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

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

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

Q&A with the ALDO Group on the Challenges of Online Fulfillment (Part 1)

To thrive in a hyper-competitive market, retailers are turning to advanced analytics and optimization to drive their ship-from-store effectiveness

The ALDO Group, a global fashion retailer, is taking a different approach to omnichannel fulfillment—and realizing some serious benefits leveraging advanced analytics with Celect. 

Todd Harris, Director of Marketing at Celect, sat down a couple weeks ago with Marc Chretien, Sr. Director of eCommerce Operations at the ALDO Group, for a live Q&A to hear his thoughts on:

  • 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

Check out the the first part of the Q&A transcript below, where Marc shares his experience and thoughts on some of the biggest challenges and opportunities the ALDO Group faced as it relates to fulfilling online orders from stores. 

You can (of course) access the full video interview here

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

Optimize Omnichannel Fulfillment for the Holiday Season

We’re just a quick block and jingle bell ring away from the holiday season — a high stakes, strategically coordinated shopping season retailers strive to perfect each and every year. 

At this point, inventory assortment plans and buys have been squared away.

However, once the frantic shopping frenzy ensues, the scale of orders coming through (from any and all channels) becomes increasingly difficult to manage. When an e-commerce purchase is made, retailers are bending over backwards to meet customer expectations even at the expense of a more profitable sale.

“[O]nline sales are growing at a respectable rate for many omnichannel retailers in large part because they continue to bear nearly all the associated costs of attracting and accommodating online shoppers, while their store-based sales often languish.” - WWD

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Topics: order fulfillment, fulfillment optimization, cross-channel demand, demand prediction, customer preference, advanced analytics, holiday shopping, ecommerce, holidays

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