When it comes to artificial intelligence, some talk, others do
Forget the movies. Artificial intelligence is here to stay and it’s very real. And while others are just talking, Symphony RetailAI is doing. We’re leading the way in innovating to AI-enable FMCG retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPGs) manufacturers, helping them transform their business performance.
Say hello to CINDE
CINDE, short for Conversational INsights and Decision Engine, is our digital analytic assistant. Think of her as the Alexa of FMCG retail for merchandising, marketing and supply chain. Using pervasive insights based on AI and machine learning, she understands retail business trends specific to grocery and hard goods. She continually learns, and proactively alerts users to critical issues that need attention.
Through Natural Language Processing, CINDE provides executives and business users with real business insights, enabling them to be more nimble in their ever-evolving challenge of making the right customer-centric and competitive decisions to grow revenue and margins. She provides alerts and notifications of trends and events, using predictive intelligence to suggest the next best actions, enabling retailers to seize opportunities.
Symphony RetailAI leads the way
Symphony RetailAI is the innovative leader in AI-enabled, role-based software solutions for personalized marketing, merchandising category management, retail operations, and supply chain. Why? Because our solutions — based on a data rich 360-degree view of the customer — give FMCG retailers and CPGs the ability to rapidly identify trends and anomalies and take a prescriptive role, suggesting next best actions, based on the insights it gains from massive amounts of customer, product, supply and other data. It goes far beyond simple data mining.
- Tell me more about CINDE
Using Natural Language Processing, CINDE provides answers to highly detailed questions through use of deep analytics, data mining and immersive visualization into stores at department, planogram, and product level. Because of her contextual intelligence, CINDE will serve that information using the most appropriate visualizations to give holistic insights for actions that can or should be taken. Initially applied to category management, examples of questions for CINDE include:
- How is my X category performing in X store?
- What are the trends you see behind the performance in X category?
- What are customers buying instead of X product?
- How did the promotions in my category perform at each store this week?
At Symphony RetailAI, we continue to rapidly build out thousands of CINDE skills that will allow her to assist other roles to make more intelligent decisions across areas including personalized marketing, assortment curation, promotion planning and evaluation, demand forecasting, and customer-driven product innovation.
- Why artificial intelligence?
AI uses technology with advanced analytic capabilities like machine learning/deep learning to do things that previously were thought only humans could do. And like us, it learns from what it does. It can even take actions on its own. AI can do so much more than many could ever have hoped, enabling organizations to do highly complex tasks very rapidly, respond faster to market demands and more. Symphony RetailAI understands AI’s enormous power and the true advantage it provides to business. We’re innovating and using AI to solve the many difficult issues facing FMCG retailers and CPGs by automating their tasks, applying intelligence to vast amounts of data, helping them make better decisions that lead to better outcomes.
- Is retail ready for artificial intelligence?
It’s time for AI in virtually every industry sector, not just in retail. AI requires access to large amounts of data to find patterns, anomalies, and opportunities in that data. Translating those insights into actionable recommendations for key decision makers, AI can play an extremely valuable role. There has finally been a convergence of accessibility to large data sets, cloud-based platforms and infrastructures for the easy, effective management of retailer sites and AI tools and technologies through which these data-sets can be translated into actionable recommendations. The convergence of these things makes it the right time for the application of AI for a wide variety of business opportunities across multiple sectors.
Food and grocery retail is feeling new pressure from Amazon. They have been using AI internally for everything from the voice assistant in Alexa to the recommendations engine on their website. Without AI, there’s really no hope of staying competitive for very long.
Every retailer and CPG company is facing either revenue declines or low single-digit revenue growth. Some of it is the Amazon effect, but a lot of it is related to internal issues that companies have in trying to understand what their new product should be. How they should engage and target the ultimate customer. How they should they merchandise and market. In most of these areas, AI-enabled solutions will help them super-charge their ability to engage customers, and drive through superior merchandising and marketing programs, supported by agile and digital supply chains, across multiple channels and highly-personalized to each individual customer.
- Which areas in retail and consumer packaged goods can benefit from artificial intelligence?
Many areas can benefit from artificial intelligence, here are just a few examples:
Retail category managers – can use AI-enabled solutions to improve their view into category performance, aiding execution and strategy. That’s because AI can serve up the trends behind specific performance in any category. It can tell you why customers are buying one product over another. Or how a promotion in your category did at each store this week. These are just a few of the ways a category manager can benefit.
Retail supply chain managers – Forecasting is a challenge for retailers. When adding promotion impact, forecasting and running profitable promotions is even more complicated. Symphony RetailAI removes the data silos that exist in many organizations between supply chain, merchandising and marketing. It provides promotion impact calculation (dependent on the promotion calendar, typology of in-store and channels communication, benefit, correlation with other external events). It also provides promotion indirect impact (non-promoted articles cannibalized or uplifted) for demand forecasting. After all, you can’t have a successful promotion if you don’t have enough (or too much) inventory.
For CPG manufacturers – Approximately 75% of the new products that they invest in get taken off the shelf within a year, 50% within even six months. They’re spending a lot of money for little to no return. AI-enabled solutions can help CPGs better understand customer desires and, in turn, help CPGs develop products that are what they really want.