Reminders

Retail Omni-Channel Strategies

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NRF reported that more than 33,000 individuals, 3300 retailers and 94 countries were represented at the NRF BiG Show 2017, in NYC's Jacob Javitz Conference Center, January 15 -17, 2017. The top theme – enabling the blending of the digital and physical so that customers can engage with retailers in the stream of life. Technologies featured included everything from shopping at home via voice interactions through completely automated biometric based purchases.


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I just returned from NRF 2017--where the retail information technology community converged to chart the course for the year ahead and beyond. I went to test my point of view that applying artificial intelligence in retail isn't science fiction nor needs to be a science project. I came away more convinced than ever that it's time for action. Here's a snapshot of what I found.


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10 Predictions for the Retail Industry

By Leslie Hand – 4 Comments

Retail leaders determined to disrupt and create sustainable competitive advantage will engage in digital transformation (DX). They will recognize that digital transformation is much more than applying incremental technologies at the edge to create new experiences. Digital transformation requires holistic redesign of business strategy/leadership, business processes, human engagement (workforce and others), information monetization, and technology.


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This blog analyzes the results of testing out a new class of cognitive/AI software — natural language processing analytics focused on understanding the personality behind unstructured text. That personality might be any public or social figure, a brand, or some form of commercial speech. In this instance, we had IBM Watson Personality Insights assess the personalities of the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees by applying linguistic analytics and personality theory to their convention acceptance speeches. We recount Watson's findings, identify important caveats, and assess how this type of analysis can help retailers improve their brand voice, customer interactions, and B2B corporate communications.


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It's The Transformation, Stupid!

By Greg Girard

I channeled James Carville to title this piece. Back in 1992 he earned notoriety by keeping his candidate's campaign focused on one issue with the mantra, "It's the Economy, stupid!" The stories I've seen in the general business press about the recent spate of poor earnings posted by some leading retailers miss the mark. It's the digital transformation, stupid!


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Adding a 4th "T" to the Season of Giving

By Victoria Brown

With the Holiday Spirit in full swing, many of us have found ways to give back to our communities. Giving often comes in the form of one of 3 T's:
- Time
- Treasure
- Talent


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Is the fact that payments fraudsters will have to go online to perpetrate crimes against your customers if EMV capabilities are implemented in store really a good rationalization for not moving forward with new EMV payments terminals and fully encrypted payments processes? If you had water leaking from a hose in two places, would you not fix one problem, for fear the water pressure would push more water through the other hole? Well, perhaps in the latter case, you would buy a new hose, and there is a similar corollary in retail payments. Multiple security holes should be treated with multiple tactics to improve enterprise security, but every attempt should be made to secure transactions and data everywhere vulnerabilities exist. There is absolutely a cost consideration at hand, but there is an even greater risk of not doing everything possible to plug the big holes.


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Emarsys, the biggest marketing cloud you've never heard of, asked me to join their panel at Advertising Week a couple of days ago. After meeting several members of their new marketing team, brought aboard ahead of the 15 year-old company's Series A round led by Vector Capita in mid-September, I knew my investment of time would be well worth it. I wasn't disappointed. Here's a recap of that session and others I attended over a quick 24 hours running between theaters in Time Square—ground zero for AW XII.


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I just published an IDC PlanScape report—an executive "why, what, who, how" guide to seizing leadership in health hearth personal services webs (PSW). (IDC PlanScape: Health Hearth Personal Services Webs—Transforming Lives and Industries, #258015, August 2015) To unpack that label, I see financial, loyalty, operational, and brand differentiation opportunities for retail, CPG, health insurance, and publishing enterprises in immersing the food, drug, nutritional customer in a persistent ecosystem of software, devices, apps, content, and online services to help their households eat better, easier at less cost, effort, and time. Nascent PSWs that will be directed at these and other personal domains are emerging in the iOS, Android, Amazon, and Google ecosystems. Compared to the capabilities of PSWs I foresee in 2020 today's capabilities will seem more akin to the PalmPilot than a smartphone.


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The way consumers shop is ever evolving, and retailers are striving to meet these consumers where they are.  While many retailers have begun offering multi-channel solutions to consumers in an attempt to keep up with general societal demands, without fully integrating into an Omni-Channel toolset built to meet these needs, retailers are creating more work for themselves and often miss the mark on meeting the expectations of their customers.  Investing in a Distributed Order Management solution enables retailers to track all of their inventory in one place, trend out point of origin of demand for better forecasting and demand planning, and offer consumers multiple ways to get the product they want, when and how they want it.



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