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Grocery co-op identifies urgent store issues with AI

Chain Store Age – Associated Food Stores (AFS) is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to determine what really needs fixing in the store. Salt Lake City-based AFS, which consists of about 500 independent and corporately-owned stores in the western and southwestern U.S., found itself dealing with a growing number of SKUs. This resulted in more potential issues occurring at store level than a manager could effectively track or prioritize.

AFS may be ahead of the curve when it comes to applying AI to store-level SKU issues. According to the BRP, retail consulting firm, report, 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey, most retailers (67%) are not leveraging advanced analytics to improve their planning decisions and optimize inventory. In addition, only 39% of surveyed retailers identified improved analytics as a top priority.

Read Full Article: Grocery co-op identifies urgent store issues with AI

Only 23% Of Retailers Leverage In-Store AI, While Just 19% Deploy IoT Devices

Retail TouchPoints – Retailers often describe the “store of the future” having multiple customer service options, such as automated returns or cashierless checkout, and offering disruptive technologies such as AI, VR, AR, virtual mirrors and IoT. But many of these brick-and-mortar upgrades remain saved for just that — the future. For example, only 19% of retailers have implemented IoT within their stores, with 23%implementing AI-powered platforms such as voice-activated POS and digital assistants, according to a report from BRP, retail consulting firm.

In another sign that adoption of these technologies is still a long way off, only 5% of retailers said they have implemented each technology and that it is working well.

The BRP report, titled The Future Store, is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey, which are designed to offer insights into customer expectations for the store of the future as well as how retailers’ current capabilities match up with these expectations. In total, 55% of retailers believe they will have implemented IoT in their stores within three years, while 53% say they will implement AI in that time frame.

Read Full Article: Only 23% Of Retailers Leverage In-Store AI, While Just 19% Deploy IoT Devices

Are You Using Advanced Analytics to Optimize Inventory?

Convenience Store Decisions – BRP Consulting finds only 33% of retailers optimize their inventory by leveraging advanced analytics. According to BRP’s 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey, most retailers (67%) are not leveraging advanced analytics to improve their planning decisions and optimize inventory.

The importance of enhanced data and analytics is not lost on retailers, however, there are further opportunities to optimize their planning and inventory.

While 67% of retailers are not using advanced analytics for merchandise planning, only 39% of retailers identified improved analytics as a top priority. This is a disconnect. As technological capabilities continue to advance, investing more resources into data utilization needs to be a critical objective for retailers.

“Analytics serve as an important tool in assisting retailers to find and interpret meaningful patterns in customer and inventory data to support decision-making,” said Robert Cuthbertson, vice president at BRP Consulting. “Insight into customer demand, product adjacencies, price sensitivity, reaction to promotions, demographics and more are key to drive merchandise plans and actions that maximize profitability. This is especially critical in an omni-channel environment, as understanding the preferences of disparate customer groups across different channels becomes more complicated.”

“The technology for AI tools has advanced dramatically in the past five years. Innovative new technologies can even predict where customers will be in the next hour or next day based on historical patterns,” said Ken Morris, principal at BRP Consulting. “AI is also helping retailers make better decisions on which store should fulfill an online order. While traditional logic would select the product from the closest store to the consumer, with machine learning techniques, retailers can assess the value of inventory in each store to make smarter fulfillment decisions. For example, if they can identify/predict that the item in inventory at the closest store will likely sell at full price, but the same item at a different store location will likely result in overstock and markdowns, the retailer can ship from the further store and maximize total profits.”

Read Full Article: Are You Using Advanced Analytics to Optimize Inventory?

Survey: Retailers missing chance to optimize inventory

Chain Store Age – A majority of retailers are not applying business intelligence in key areas of their supply chains. According to the BRP 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey, most retailers (67%) are not leveraging advanced analytics to improve their planning decisions and optimize inventory. In addition, only 39% of surveyed retailers identified improved analytics as a top priority.

“The technology for artificial intelligence (AI) tools has advanced dramatically in the past five years,” said Ken Morris, principal at BRP, retail consulting firm. “Innovative new technologies can even predict where customers will be in the next hour or next day based on historical patterns. AI is also helping retailers make better decisions on which store should fulfill an online order. For example, if they can identify/predict that the item in inventory at the closest store will likely sell at full price, but the same item at a different store location will likely result in overstock and markdowns, the retailer can ship from the further store and maximize total profits.”

Read Full Article: Survey: Retailers missing chance to optimize inventory

Study: Only 33% of retailers optimize their inventory with advanced analytics

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Magazine – Most retailers (67%) are not leveraging advanced analytics to improve their planning decisions and optimize inventory, according to the 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey released by BRP, retail consulting firm, and only 39% of retailers identified improved analytics as a top priority.

“Analytics serve as an important tool in assisting retailers to find and interpret meaningful patterns in customer and inventory data to support decision-making,” says Robert Cuthbertson, vice president. “Insight into customer demand, product adjacencies, price sensitivity, reaction to promotions, demographics and more are key to drive merchandise plans and actions that maximize profitability. This is especially critical in an omni-channel environment, as understanding the preferences of disparate customer groups across different channels becomes more complicated.”

“The technology for AI tools has advanced dramatically in the past five years. Innovative new technologies can even predict where customers will be in the next hour or next day based on historical patterns,” says Ken Morris, principal. “AI is also helping retailers make better decisions on which store should fulfill an online order. While traditional logic would select the product from the closest store to the consumer, with machine learning techniques, retailers can assess the value of inventory in each store to make smarter fulfillment decisions. For example, if they can identify/predict that the item in inventory at the closest store will likely sell at full price, but the same item at a different store location will likely result in overstock and markdowns, the retailer can ship from the further store and maximize total profits.”

Read Full Article: Study: Only 33% of retailers optimize their inventory with advanced analytics

Only 33% of Retailers Optimize their Inventory By Leveraging Advanced Analytics, According to BRP Report

Advanced Analytics and AI are Key to Improving Planning Decisions

Boston, MA – February 14,  2019 – According to BRP’s 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey, most retailers (67%) are not leveraging advanced analytics to improve their planning decisions and optimize inventory. The importance of enhanced data and analytics is not lost on retailers, however, there are further opportunities to optimize their planning and inventory. While 67% of retailers are not using advanced analytics for merchandise planning, only 39% of retailers identified improved analytics as a top priority. This is a disconnect. As technological capabilities continue to advance, investing more resources into data utilization needs to be a critical objective for retailers.

Advanced analytics, or predictive analytics, offers retailers the ability to predict outcomes based on sophisticated algorithms and historical data. This requires human interaction to query data, validate patterns, create and then test use cases and assumptions. Now, with artificial intelligence (AI), also known as machine learning, planning systems can reassess models and reevaluate the data, all without the intervention of a human. AI is able to test and retest data to predict every possible customer-product match, at a speed and capability no human, or team of humans, could possibly achieve. The result is far more accurate decisions.

“Analytics serve as an important tool in assisting retailers to find and interpret meaningful patterns in customer and inventory data to support decision-making,” said Robert Cuthbertson, vice president at BRP Consulting. “Insight into customer demand, product adjacencies, price sensitivity, reaction to promotions, demographics and more are key to drive merchandise plans and actions that maximize profitability. This is especially critical in an omni-channel environment, as understanding the preferences of disparate customer groups across different channels becomes more complicated.”

“The technology for AI tools has advanced dramatically in the past five years. Innovative new technologies can even predict where customers will be in the next hour or next day based on historical patterns,” said Ken Morris, principal at BRP Consulting. “AI is also helping retailers make better decisions on which store should fulfill an online order.  While traditional logic would select the product from the closest store to the consumer, with machine learning techniques, retailers can assess the value of inventory in each store to make smarter fulfillment decisions. For example, if they can identify/predict that the item in inventory at the closest store will likely sell at full price, but the same item at a different store location will likely result in overstock and markdowns, the retailer can ship from the further store and maximize total profits.”

According to the 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey retailers’ current and planned usage of advanced analytics by planning area includes:

  • Merchandise Planning – 33% of retailers currently use advanced analytics for merchandise planning and another 48% plan to within three years.
  • Assortment Planning – 30% of retailers currently use advanced analytics for assortment planning and another 49% plan to within three years
  • Demand Planning – 31% of retailers currently use advanced analytics for demand planning and another 54% plan to within three years.
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) – 22% of retailers currently use advanced analytics for PLM and another 33% plan to within three years.

BRP conducted the 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey to explore the current state of retail planning and to identify and understand retailers’ priorities as they strive to meet the needs and demands of today’s consumers. Platinum sponsors are Aptos and Mi9 Retail, gold sponsors are Celect and Retalon, and silver sponsors are ANT USA and enVista.

To download the 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2018-integrated-planning-survey

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Significant Retail Trends in 2019

Jeweller Magazine – If we don’t look ahead, we risk being left behind. Perhaps nowhere is that risk greater than with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a practical retail technology. AI has left the lab and brands and retailers have seized upon it to predict individual consumer behaviour and better target their messaging. Those who begin coupling AI with the human touch in the years to come will have a huge advantage long-term. The technology gold rush will go on unabated but savvy retailers will never lose focus on people.

AI and personalised service
Retailers are using AI to personalise customer service and the trend is picking up steam. Fifty-five percent of retailers plan to leverage the technology within three years, according to the 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey from BRP, retail consulting firm. Among the many applications: recommending merchandise and the ability to contact a given client at their preferred time of day.

Starbucks rolled out voice-recognition ordering in South Korea, extending its mobile order-and-pay technology by integrating with Samsung’s AI chatbot Bixby.

Customers can use their phone in a conversational way to learn more about available beverages. Meantime, The North Face has adopted IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology to help consumers find just the right jacket but here’s the thing: while AI will permit businesses of all kinds to increase client satisfaction, Starbucks and The North Face know full well that personal connections will always trump technology.

Read Full Article: Significant Retail Trends in 2019

Technology is Keeping Physical Stores Off of Life Support

Sourcing Journal – The retail storefront isn’t dead, even as large shopping centers and chain stores shut down locations nationwide. Most retail purchases, a figure around 90 percent, are still made in stores. For retailers, that means turning attention and resources toward the in-store shopping experience, even as chatbots and other tech tools redefine e-commerce channels.

BRP Consulting’s latest special report, The Future Store, illustrates how next-generation tools like video chat and AI will factor into shoppers’ purchasing processes. The report draws from two different studies, a 2019 consumer study as well as a POS/customer engagement survey targeting retailers, to envision what’s to come for retail and illuminate how brands approach supply chain management, including staffing and inventory decisions that can facilitate a seamless omnichannel experience.

The findings show consumers are willing to rely on technology in place of human interaction—but only if it makes the purchase process quicker and easier. Fifty-five percent are more likely to shop at a store with self-checkout instead of a store without, and 57 percent will choose a store offering automated returns if it allows them to avoid human interactions and speed up the process.

Read Full Article:Technology is Keeping Physical Stores Off of Life Support

Retailers Deploy Virtual, Augmented Reality, Voice Assistants

Media Post – Retailers are moving ahead with more in-store tech ranging from virtual and augmented reality to virtual mirrors and digital voice assistants. Nearly a third (29%) plan to add augmented reality within the next thee years and 9% already use it, according to a study by BRP.

Virtual reality is also on the agenda, with 7% of retailers already using it and 14% more planning to within the next 12 months, according to the online survey of executives at North American retailers, 58% of which had sales of more than $1 billion.

BRP estimates that nearly a third (32%) of shoppers are likely to shop at a store offering an augmented reality experience and 29% would like virtual reality to be part of their shopping environment.

Other technologies are also either here or coming at retail. Artificial intelligence in the form of voice-activated, point-of-sales terminals or digital assistants are already implemented by 23% of retailers with another 30% planning to add them within the next three years.

Read Full Article: Retailers Deploy Virtual, Augmented Reality, Voice Assistants

55% of Retailers Plan to Utilize the Internet of Things (IoT) within Three Years, According to New BRP Report

IoT offers new opportunities to gather and utilize data to enhance customer expectations

Boston, MA – January 29, 2019 – According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: The Future Store, stores must now encompass both the physical and digital worlds as customers expect a personalized experience in every channel. Customers want the sensory experience generally available in the physical world, such as touching and feeling merchandise and personally interacting with a knowledgeable associate, married with the unique and personalized shopping experience common in the digital world.

Customers are willing to try new technologies if it improves their in-store shopping experience. According to the BRP Consumer Study, 32% of consumers are likely to shop at a store offering an augmented reality (AR) experience over a retailer that doesn’t offer AR and 29% would like a virtual reality (VR) experience as part of their shopping environment. Consumers are very interested in relying on technology instead of human interaction if it makes the purchase process quicker and easier. For example, 55% are more likely to shop at a store with self-checkout vs. a store without and 57% will choose a store offering automated returns to avoid human interactions and speed the process.

“While e-commerce and mobile continue to grow and garner attention, the store remains a key component of the  brand experience and the central point of the customer’s shopping journey. In fact, nearly half of retailers plan to increase their number of brick-and-mortar stores,” said Ken Morris, principal at BRP. “However, the role of the store continues to change. The advent of the digital world offers consumers new ways and ‘places’ to research and shop. These digital possibilities, along with mobility, have modified consumer expectations and behaviors, and retailers must transform to succeed.”

BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: The Future Storeis based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 20thAnnual POS/Customer Engagement Survey and offers insights into customer expectations for the store of the future and how retailers’ current capabilities match up with these expectations.

The Future Store key findings:

INTERNET OF THINGS

  • Retailer capabilities: 19% currently offer Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities and another 36% plan to within three years

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

  • Retailer capabilities: 23% currently utilize artificial intelligence and an additional 30% plan to within three years

AUGMENTED REALITY

  • Customer expectations: 32% are likely to shop at a store offering an augmented reality experience
  • Retailer capabilities: 9% offer augmented reality to their customers and another 29% plan to within three years

VIRTUAL REALITY

  • Customer expectations: 29% are likely to shop at a retailer offering virtual reality in their store
  • Retailer capabilities: 7% currently offer virtual reality capabilities to customers and 23% plan to add it within three years

To download BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: The Future Store, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-special-report-pos-future-store/.

The special report platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos,Diebold Nixdorf, ECRSand Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.