If you work in retail, you know the industry is changing quickly and competition for the customer’s wallet share is getting tougher. The landscape is quickly being split between the retailers who are feeling like they are constantly trying to “catch up” versus the innovation pacesetters. During this time of transformation, it is more important than ever for Retailers to adopt an iterative innovation process that is founded on data-driven insights.
Keeping in mind that if your competition is testing, learning and refining their business model and offerings faster than you, not only will they gain market share but they will gain momentum faster. Once they overtake you, it will be that much harder for you to ever catch back up. This is why I believe there is an urgent need in the retail space to focus on a culture of innovation as a priority. A culture built around both data and the spirit of continuous testing, learning, and refining.
At NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show this January 14–16, attendees will see many of the ways retailers are turning to technology to help them achieve their goals. They’ll also see the ways companies like Intel are helping drive innovation, in particular by powering the AI revolution. We’re working to deliver flexible, optimized solutions to assist retailers during this period of change and to provide the data-driven insights they need.
The Value of Data
Data isn’t currency, but it certainly can lead to more sales when used wisely. Data is what allows retailers to personalize recommendations, create targeted displays and advertisements, increase convenience in stores, stock shelves appropriately so customers can get what they want right away, and improve efficiency throughout the supply chain. Ideally, this data enables retailers to adjust, practically in real time.
The majority of retailers are collecting huge amounts of data. The key is having the capability to put it to good use. For many retailers, AI innovations are making this possible by providing insights that are useful on the sales floor and beyond. At Intel, we’re investing in many of these next-gen technologies.
AI is already making its way into stores. You might see a pretty interesting form of AI technology in select Walmart locations in the future. Bossa Nova Robotics is working on a next-gen retail solution that will put two-foot-tall robots with extendable arms on the ground in stores to scan shelves and track inventory data using Digimarc Barcode. Armed with real-time data, the technology can reduce out-of-stocks, direct task management, and even aid in planning for store layouts. Since these robots will operate alongside store employees during operating hours, retailers will be able to manage inventory all the time rather than waiting until employees have time for it.
Other technologies like Rubikloud’s AI platform will assist retailers with data in many parts of their businesses. The platform easily integrates with legacy retail applications at the corporate level so it can analyze existing data. Using that data along with new types of data, Rubikloud provides intelligent decision automation for the supply chain, marketing automation, and in-store experiences. It also improves mass promotional planning and loyalty-driven marketing. Technology like this gives the corporate head office key insights that can be turned into supply chain and front-of-store strategies.
Intel is investing in new AI technologies like these to drive innovation forward for retail. These technologies are giving retailers the data they need to make confident business decisions, not just educated guesses. And this information leads to a better experience for shoppers. That makes it a win for everyone.
To see analytics and AI technology in action, visit Intel’s booth at NRF 2018, attend a product demonstration, or connect with our partners throughout the show who are using Intel technology. You can also keep up with what’s going on at NRF 2018 here at the IT Peer Network or on Twitter. We look forward to connecting with you!