Retail Decision-Making: The needs you didn’t know you had

23 December 2016 - #

By Fabio Lovesio, Head of Retail Industry

Remember when you needed separate electronic gear to play back music, make phone calls, take pictures, record audio and access the Internet?  The year was 2006. It was great for vendors, but a mess of expensive choices for consumers.

Fast forward to the first iPhone only a year later, and we suddenly had all of those functions in sleek, easy to use and competitively-priced smart phones.  What Steve Jobs and his engineers did was to engineer not what consumers seemed to want, but what they didn’t realize yet they needed.  

The resulting “consolidation curve” that brought a wealth of functions into a single platform also spells the future for retail analytics and decision-making systems.  It IS possible to reduce the complexity and expense of many separate retail systems into a single platform that any non-IT users can easily master and profit from.

Having a single and flexible platform for retail analytics and decision-making that’s built around a powerful programming-free interface can deliver a wide variety of benefits.  Consider the following that retailers can accomplish with a single, easy to use platform:

Retailers can:

  • Connect high financial budgets and strategies with operational targets on different channels and categories of products.
  • Compare current and potential scenarios for future planning rather than just using traditional Business Intelligence to look back at what happened over the past quarter or year.
  • Manage simultaneously pre-season and in-season planning, all in a single environment.
  • Design end-to-end processes down to execution levels for initial allocations, bulk and replenishment routings.
  • Perform pragmatic forecasting and clustering to drive advance ad-hoc marketing strategies and promotional campaigns.

Considering that each of these capabilities above are offered as separate functionality today, image the advantages of having them all consolidated into a single smart-phone like platform? This is the difference between retail decision making from the 20th century and what is possible in the 21st century.  

I’m proud to be able to demonstrate this consolidated functionality at NRF 2017, running January 15 to 17 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.  Stop by booth #731 and I’ll show you that the future is now.