Retail businesses are currently under pressure to make both in-store and online experiences more rewarding for customers, and because of this, retailers have a tough time achieving business growth. Plus, it’s a challenge to keep up with and understand the evolutions in grocery, particularly. Weekly pantry-loading purchases are being replaced by subscribe-and-save online orders and quick convenience trips to the store. With dual income households on the rise, there isn’t a “primary shopper” demographic to target, throwing retailers for a loop. And a growing emphasis on fresh and healthy products adds even more complexity to supply chains.
With all of this in mind, there is excitement in the industry for artificial intelligence technology as “the next big thing,” as we certainly saw this year at NRF. While everyone is talking about the power of AI and the game-changing impact of real-time analytics, it’s important to understand exactly how the technology can help to grow revenue. For AI to be of true value to an organization, it must actively identify growth opportunities.
Bridging the gap between pain points and opportunities
Simply put, there is too much data to process and too many detailed decisions to make in order to drive growth. This cannot be done at optimal (read: profitable) speed and scale apart from AI. AI connects all available business, customer and third-party data streams, simplifying the analysis process and making the information available to any user or business function. Solutions enabled by AI also monitor changes in market conditions, business processes or customer behaviors so that a user doesn’t have to.
Let’s look at a few specific examples of how AI can mean “actionable intelligence” for your organization:
- AI can identify errors made when running a promotion or pinpoint inaccuracies in a demand forecast. Beyond that, true AI will recommend what to do in response.
- AI can predict disruptions in the supply chain and changes in demand, prescribing a series of actions to capitalize on the opportunity.
- AI makes for more successful promotion events, demonstrating beforehand the possibilities of various scenarios – BOGO vs. dollar-amount discount vs. percentage off.
AI goes beyond business intelligence. Even more than making sense of big data streams, AI technology should guide next steps by identifying new and immediate revenue and profit growth opportunities, making it simple to start executing on the insights.
For more information on this topic, access our latest viewpoint paper, titled Identify, Activate, Realize – Use AI to drive profitable revenue growth.