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

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 Things You Might Not Know About Consumers in 2017

A few days ago, The Atlantic ran an article entitled “What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017” in which journalist Derek Thompson laid out the reasons why so many brick-and-mortar stores are suddenly closing up shop.

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Topics: customer experience, retail trends, retail stores

Holiday Shopping Prediction Roundup

Yes. Yes. I know.

It’s mid-October. It seems premature. The nutmeg has barely settled upon your pumpkin spice latte. The J.Crew fall flannels have just made their glorious return to the center of your closet. And the glut of “original” Ken Bone and Harambe Halloween costumes are still a few weeks away. It’s hardly even Fall!

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Topics: holidays, retail trends, election, predictions

4 Disruptive & Promising Concept Stores

If you’ve been following any retail themed news site or blog as of late, you’re probably aware that in-store shopping isn’t going anywhere. Both Millennials and Generation Z prefer it. Mall foot traffic has experienced a resurgence. And Best Buy, once written off as little more than an Amazon showroom, has thrived.

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Topics: retail trends, in-store assortment, concept stores

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