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The Subtle Art (and Science) to Successful Retail Allocation

Knowing how and where to allocate products to the right stores can make or break a retailer. We live in a consumer-centered world. For better or worse, thanks to companies like Amazon, customer delivery expectations have changed so that they expect to get what they want and when they want it at the single click of a button. Often, this product can arrive on their doorstep the very next day.

Not wanting to be left in the dust, many brick-and-mortar stores are utilizing tools enhanced with artificial intelligence to master the subtle art of retail allocation. In today’s retail landscape, companies who do not utilize advanced analytics to allocate their products will be left behind or even fail completely. 

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Topics: data overload, allocation, artificial intelligence, inventory optimization, ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, data, cross-channel demand, advanced analytics, technology adoption, customer preference, accuracy, demand prediction, markdowns

The Seven Deadly Sins of Retail

The retail industry of today is a hyperactive and ever-changing environment, ripe with emerging technologies, competition, and an opportunity for those able to navigate through the waters of uncertainty. Retailers today not only need to be able to see through the smoke of change to determine the best path forward but also need to avoid the most common mistakes that have marked the end for past retailers. Here are seven deadly sins to avoid in today’s retail environment.

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Topics: data overload, artificial intelligence, inventory optimization, ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retail, innvoation, data, advanced analytics, technology adoption, customer preference, speed, accuracy, demand prediction, markdowns

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

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

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

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