Are retailers drowning in insight?
Looking backwards 10 years ago, retailers entered the era of big data analytics and targeted communications. POS data was the single data point and market leaders invested heavily into customer behavior analytics and loyalty programs in order to generate insight from the mass of data being collected.
However, in the past few years, emerging retail solutions have generated new insights across a whole range of data points: in-store shopper tracking, product shelf monitoring, real time POS data mining, shopper apps, social media, navigation maps and more.
The question that follows is whether retailers are be able to consume those insights and put them to work for improving operational efficiency and driving more customer spend. At this time, it appears that insights are being generated X times faster than retailers are able to put them into action. The old saying ‘drowning in data’ could easily now be changed to ‘drowning in insight’.
It appears that we have come to a new frontier where the race will be won by those retailers who are able to make decisions and put the insights into action faster than the competition. AI will play a key role in making this happen.
Going beyond insight generation, AI can push the intelligence to the right people at the right time, telling them what they need to do. As a new layer above the analytical stack, AI quickly understands dependancies between metrics, tracks and predicts changes in conditions and is then able to tell people what corrective measures are needed.
The most important outcome will be to free managers and operational teams to focus on taking advantage of opportunities that continuously evolve along with a rapidly changing consumer.