Automating Further Than Ever Before: Rubikloud’s Latest AI-Enabled Solution Helps Retailers Optimize Promotions

Posted in Company, Rubikloud Announcements
By Marketing on December 16, 2019

Earlier this month, we announced the official launch of the Optimize module in our Price & Promotion Manager suite. On our continued journey of helping retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers automate decision-making with AI, this latest development will enable organizations to transform the manual, time-consuming and complex task of promotional planning. The evolution of this planning process is a paradigm shift to their day-to-day work and tasks.

Currently, buyers, merchandisers and demand planners use data to help inform their decision making during the promotion planning process.  The amount of time and human input required to accomplish this task varies based on how advanced their current analytics approach is: 

  1. Descriptive Analytics is the first level of insight and shows the outcome of a promotion, requiring the largest amount of human input to produce an actionable decision  
  2. Diagnostic Analytics continues the retrospective investigation and looks to answer why a promotion performed the way it did 
  3. The next level is Predictive Analytics, which provides forward-looking insight (i.e. forecasting the performance) as to what will happen with a future promotion 
  4. Finally, the most advanced tier is Prescriptive Analytics which automates decision making and requires minimal, if any, human input

While each level within this framework is attainable with existing approaches, the end result could be better – and companies know it.

The Advantage of AI

Nearly 50% of polled retailers in a 2019 Gartner survey plan to use AI for their pricing and promotion decisions by the end of 2020.  Optimize is the first-to-market solution that can test any what-if promotional scenario and produce automated, optimized promotion recommendations.  Using retail-centric ML models that constantly learn and improve, this AI module allows users to more accurately predict new SKU performance, simulate previously untested promotional variants, and ultimately transform the task of promotion planning into an objective maximization exercise.  Early tests indicate that retailers could achieve more than 10% incremental sales and 13% margin improvement compared to their baseline approaches and existing legacy systems.

However, the deeper value that Optimize brings is the transformation it offers: working in a completely new, inventive way that has never before existed. The decision automation produced by this module, using minimal human input, allows buyers, merchandisers and demand planners to redistribute their time to the more human aspects of their role, reduce organizational silos, and establishes the foundation for the next evolution in their function.  The future of promotional planning is here now.

Interested in learning more about Optimize? Check out this 2-minute read.