the biggest inventory management challenges retailers must overcome this holiday season:

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Topics: holidays, merchandise planning, product assortment, inventory, e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail, holiday shopping, data, advanced analytics, order fulfillment, demand prediction, merchandise assortment

The Flux Capacitor of Retail

What if you could travel into the future?

In the 1980s sci-fi classic trilogy, Back to the Future, Marty McFly brings back from the future the Sport's Almanac, a compilation of sports statistics and scores, with the intention of gambling his fortune on games with a 100% accuracy. 

What if you could fast-forward to next season? What would you bring?

If I had to guess, as a merchant, you’d probably gather all of the transactions across each store. With that knowledge, you could make the best use of inventory by knowing exactly where each product was going to sell.  

If only it were as easy as time travel. While nothing will be as easy as time travel, it can get pretty close with advanced analytics.

Here's why advanced analytics is the flux capacitor of retail. 

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Topics: allocation, merchandise planning, fulfillment, brick-and-mortar retail, machine learning, advanced analytics, merchandise buy, demand prediction

Q&A with the ALDO Group on the ROI of Advanced Analytics (Part 2)

In our latest webcast, Marc Chretien, Sr. Director of eCommerce Operations at the ALDO Group, shared his perspective on how the company approaches order fulfillment and advanced analytics in today's evolving retail landscape. 

Last week, we touched on the first part of the live Q&A, which consisted of insights around: 

  • the potential and complexity of optimizing store inventories for online order fulfillment
  • the unique approach the ALDO Group takes when fulfilling online orders from stores

In this post, we'll share the second half of the discussion to learn:

  • The process the ALDO Group took towards adopting advanced analytics
  • How ALDO Group dramatically increased sales, margins, and conversions with Celect Fulfillment Optimization 

Read on to learn what Marc has to say below: 

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Topics: ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand, advanced analytics, customer preference, order fulfillment, demand prediction

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