With growing eCommerce channels and increased online shopping behavior, omnichannel retailers are grappling with the increased complexity brought on, in part, by current events, but more so the anticipated need to combine online and in-store merchandising, especially for the “new normal”. Siloed decisions around allocation, promotions, in-season pricing, inventory transfers and fulfillment will fail to deliver the expected margin performance unless they address the interconnectedness of online and stores.
Staying up to date on the latest retail tech and thinking through the possibilities and implications for our clients' businesses is one of the more exciting things we get to do. That's why we look forward to reading what's hot, what's not, and what's hype in Forrester's annual "What's Hot And What's Not In Retail Tech For 2020".
In my last post, I focused on how retailers and consumer products companies can triage through the worst of the COVID pandemic as consumers were adjusting to a stay-at-home lifestyle. I discussed using a hybrid model of humans and AI/ML-based approaches, delivering science-as-a-service, to bridge the gap and react quickly to the dramatic swings in demand.
Many forecasts, especially historical-based forecasts, were rendered useless during this pandemic, forcing many to rely on manual intuition for the foreseeable future. But from any disruption comes the next generation. In this special podcast, Joe Vernon, Capgemini America Retail and CPG Transformation Leader and Siva Lakshmanan, antuit.ai EVP Forecasting & Digital Supply Chain, discuss next-generation forecasting, Consumption Sensing, and how it detects consumer behavior shifts much more quickly and accurately than traditional methods.
The panic buying and consumer demand shifts ravaged demand forecasts, leaving most CPG companies reverting to manual intervention to fix their stock issues. While unavoidable in the beginning, this event highlights the shortcomings of many forecasting methodologies: a basic assumption that demand is steady and slowly changes. Consumption sensing takes a new approach by creating a "conversation with the consumer" to predict consumer demand and identify shifts for near, mid, and long term forecasting and planning.