It’s no secret that retailers and CPGs have an enormous amount of data at their disposal. The question that is on every executive’s mind, however, is how to properly harness that data, and leverage it to drive informed and valuable business decision making. Knowing that big data is something that retail executives are thinking a lot about, this year’s RCC STORE conference tackled it in a big way.
Once again, The Retail Council of Canada hosted their annual STORE conference and invited top retail and CPG executives to attend their two-day event on May 28th to the 29th at the Toronto Congress Centre.
With an excellent and jam-packed agenda of high profile speakers, it was definitely an event not to be missed. Agenda highlights included the opening keynote on day one, where Doug Stephens, Founder & President of Retail Prophet discussed the “five most important decisions facing today’s retail executives.” A second highlight was an intimate fireside chat with Helena Foulkes, CEO of HBC, talking about the “exciting and scary time to be in retail.”
It was evident throughout all sessions that retailers and CPGs are realizing more and more that technology applications such as AI and machine learning are helping them harness the power of their data and solving some of their most complex problems. Retailers and CPGs are understanding the need to start working together to become more data-centric and start sharing their data in order to forecast more accurately in order to better serve the ever growing/changing customers expectations.
As the global leader in enterprise retail AI and intelligent decision automation, Rubikloud is working with our clients to bridge this gap. Our products use machine learning in retail to automate and predict accurate promotion strategy, demand forecasting, category management and customer-centric marketing, demystifying enterprise AI for retail to enable retailers and CPG’s to understand their data and optimize their business decisions. This technology works to avoid problems such as stock-outs in stores, ultimately improving the consumer’s shopping experiences – another resounding theme that was felt throughout the conference.
Speakers urged businesses to focus on understanding the customer and their needs, to deliver the right products and messaging through their preferred channels at the time that is most convenient.
Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods, explained that “we’re going to go to a place where AI will suggest to the customer what they’d like to buy and automatically create their shopping list,” suggesting when the best time to have it delivered to them is, based on their previous buying behaviour. He spoke about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and said: “their data and technology is ridiculous, it’s so far ahead of anyone else it’s ridiculous”. This Rubikloud believes is the way of the future and retailers should not be afraid of it, but learn from it.
The Retail Council of Canada and STORE brought together North America’s top retail executives, allowing them to divulge pertinent plans to elevate the retail industry and work together to ensure customer loyalty, to keep them coming back again and again. What an exciting time to be in retail!