In their first guest exclusive with us, Acuvate Software shares the many different ways in which predictive analytics, combined with AI, is changing our industry. Acuvate provides AI and predictive analytics solutions for consumer goods and retail businesses. Their mission is to produce intelligence applications that simplify processes. A retailer can predict the number of footfalls for a given period, but cannot predict where these footfalls are likely to pause in the shop, stop for exploration and for purchase. But, for those retailers who have incorporated predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence, knowing these gray areas is possible.
We are all aware of the troves of data, retail businesses generate on a daily basis. However, this repository of critical data is worthless if it cannot be translated into valuable insights into the consumer's minds or market trends. While all of the data is being generated and collected, it is not being used efficiently. This paves way for decision-makers to employ predictive analytics to derive the best value of all the data gathered and ensure better sales outcomes in the near future. Predictive analytics is a proactive approach, whereby retailers can use data from the past to predict expected sales growth, due to change in consumer behaviours and/or market trends.
Blog Post:When something changes in the customer landscape, Walmart knows. And they know just how to react. "Walmart has a massive inventory with millions of products," says John Bates, senior product manager for data science and predictive marketing solutions at Adobe. "And they adjust that inventory to better align with certain types of products, depending on what's happening in real time." For example, if a hurricane is in the weather forecast, Walmart will shift its inventory to have the things they know from past experience their customers will want to buy -- extra grocery staples, bottled water, sandbags, wet/dry vacuums, chainsaws, and generators.
Seeking to become more insights-driven and, therefore, more competitive, businesses are seeking to generate vaults of data from which they can base strategic business decisions. If not used correctly or to its full capacity, however, businesses could be incurring unnecessary data storage and management costs-- while the resources spent on gathering it in the first place could have been squandered. Organizations that benefit the most are the ones that are able to deploy predictive analytics, to see changes before they occur and make strategic decisions accordingly. While all industries practically benefit from analytics in general, the retail sector is undergoing seismic transformations as a result of predictive analytics. They're using it to predict sales growth, foresee consumer behavior, and spot larger trends in the market.
The retail industry is undergoing a sea change so massive that many industry insiders have termed it the "retail apocalypse." In a sign of this industry upheaval, in 2018 major retailers closed 5,524 stores in the U.S. and 1,432 stores in the U.K., according to figures compiled by the Coresight Research, a firm that studies the retail industry.1 In some good news for the industry, Coresight predicts that 2019 "will not be the year of retail apocalypse or even decline. Instead, it will be a year of reinvention -- for the retail sector as a whole and for physical stores in particular."2 This predicted reinvention of the industry stems in part from the use of sophisticated technology, specifically artificial intelligence.