Only 16% of retailers have deployed an AI engine to support merchandise management

Symphony RetailAI and RIS News release study on the future of AI-driven merchandising and the opportunity early adoption presents.

DALLAS – Oct. 1, 2019 – Symphony RetailAI, the leading global provider of AI-enabled revenue growth management solutions and customer-centric insights for retailers and CPG manufacturers, today announced the release of a new research report developed by RIS News on the state of retail merchandising and the role of AI in driving profitable revenue growth.

The study identifies the most pressing questions retailers currently face in their merchandising planning and reveals their perception of AI’s emerging role. Key findings include:

  1. How retail merchants can weigh the value of economies of scale against personalized assortments;
  2. How they can identify meaningful patterns in customer demand, product adjacencies, price sensitivity, response to promotions and omnichannel complexity;
  3. How innovative AI tools enable retailers to hit the most profitable sweet spot for each store in their chains while catering to customer needs.

“The problem with merchandising today is obvious – no two stores are alike, and treating them alike requires an acceptance of the notion of acceptable financial loss,” said Joe Skorupa, editorial director, RIS News. “For example, if a category manager successfully hits a forecast, then roughly half the stores have statistically overperformed and half have underperformed. AI addresses this by making it possible to manage each store individually, simultaneously and holistically across the enterprise.”

AI increases inventory efficiency and improves margins

There are three specific applications that retailers say are critical for meeting merchandise management goals, and therefore will benefit the most from using AI engines to process vast amounts of data across a wide range of distributed stores and channels: demand forecasting (56%), replenishment (44%) and price management (41%).

Fifty-nine percent of retailers surveyed believe doing so will help with sell-through of inventory and 56% expect it to improve margins. Retailers are most excited about AI’s support in reducing out of stocks (56%) and over stocks (34%), creating real-time inventory visibility (41%) and improving inventory accuracy (34%).

Early AI adopters establish competitive advantage

Yet, although 61% of retailers expect to have AI play a role in their retail merchandising approach within 24 months, only 16% have at least one AI engine in place today. This presents a tremendous opportunity for AI leaders today to leverage merchandising efficiencies as a competitive advantage, and incentive for those exploring it now to move quickly.

“As retail becomes more intelligent and consumer preferences become more fluid, the study’s findings make it clear that now is the time to invest in AI to improve merchandise management outcomes,” said Kevin Sterneckert, CMO, Symphony RetailAI. “Whether testing AI for isolated functions such as demand forecasting or personalization, or deploying across the enterprise, early adopters will be uniquely positioned to create a differentiated value and sustainably grow revenues and margins.”

A podcast series highlighting key takeaways from the report and exploring best practices for an AI-driven merchandising future is also available.

About Symphony RetailAI

Symphony RetailAI is the leading global provider of role-specific, AI-enabled revenue growth management solutions and customer-centric insights for retailers and CPG manufacturers across the entire value chain. Our proven, industry-leading, AI-enabled software, coupled with the industry’s only conversational natural-language AI interface, CINDE, provides key users with proven prescriptive and preemptive recommendations that make it easy to identify end-to-end growth opportunities, activate plans, and realize measurable profit and revenue growth. Our solutions are specific to key decision-maker roles focused on profitable growth across the retail value chain from source to consumer. With our strong global partner ecosystem, we serve more than 1,200 organizations worldwide – including 15 of the top 25 global grocery retailers, 25 of the top 25 global CPG manufacturers, thousands of retail brands, and hundreds of national and regional chains – all through the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Symphony RetailAI is a SymphonyAI company. More at www.symphonyretailai.com.

Connect with Symphony RetailAI and CINDE on social media:
Twitter: @CINDE_AI
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/symphonyretailai/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SymphonyRetail/

About SymphonyAI

SymphonyAI is a group of companies that provide the leading AI-centric solutions for transforming the business enterprise by driving revenue growth and operational excellence, for the retail, CPG, healthcare and industrial verticals, and for finance, IT and other key enterprise horizontal functions. Founded by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, SymphonyAI is one of the fastest growing companies in the business-to-business AI solutions sector with revenue this year of $275 million and 1,500 employees. More at www.symphonyai.com.

Media Contact

Adrienne Newcomb
Ketner Group Communications (for Symphony RetailAI)
adrienne@ketnergroup.com
512-794-8876