Couponing

The Shaky but Awesome Future of Retail

Shekar Raman, Birdzi

We live in exciting times. The pace of progress in technology far outstrips the pace at which we are coming up with ideas of its applications. Hence the endless stream of exciting startups that come up with new and innovative ways of applying the technology and changing the way we live our lives. Exciting times indeed. There are however a few things that seem to take forever to change and are at contrast to everything else that is happening. Take for instance the retail industry—arguably one of the oldest and most established industries. For years, things have been done a certain way, and the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be a recurring theme in this sector. Innovation meets inertia, and the result is often slow, sluggish progress. But as Dylan said, ‘the times, they are a changin’ . The technology innovation and competition to traditional brick-and-mortar is forcing traditional retailers and even supermarkets to sit up and take notice and start thinking about changing the way we have thought of retail. In particular focus is the astronomical adoption of the smartphone. In eight short years since the first iPhone was released by Apple (some people may argue that smartphones existed before that, but let’s not go there for now), 80% or more of the phones sold in the market are smartphones. More importantly ‘connected’ phones. Last year, mobile overtook desktop as the #1 way to access the Internet. Retailers have started to realize both the power that is in the hands of the consumer to research before they buy, and their own ability to reach the customer proactively with personalized recommendations.  In the mid to late nineties as the reach of the internet exploded and e-commerce seemed to be engulfing the world, the birth of Amazon, eBay, buy.com, and countless other imitators, seemed to suggest that brick-and-mortar is dead. Now, almost 20 years later, brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for more than 95% of retail sales. Long live ‘the store’! Humans are social animals, and as much as the convenience of online shopping is enticing, our very nature thirsts for interaction and exploration. So what does all this mean? There is not a minute in our daily lives that we are separated from our personal devices (looking at my kids, it seems like a minute is a long time to be separated from the phone!). This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to stay connected with customers in ways never before thought possible. However, it is only those retailers who can figure out how to keep the interaction personalized and subtle that will win the race to being effective retailers of the future.  Dealing with promotional emails from e-commerce sites or retailers has become a job in itself, and people setup email accounts just to manage that. Clearly, mass promotion is at best annoying, and given the pace of our lives, hardly effective. It seems so 2000s. The future is about personalization. Its about, ‘just let me know of things relevant to me’ at the right time and place. Doing this was unimaginable a decade ago. Only a good friend could judge your mood, intent and based on their intimate knowledge of your personality say the right words. Just imagine your local supermarket doing that with your shopping needs. Understanding your personal preferences, shopping cycle, intent and budget and suggesting (and notifying) items you may be interested in. Not in an obscene, ‘in your face’ way, but in a ‘friendly’ manner, with your best interests in focus. With the advent of big data platforms and cloud technology, processing massive amounts of data in short order and deriving insights into individual shopping behavior and then proactively suggesting products and services is now a reality. There are several exciting startups that promise just that. So what’s the hold up, why aren’t retailers flocking to this trend, or wait.. can they? If there is one obstacle that stands between most traditional brick-and-mortar stores and the future, its data. The quality of data that most retailers have on their legacy systems simply does not lend itself to the emerging platforms. We are talking about abbreviated, truncated, misspelled, crude, and just plain poor quality data. All our big data platforms, machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning platforms require one thing. Good clean data to learn from. Retailers who can address this fundamental issue and bring about change in how they handle and store data will put themselves in a position to own the future and offer a level of personalization that consumers will come to expect in the future. Amazon recently announced that they are planning to open up about 2,000 stores nationwide. With the quality of data they hold, I would be surprised if they don’t become a major brick-and-mortar presence, threatening even the most established players. If traditional stores don’t make fundamental changes and pay more attention to how data is collected and stored, they stand to see the ground slipping away under their feet, while trying to figure out how to hold on to their customers. The future of shopping is closer than you think, especially if you have good clean data! +MORE

Are you Leaving Profits in the Basket? 10 Secrets to Increase Basket Size Week After Week

Dan Dashevsky, My Cloud Grocer

Independent supermarkets that offer products both in-store and online have an online basket size averaging between $120 and $184, based on the recent Brick Meets Click study. This compares favorably to Amazon Fresh at $84; Instacart, $98; Fresh Direct, $105; and Peapod, $147, as reported by 1010data. Out of 19 independent banners participated in the BMC study, Breadberry supermarket in Brooklyn, New York, had an online basket size of $184, the largest reported. Many of MCG’s clients have similar or even larger basket sizes than Breadberry’s. These 10 secrets have enabled our clients to achieve such outstanding results.   1.     Speed matters. Website visitors tend to care more about speed than about the bells and whistles we might be tempted to add to our websites. Google did an interesting experiment with regard to load times, asking web surfers if they would rather see 10 or 30 search results at a time. The users agreed that 30 results per page sounded like a good idea. Google then implemented this on some of their results pages. The shock came when traffic to pages that displayed 30 results dropped an astounding 20%. Google then tested the loading time difference between the 10- and 30-result pages. They found that this was just half of a second. So page loading time has been shown to be a crucial factor in user retention. It is also becoming a more important factor in search engine rankings. 2.     Product photography. The images on a site are another important factor. High-definition, mouthwatering pictures make a big difference when it comes to food shopping. Many website owners opt for the easy solution, and only display product images they can easily obtain from publicly available databases such as Kweeki and Item Master. These databases do not include all products, however, and image quality is often poor and inconsistent. The time and effort invested in high quality product photography to ensure that every product carried in the store is online and has a beautiful image pays good long-term dividends. 3.     Less is more. Instead of cluttering pages with as much product info as possible, keep it simple. Make the product image and a brief description the center of attention. Then you can add to the page some relevant and popular products to help customers remember to buy products that they may otherwise forget. 4.     “Shop by recipe.” Customers are looking for creative ideas to keep their meals fun. With a Shop by Recipes feature, they can find a recipe, click, and send ingredients to their shopping cart. The more interesting it is to browse your online store, the more your customers will buy from you. 5.     “My favorites.” Customers complete their shopping list much faster when they start with a pre-populated list of the products they normally buy. Once they are done with the basics, they have time to browse for more products, adding to the total basket size. 6.     Digital circulars. Everyone loves savings, and the more the better. Having plenty of items on weekly specials not only increases your in-store traffic but also increases your online basket size. Your printed flyer can only fit a limited number of items before it begins to look like a flea market and becomes impossible to read. Online, there is no limit to how many items you can display on special. Customers simply flip to the next page and keep on adding savings to their shopping cart. 7.     Quick re-order. By giving customers the ability to quickly send all the items from their previous order directly to their shopping cart, you’re simplifying their life and minimizing the possibility that they may forget an item or two. 8.     Keep it fresh. Let’s face it, shopping for groceries is not a recreational activity, but if you keep on introducing new products, it becomes more interesting, and this too will be reflected in your basket size. 9.     Accurate order fulfillment. Customers who are using your online order service are doing so for convenience, They want to save time for other priorities. If you fulfill their order quickly, and most important, accurately, you will see many more orders and higher order amounts now that they have trust in your service. Many MCG clients see increase in online basket size with customers who are placing their third and fourth orders. Once they develop the trust in your service, they will reward you with loyalty and larger basket sizes. 10. Good customer service. As in brick and mortar stores, good customer service is the key to success. This is what differentiates you from your competitors. Be ready to replace the not-so-fresh strawberries that a personal shopper put into a customer’s bag by mistake. Customers will buy more online from you if they are confident that if something is not satisfactory you will take good care of them. +MORE

Whatever the Question, A.I. is the Answer Because Nobody Likes Calling Customer Service

Susan Galer , Forbes SAP voice

Bejoy Narayana, CEO of BoodsKapper, develops AI applications that can cut down customer problem resolution time by a factor of 10. Give us your superstar customer service representative, and we’ll provide an AI application that replicates their behavior, reducing problem resolution time from 10 minutes to one. This is what I heard and saw from Bejoy Narayana, CEO of BoodsKapper at the recent SAP Financial Services Innovation Summit held at the SAP Leonardo Center in New York. The Texas-based startup develops AI applications on the SAP Cloud Platform designed to not only ferret out what customers want quickly, but also communicate in their preferred medium – using any texting app or moving to a telephone conversation.   “No one likes calling customer service, and we believe that experience can be much better by training the software to behave like the ideal customer service representative, getting to the point quickly to provide a solution for busy people,” said Narayana. “Modeling the actions of a company’s best customer agent, we can train the AI engine to be up and running in weeks just as you would a new employee. This can cut down interaction times by a factor of ten.” Creating a Human-Like Dialogue…Read the rest of this article by Susan Galer on Forbes SAP voice Posted on the CART blog with permission from Bejoy Narayana, CEO BoodsKapper +MORE

AI Powered Promotion Optimization

CART

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is tailor-made for high SKU count, high transaction frequency supermarket retail. The insight and recommendations that A.I. provides can help retailers drive significant top line sales gains without increased promotional cost. In the high- volume, low-margin supermarket industry, where even slight improvements can deliver considerable increases to bottom line profitability A.I.-powered promotion optimization is nothing short of transformative. +MORE

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Grocery is Going Digital. The Time is Now.

CART

Online grocery sales are growing fast. A recent report released by FMI and The Nielsen Company states that 23% of U.S. households purchased groceries online in 2016, up from 19% in 2014, and representing an estimated 4.3% of U.S. consumer retail food and beverage spending. The report goes on to state that as many as 70% of U.S. consumers will be buying groceries online by 2025, spending more than $100 billion, an estimated 20% of consumer food and beverage spending.1 Grocery is going digital far faster than many predicted and the time is now for traditional retailers to stake their claim. +MORE

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BoodsKapper Retail bot

Boodskapper

This is our service for the retail industry and is primarily delivered through Facebook Messenger.  Consumers are able to send a picture of an item and ask if the retailer carries the item. The software is able to look up a retailer's catalog and answer the question.  Two-minute simulation here best explains the solution: http://www.boodskapper.com/#!retail/jjvu4 In this simulation, retailer has no prior record of the customer. Customer starts an organic conversation from Messenger, just as people do in life. BoodsKapper assists the customer to locate an article at the store. The customer picks up the conversation thread several months after the purchase and enquires about a variant of the item purchased. An organic conversation ensues and a purchase is made.is Deep reporting:   We would argue that information gold for the retailer are the conversations that your customers had with you through various channels. Our AI algorithms automatically find the meaning of the written text and use that to make the conversational response. As the meaning of conversations is analyzed and documented in real time, it is possible for us to enhance traditional reporting with this information. +MORE

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Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery for eCommerce

ReadyCart.co

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Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery Technology for retailer's eCommerce solution - laser focused around maximizing customer satisfaction and retailer profitability. ReadyCart Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery Technology Crowdsourced network build and eCommerce integration Retailer specific training collaboration and creation Network onboarding and ecosystem to handle training, scheduling, payment etc. Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery Technology  Picking&Delivery App Delivery Analytics Portal +MORE

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My Cloud Grocer Solution Guide

CART

My Cloud Grocer provides a retailer-branded online shopping solution to supermarket retailers. The online shopping site is responsive (will display properly on desktop, smartphone, and tablet screens) and features fast load times and payment functionality using token technology surpassing PCI compliance. My Cloud Grocer provides the retailer with support for picking, managing, and delivering orders. The company’s retail clients have experienced increased overall sales, due to reduced scatter... +MORE

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Darius™ for Retail

Darius Technologies

Darius for Retail is a fully integrated, cloud based shopper engagement platform. Darius delivers proven and measurable return on investment, by allowing retailers to put their shoppers at the center of everything and making it easy to engage and influence them pre-store, in-store, and post-store. Darius allows retailers to design, manage, develop and, measure interactions with their customers throughout the entire shopper journey.  The ‘tech’ bit: Darius™ is a modular ‘ecosystem’ retail technology platform that is designed to integrate and allow interaction with any existing retail systems and solutions such as Beacons, WiFi, dynamic shelf illumination, or e-coupons, and so on, to make continuous engagement with shoppers possible, wherever they are on the path to purchase. The customer experience bit: Darius™ allows retailers to put their shoppers at the center of everything by making it easy to engage and influence them pre-store, in-store, and post-store. The business bit: Darius™ delivers proven and measurable return on investment. That means more shoppers in-store, more often. It means attracting new and hard to engage shopper types. And it means bigger baskets and the increased spends that comes with that. It makes marketing budgets and, where they may already exist, retail tech investments work so much harder. +MORE

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LISNR

LISNR

LISNR powers transactions and connects the global customer journey with the most advanced Ultrasonic Data Platform. LISNR’s technology addresses the growing need for simple communication between myriad devices. Based on that idea, LISNR created proprietary software for encoding data into inaudible “tones”, which were then transmitted and received using standard speakers and microphones. +MORE

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Award-winning eCommerce solution

My Cloud Grocer

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My Cloud Grocer is an award-winning eCommerce solution designed to help supermarkets thrive in a competitive digital world. Offering a robust, customizable virtual storefront, My Cloud Grocer’s top-rated white label platform powers and integrates the full shopping experience, from initial order to the customer’s door. Our clients see lower operational costs and consistently outperform competitors, enjoying the largest weekly sales and online baskets in the industry. +MORE

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App Store for Retail

Sparkle CS Ltd

Sparkle connects legacy and online retail solutions into a real-time cloud ecosystem to enable Big Data, connected store marketing and a true omni-channel customer experience.  Using Sparkle’s technology, retailers from independents to major chains have been able to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy integrated digital technology to drive customer engagement and increase sales. Extensible Framework, an app store for your POS: Our framework allows the digital world to interact seamlessly with tills.  Want your till to do something we haven’t thought of? Add another app. Making Coupons Work, Example App: Redemption Validation (RV): Our RV POS App allows digital and paper coupons to be accepted by the POS with controls against mis-redemption, reuse and fraud. Driving Out Costs, Example App: Electronic Clearing (EC): No more need for expensive clearing houses! With EC, you know who owes you what within hours. Settle via trade accounts or let us manage it for you. Cloud-based Management, Take control of your tills: Our cloud-based solution will get you up and running in no time. Change how your tills behave from your tablet in real-time. Bridging the Gap, bringing tills online: We provide a range of patented technologies that allows legacy tills, from corner shops to mainline grocers, to join the App Store for Retail. Future Proof, avoiding strategic paralysis: NFC, RFiD or QR Codes? You don’t need to guess. The App Store for Retail allows new interfaces to be plugged in at low cost. +MORE

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Easy To Implement Loyalty

CART

Success in supermarket retailing is more and more influenced by a retailer’s ability to strategically use analytics and insights derived from shopper-identified transaction data. Targeted promotions can provide a much higher and effective return on investment than traditional mass promotion. These trends have transformed the industry, powering Kroger’s 46 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth and similar efforts underway at other leading retailers. While few can debate the power of shopper intelligence, the independent sector of the industry has been largely left behind, challenged by lack of cost-effective solutions, requisite technology integration, and lack of resources related to best using the data once gained. AppCard is a fast growing company that provides an easy-to-implement solution targeted at independent retailers. +MORE

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Shopper Media Network

PlaceWise Media

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With the rapid rise of digital and mobile technologies, the shift of power to consumers has forever changed how advertisers, retailers and brands get their messages across. Bringing them all together through its proprietary digital platform is the charge of PlaceWise Media, one of the largest shopper media networks in the U.S. PlaceWise’s shopper media network includes more than 1,400 grocery retailers and nearly 700 shopping and lifestyle centers, with more than 10 million total monthly visitors. Through its unique, first-party data, PlaceWise can extend beyond its network in real time to reach millions of other relevant shoppers. The company also provides digital marketing services to hundreds of malls and lifestyle centers across North America.  Shopper access; shopper insight; real time. PlaceWise Media’s network allows brands to offer shoppers engaging content and special offers along the path to purchase, delivering on its promise to them to reach “Just who you want. Right when they are ready®”. +MORE

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Personalized Shopper Engagement Suite

Birdzi Inc.

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Birdzi’s Personalized Shopper Engagement Suite is made up of the following components: Personalization Engine - Proprietary algorithms track individual shopper profiles & behavior and score offers & content for each shopper based on objectives Digital Touchpoints - Connect with your shoppers through your own branded mobile app, web and email In-store Engagement - Empower your shoppers to search and locate items in-store and receive relevant offers in the aisle through beacons Offer Management and Analytics - Build and manage offers and track performance in real-time To find out more click here. +MORE

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Mobile Checkout

FutureProof Retail

The Mobile Checkout retail platform digitizes brick and mortar stores, bringing the convenience and personalization of eCommerce to physical retailers and their customers. Mobile Checkout Eliminates the Lines Mobile Checkout is a brandable iOS and Android app, a better system than self-checkout for the complete shopping experience from scan to payment. Private White-label Retailers deepen the customer relationship and own the install by deploying the platform as their own-brand staff and shopper apps. Scan Products Customers scan and bag while shopping. Mobile Payment Pay securely with credit card or mobile wallet directly through the app. Skip the Line Customers never wait in line to check out. Customize to your needs Expand the system with functionality like loyalty programs or counter service mobile ordering.     +MORE

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Design House

Design House

The leading solution for digital circular design, distribution, & reporting We customize your Digital Circular using your brand standards, and your weekly or monthly content. We distribute your Digital Circular using our proprietary ad distribution system, and we report the results using the most accurate analytic and visitation data available. Customized Interface  We build a custom theme for each client to match their brand standards. In addition to your logo, we modify fonts, colors, shapes, and positioning to insure your Digital Circular integrates seamlessly with your overall brand messaging. Not only does each brand get its own theme, each location has its own unique landing page. So, if you own 1 store or 101 stores, each and every location can have its own unique content. This enables us to change product, pricing, events, contact and so much more from one store to another quickly and effortlessly. Tap for Maps, Tap to Call Another advantage of location specific Digital Circulars, is that your customers can have quick and direct contact with the store in their community. Simply tap the map icon, or tap the call icon, and customers are one step closer to your store. Want to change location? Simply tap the location and switch! We started from the ground up to build the most intuitive and beautiful Digital Circular user interface ever created. Products expand and contract with fluid movement. Customers can build a shopping list with a single tap. Rearrange view to browse, category, or search. The experience your customers will have interacting with your Digital Circular is truly unrivaled. Desktop Experience Even though 80% of web traffic (outside of work) runs on mobile devices, we took great care to develop an equally impressive desktop experience. Your customers will be able to browse deals and build shopping lists on desktop, and then access their unique account on mobile - or the other way around! In addition, we can integrate your Digital Circular directly into your existing website. With just a few small steps from your web team, we’ll connect your Digital Circular to your site 24/7/365. Revolutionary Distribution Design House has developed a proprietary system for digital circular distribution; utilizing three different ad distribution networks, the most advanced tracking technology, and the most accurate analytic and visitation data available. We place your Digital Circular in the hands of your consumers, week after week, month after month. Our process starts like many digital ad campaigns - we set up a targeted area in the community you serve - but that’s where the similarities end. We’ve spent years developing a detailed formula involving three major ad distribution networks, each with their own strength. This gives us the ability to drill down and find the target audience most likely to visit your business. Resulting in a mix of your current customers, your competitor’s customers, and new customers who show potential. Using our proprietary system, customers are then served ads while they are browsing the web, searching on Google, and using the apps on their phones. These ads drive traffic to your digital circular, where your potential customers engage with your sales, deals, and coupons. But it doesn’t stop there; our distribution system follows your Digital Circular viewers all the way to your store. The result - An intelligent ad distribution system serving your Digital Circular to your target market, within your target area… and analytics showing actual traffic lift to your store! Build Lists & Share Your Digital Circular isn’t simply an interface to browse deals, it’s a tool that allows your customers to build shopping lists for your store. Your customers can add specials, deals, or coupons to their list, view their list across mobile and desktop, and share their lists with family & friends. Customers can also share individual products or coupon offers with family & friends. Each time your customers shares a product, coupon, or list they increase your Digital Circular distribution! Coupon Circulation Coupons easily scan from mobile devices, and provide your customer an elevated shopping experience. We incorporate coupons into the Digital Circular in a variety of ways; We can generate a barcode based on your existing promotion SKU, or we can integrate directly with your coupon vendor to allow for back channel communication and apply coupons directly to your customer database. Give your customers the ability to store and share coupons - create loyalty and long term brand connection. An App of Your Own Your Digital Circular doesn’t have to turn on and off with traditional sales cycles. Instead, imagine a constant connection with your customers 24/7/365. Your Digital Circular users will be able to tap a button and download an app customized and branded for your store. Each app download increases your weekly or monthly circulation, and creates long lasting customer loyalty. App users will be able to receive notifications from your store, alerting them of sales or special events.  Game Changing Analytics Each month, you’ll receive a report that details ad impressions, ad clicks, Digital Circular views, time spent on your Digital Circular, and most importantly - visits back to your store.  Imagine if you knew how many people read your print circular, how long they spent reading it, and how many customers it drove to your store. Imagine if you had that much data with any marketing investment. With the Digital Circular by Design House, you do! Pricing We don’t charge for the creation or maintenance of your customized Digital Circular. We build our cost into the digital ad buy that drives traffic to your Digital Circular, and in turn to your store. So, just like print, your budget sets your distribution volume. Our first step will be to get to know your store and provide a price range for optimal ROI. Each location is different, based on population density, target audience size, available impressions, and targeted area. We’ll work with you to set appropriate budgets for each location - we know this game better than anyone, and we’ll walk you though it. +MORE

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What’s Your Story?

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

If your company provides solutions, particularly technology solutions, to the retail industry, selling is a mandatory activity and in many younger companies that duty often falls to the founder, CEO, or other key executive. The CART team has worked with hundreds of young tech companies and we’ve seen some things that work and we’ve seen many things that don’t work as well so thought we’d share some lessons with you. Many technology company people are incredibly smart when it comes to the tech, but unprepared when it comes to the selling of it. First, sell your story, not the technology. It takes a lot to found a company or to join a young company at an early stage - it’s not an easy thing. So chances are you’re pretty passionate about what capability you’ve developed or what your company is doing. When you are talking with a prospective customer, let that passion come through. Prospects always hear about features and functions, why this widget is better than that widget. What they don’t always hear is why you are doing what you do. Tell a story that highlights the problem you’re trying to solve - one way to do that is to speak naturally, like you’re talking to a friend or acquaintance. Then tap that same passion when you talk with a prospective customer. How do you do what you do? This still is not the time to talk about your specific product or solution. What you want to focus on next is how your solution works, how it does what it does. Are you using AI and machine learning to help solve a problem? Does AI and ML power enhanced machine vision enabling your capability to do something special? Focusing on the how is where you want to separate your capabilities from competitors. The how is where your magic happens. Lastly, and finally, you can speak to the specific product or solution your company is selling. This is where you can talk about all the cool features and functions your capability provides. But here’s the thing: If you’ve done a great job with telling your story about why you’re doing what you do and you’ve done a good job talking about how your solution does what it does, you’ve probably got the sale pretty well made before you even get to the specific product.  So now you’ve got your presentation flow down and its time to practice. For some people, actually writing out a script can help you be succinct in what you’re saying. For other people, creating a list of bullet points is enough to guide them through a presentation. Do whatever works for you but do think about what you’re going to say ahead of time and practice it. Lastly, be engaging. Make eye contact. Don’t just read a sales presentation - engage and talk with the people you’re with. And absolutely, never ever, turn your back to the people you are talking to. It’s unprofessional to say the least. Seems like a no-brainer and yet we see people do this all the time.  Creating and building a great technology is only half the battle. Selling and positioning your new capability is where the battle is won. +MORE

How Independents Can Overcome Retail Giants in 2020

David Kiehle, Smart.Market

No one ever said it’s easy to be an independent retailer. This is especially true in a retail world where the battle for supremacy among giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Alidi and Costco can cause collateral damage to independent retailers. However, as the new decade begins soon, independents have a lot going for them relative to larger rivals. They are nimble, smart, very connected to their markets and communities and can move quickly if they choose. They can fully capitalize on these strengths by enhancing their marketing strategies to successfully take on the biggest competitors. Conquering decision paralysis One of the best ways independents can improve their odds of success is by taking advantage of enhanced technology capabilities, the like of which mega-retailers possess and routinely exploit.  However, it is common for independent retailers to experience a bit of paralysis when making decisions that may involve higher costs. Independents are confused about which ways to turn and many technology vendors today seem to be selling similar attributes. Personalization. Relevancy. Digital. Independents are challenged in trying to understand the differences. The result is that many are avoiding decisions altogether, or worse, jumping into a “digital” marketing solution with the perception of “build it, and they will come,” only to find low conversion rates based on the demographic make up of the typical independent’s geography. Perils of conventional wisdom Moreover, many independents are using incorrect perceptions about traditional media channels, and as a result ignoring them in favor of shiny new digital toys. Consider the parallel on the e-commerce side. Many multi-store independents are diving head first into e-commerce selling platforms, only to realize they don’t have the operational expertise to execute at the Amazon level, which has set the high bar for consumer experience. Independents are in danger of making disproportionately high near-term investments that don’t line up with the current realities. While online grocery sales are growing considerably on a percentage basis, they currently still only account for 6.3% of total grocery-related spending by U.S. households, according to a recent report from Brick Meets Click. Translation: 93.7% still shop for groceries in store. The reality is that platforms don’t matter as much as effectiveness levels. Returning to the marketing topic, one useful approach is leveraging direct mail, a seemingly mature form of retail marketing, that can be transformed through data-driven personalization techniques to drive profits and traffic. At Smart.Market for Business, we’ve found it’s important for independents to choose proven strategies that bring cost-efficient ways to compete with bigger adversaries. Strategies for decision-making So how can independents best move ahead? Here are a few guidelines for them to make decisions on their marketing investments for the next few years: Get Personal: Reach customers with personalized approaches through items they like to purchase, and don’t forget to message households that are not yet customers in a similar fashion. When the second dollar store pops up just down the street, make sure the marketing platform can specifically target those shoppers in the same campaign. This requires messages like, “welcome to the neighborhood”, “somebody’s having a birthday,” and “we’ve missed you,” combined with relevant offers. This is a proven strategy to bring ROI. Make a plan, then work the plan: Try to avoid worrying too much about the marketing platform, or whether it’s a shiny new digital toy, as long as it’s able to deliver highly personalized and relevant offers. We now see dot-com-only businesses that are turning back to traditional print channels like direct mail, based on the enhanced targeting and measurement capabilities it offers, and the shopper engagement and gamification it provides. But this requires making a plan with goals. For example, goals might include capturing 50% of my trade area, increasing shopper traffic, or rewarding my frequent shoppers. Embrace Data: Successful personalized marketing, regardless of the platform, should include the ability to obtain meaningful back-end analytics to measure a wide range of marketing events. That is an important benefit in the short and long term. Results are fed into future campaigns to optimize performance based on redemptions and ultimately the product preferences at individual household levels. This has tremendous value and needs to be considered at the same level as overall cost of the campaign. Independents should feel empowered to make marketing investment decisions that reflect the realities of their businesses now and in coming years. This empowerment will help drive the next level of their success and keep them viable. It will enable them to better understand their choices, and to embrace the winning independent spirit that got them this far in the first place. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 11/14/19

CART , Advancing Retail

THREE IMPERATIVES FOR RETAIL IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS | Gary Hawkins KNOW A REMARKABLE INDEPENDENT? NOMINATE THEM TODAY! WBG and CART, along with presenting sponsors, will host a celebratory reception and awards presentation ceremony for its 2020 Remarkable Independent award winners at the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, which will be held Feb. 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center. NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION - NGASHOW 2020: Register to Exhibit and/or to attend - February 23rd, 2019 - February 26th, 2019, San Diego, CA Apply to Speak at the CART Event at NGAShow 2020 Apply for a booth in the Innovation Pavilion at NGAShow 2020 Join the INNOVATION PROGRAM -New Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES MEET HEALTH AND WELLNESS | Hosted by Kevin Coupe, MorningNewsBeat’s “Content Guy” SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY | The CART Team GET ON THE INSIDE.  MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail ✔️Blogs ✔️ Webinars ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content      LEARN MORE>> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. +MORE

Three Imperatives for Retail in the Next Three Years

Gary Hawkins CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

Think about major developments in the grocery retail industry between 1940 and 2015, and by major I’m talking about advances that are truly transformational in nature.  When I went through this exercise I came up with only three: The development of self-shopping, the development of UPC barcode scanning, and the development of capturing customer identified transaction data via loyalty programs. Now consider major developments in just the past three years: Amazon Go self-shopping, automated distribution centers, self-driving vehicles, robots in store, robotic food preparation, drone deliveries, artificial intelligence everywhere, voice-based shopping, and more. That explosive growth in just the past few years makes it obvious that we’ve hit the inflection point on the exponential growth curve of technology and that change is only going to happen faster and be increasingly noticeable. Now alongside this explosive growth of technology put recent forecasts of store closings: Coresight Research states that 5,864 stores closed in 2018 and projects 12,000 store closing this year (2019). Tom Blischok, a long-time industry observer, estimates 30% of traditional supermarket chains will be gone by 2025, five short years from now. And UBS Securities projects a whopping 75,000 stores will close across all retail sectors by 2026 if eCommerce continues to grow from today’s 16% to 25%. A crisis of disruption is bearing down on grocery retail, driven by fast-changing consumer expectations fueled by new tech-driven capabilities. How are traditional brick & mortar retailers to keep up? I believe traditional retailers that survive the next three years will have increased their odds of longer-term survival. I believe there are three things - imperatives - that retailers need to focus on in the next three years: Innovation as a Process: Too many retailers treat new capabilities as one-off projects, not understanding that transformative capabilities are flowing into retail at an ever-faster pace. In this world innovation needs to be viewed - and operationalized - as a process. Something very much at odds with the slow-moving historical change. CART’s Innovation Program is designed to help regional and national retailers drive discovery and awareness of meaningful innovation as part of a process. Transform into a Nimble Organization: Though many retailers are moving faster than they have historically it is still not fast enough to keep pace with Amazon and the flood of new capabilities transforming retail. Traditional retail organizations need to embrace innovation, become more nimble, and evaluate, pilot, and deploy appropriate capabilities faster. Prepare for the Age of ‘i’: As I wrote about in my latest book, Retail in the Age of ‘i’, the world is increasingly tailored to each of us individually and there are significant implications for retailers. Consumers today expect contextual relevancy, not only online but increasingly in the physical world, and retailers need to deliver that. Delivering a true customer-first shopping experience requires an overhaul of the systems, processes, and practices that have become institutionalized in the product-first world of retail.  +MORE

CART Weekly Report 11/7/19

CART, Advancing Retail

3 WAYS INDEPENDENT GROCERS CAN COMPETE WITH THE ‘BIG GUYS’| Guest Blog by Bobby Brannigan, Founder and CEO of Mercato  KNOW A REMARKABLE INDEPENDENT? NOMINATE THEM TODAY! WBG and CART, along with presenting sponsors, will host a celebratory reception and awards presentation ceremony for its 2020 Remarkable Independent award winners at the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, which will be held Feb. 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center. NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION - NGASHOW 2020: Register to Exhibit and/or to attend - February 23rd, 2019 - February 26th, 2019, San Diego, CA Apply to Speak at the CART Event at NGAShow 2020 Apply for a booth in the Innovation Pavilion at NGAShow 2020 Join the INNOVATION PROGRAM -New Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES MEET HEALTH AND WELLNESS | Hosted by Kevin Coupe, MorningNewsBeat’s “Content Guy” SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY | The CART Team GET ON THE INSIDE.  MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail ✔️Blogs ✔️ Webinars ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content      LEARN MORE>> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/31/19

CART, Advancing Retail

KNOW A REMARKABLE INDEPENDENT? NOMINATE THEM TODAY! WBG and CART, along with presenting sponsors, will host a celebratory reception and awards presentation ceremony for its 2020 Remarkable Independent award winners at the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, which will be held Feb. 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center. NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION - NGASHOW 2020: Register to Exhibit and/or to attend - February 23rd, 2019 - February 26th, 2019, San Diego, CA Apply to Speak at the CART Event at NGAShow 2020 More CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES MEET HEALTH AND WELLNESS | Hosted by Kevin Coupe, MorningNewsBeat’s “Content Guy” SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: THE PROMISE AND PERIL OF DATA FOR RETAILERS AND SOLUTION PROVIDERS | Gary Hawkins THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY | The CART Team GET ON THE INSIDE.  MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail ✔️Blogs ✔️ Webinars ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content      LEARN MORE>> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: If you can dream it, you can do it ~ Walt Disney  +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/24/19

CART, Advancing Retail

GNC LAUNCHES NEW PERSONALIZED DAILY VITAMIN PACKS BASED ON INDIVIDUAL HEALTH NEEDS, LIFESTYLE GOALS AND EVEN DNA; DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOOR | Cison PR Newswire Gary’s Take: My latest book, Retail in the Age of ‘I’, is all about the world - both digital and physical - becoming increasingly tailored to each of us individually. GNC, the vitamin and supplements retailer, has just launched new personalized daily vitamin packs tailored to each individual customer. “Based on an individual’s age, gender and personal and family health history, GNC will create a science-backed wellness plan curated with the industry’s leading vitamins and supplements to aid consumers in their quest for healthy living.” The GNC4U service can also ingest DNA information, either from a GNC DNA test kit or other source.  This is just one more example of how in the Age of ‘I’, products are becoming increasingly customized to the individual. Brand manufacturers and retailers should both be thinking about how their products, services, and experiences can be tailored to each customer. THEFT IS A MAJOR RISK FOR RETAILERS USING SCAN AND GO, EXPERT SAYS | RetailDive Gary’s Take: In a surprise to almost no one, a study published recently found that theft related to scan-and-go self-shopping increases as sales done via scan-and-go apps increases. While not all loss is intentional theft - some comes from people simply forgetting to scan and item or other issues - the bottom line is that shrink does increase. Many retailers using scan-and-go technology perform random bag checks or even verify each customer order.  Since scan-and-go apps first came on the scene I have seen this capability as simply a stepping stone to a full Amazon Go-like fully automated checkout system or other process that speeds checkout and reduces friction. Loss related to scan-and-go applications, intentional or not, can quickly add up, putting pressure on retailer’s already thin margins. Even more, all the retailer is doing is shifting the scanning and payment process from a cashier to the customer, not really providing any extra value to the shopper. Not a winning proposition in the long run. OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE WANTS TO KNOW IF A.I. TECH CAN HELP IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE | CNBC Gary’s Take: The use of AI powered computer vision analytics is moving from the store into restaurants and other settings. Outback Steakhouse is the latest to install cameras in its entrance and lobby areas to measure customer wait time, the number of customers leaving without being seated, and more. Outback is focused on leveraging the technology to improve the customer experience. Cameras are showing up everywhere and these kinds of analytics will increasingly be used to digitize behavior in a physical space with a goal of gaining insight to customer behavior and optimizing sales or other activity. DOES TARGET NEED TO ADDRESS ITS ASSOCIATE MORALE PROBLEM? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: Team morale is everything and it translates directly into customer experience in store. If the employees aren’t happy, customers will be less happy over time. Of course Target has to make smart business decisions, but with the cuts store managers should be granted some autonomy to take care of individual employees as needed to keep morale high. Communication is the most important thing here so everyone on the team feels part of the conversation, not at the effects of it. CAN b8ta DO FOR FASHION WHAT IT’S DONE FOR CONSUMER TECH? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: There’s plenty of room in the fashion and lifestyle space to innovate the stores. b8ta definitely has a track record to do these kinds of things; they did for consumer electronics what Sephora did for makeup. But I do think lifestyle and fashion is a little more difficult as it doesn’t naturally lend itself to interaction in a new way (most clothing stores let you touch, feel and try on the clothes). The banner will create interest from many; however, service in the store will be the key to making it successful.  WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: THE PROMISE AND PERIL OF DATA FOR RETAILERS AND SOLUTION PROVIDERS | Gary Hawkins THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY | The CART Team MAKING LOYALTY PROGRAMS WORK HARDER | Winsight Grocery Business HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION - NGASHOW 2020: Register to Exhibit and/or to attend - February 23rd, 2019 - February 26th, 2019, San Diego, CA Apply to Speak at the CART Event at NGAShow 2020 More CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” GET ON THE INSIDE.  MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail ✔️Blogs ✔️ Webinars ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content      LEARN MORE>> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: What is now proved was once only imagined. ~William Blake +MORE

The Promise and Peril of Data for Retailers and Solution Providers

Gary Hawkins CEO, Advancing Retail

Data powers the retail industry, especially in today’s digital age. From in-store analytics to optimized-everything, and from marketing personalization to product customization, big data is the fuel in an age of tech-enabled innovation. Rarely do we see a few weeks go by that some new solution enters the industry that either creates a new data stream or feeds off existing data. But retailers’ resources and skills have not kept pace with the growth of new data and new solutions. It is surprising how often I encounter retailers - even multi-billion dollar revenue retailers - who do not have the skill sets to make effective use of systems and capabilities that they’ve purchased and put in place. Sometimes, retailers look to CPG brand manufacturers to purchase data, either as part of a broader initiative in which the brand is using the data to give back to the retailer insights & analytics, or other times as simply a new revenue stream. Selling data is not necessarily always a good thing: often there is some kind of quid pro quo with the brand expecting something in return that may or may not align with the retailer’s best interests. Solution providers have an opportunity to play a pivotal role here. It’s often not enough to just sell some new innovative capability to the retailer; true success comes from helping the retailer be successful with the new solution. I think it is incumbent upon both the solution seller and the retailer buyer to have a frank discussion around what skill sets and resources are required to make use of a new capability and identify if the retailer has those skills or if there is a gap. In the case of a gap, the solution provider has an opportunity to help the retailer train people or hire new people with the requisite skills. Now set this entire discussion in the context of exponential change where the development of new capabilities is increasing at a faster and faster pace every day. The need to constantly upgrade skill sets and train and educate employees to take advantage of new capabilities is paramount. The penalty for failing to do this grows by the day. It is incumbent on solution providers to make new technology and new capabilities as easy to implement and use as possible along with helping the retailer what’s required to be successful. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/17/19

CART, Advancing Retail

COMING SOON: A.I.-POWERED PERSONALIZED RESTAURANT MENUS | OZY Gary’s Take: Reinforcing the growing convergence of the massive food and healthcare industries, a growing number of restaurants are personalizing their menu items to the individual customer. These restaurants recognize that a growing number of people have food allergies - an estimated 32 million people in the U.S. alone - or have nutritionally sensitive health conditions (60% of Americans have one or more chronic health conditions) or have strong diet and food preferences. This personalization is happening across restaurants of all formats, from quick serve like McDonalds to more formal establishments. As I wrote about in my latest book, Retail in the Age of ‘I’, the world is becoming increasingly tailored to each of us individually and this trend of personalizing restaurant prepared meals is just the latest sign that this movement is expanding across the digital and physical worlds. WILL CUSTOMERS GIVE WALMART THE KEYS TO THEIR HOME? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: Privacy is culture and it changes over time. 15 years ago it would be ludicrous to post all our family pictures and trips online; now it’s almost standard. I expect we’ll see that same thing over time for these kinds of services. Is the value exchange worthwhile? Consumers will increasingly answer: yes. PERSONALIZED PROMOS ADD UP TO A ‘WIN-WIN’ FOR RETAILRS AND CONSUMERS | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: Personalized pricing is inevitable. We see it in our credit card rates, our airline tickets and increasingly we see it as a standard in retail. Done right, not only do the economics work, but it's a better customer experience all around. REI OPENS OUTDOOR ADVENTURE GATEWAY CONCEPT | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: This is a great idea! And the next step in experiential retail. Not something contrived to create an “experience” but a real place consumers can launch their experiences from. It adds a lot of value for consumers and I’m willing to bet this concept will be successful for REI. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY | The CART Team MAKING LOYALTY PROGRAMS WORK HARDER | Winsight Grocery Business RETAIL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - GLOBAL TRENDS | Thinking Heads HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019  NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION - NGASHOW 2020: Register to Exhibit and/or to attend - February 23rd, 2019 - February 26th, 2019, San Diego, CA More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon  SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” GET ON THE INSIDE.  MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail ✔️Blogs ✔️ Webinars ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content      LEARN MORE>> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company. ~Ginni Rometty +MORE

THE CART RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION PROGRAM™ IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY.  

Bringing a dedicated trade-show to the retailers' headquarters;  we connect Solution Providers in a powerful engagement with key decision-makers.

The CART Innovation Program™ is a powerful way for solution providers with transformative, disruptive new capabilities to gain an audience with the senior executive team of large regional and national retailers. Without a program like this, gaining such an audience - especially for young companies - is nearly impossible. Solutions are curated at the request of the retailer. Through our application and acceptance process and partnering with the retailer, we select the exact solutions they want to see.  Once accepted to participate, the CART team partners with the solution provider to hone their presentation and coaches them to deliver a spot-on presentation; helping to create a powerful, succinct story to gain the retail executives’ attention. This is being proven to be the most effective and powerful way to begin the sales cycle. The CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program™ provides you access to the retailer’s senior execs and time to network, exchange contact information, hear immediate feedback and begin to build a relationship.  You can begin your sales process by hunting down people at a company hoping you get a meeting with a person who will listen or you can be in front of the C-suite and senior decision makers all at once.  There’s no better way to get your foot in the door, launching your sales cycle, and breaking down corporate silos than having a full audience of decision makers all in the same room to understand your solution’s capabilities. Historically, before the CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program™ was developed, solutions selling into regional and national retailers would typically encounter a two, to sometimes four, year period of selling before getting the deal signed. Companies still have budgets, decision making processes and due diligence to manage after a Program which a solution provider needs to be aware of and manage accordingly. The CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program ™ facilitates and expedites this process.  With the CART Retail Tomorrow Innovation Program™ solution providers have an opportunity to engage more quickly and effectively, better understanding the retailer’s decision making and budget processes and who the decision makers are. With this knowledge solution providers can potentially get pilots moving faster so the retailer has time and experience to envision what a full implementation looks like should they engage the solution. The retail industry is a high-pressure, dynamic, high-volume, thin margin, business where executives never have enough bandwidth and are always pressured for time. Even with company silos broken down, it’s still important to understand the environment and the sales process to successfully engage your solution into this highly competitive market. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/10/19

CART, Advancing Retail

AMAZON’S DYSTOPIAN PLAN TO BE ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE | The Week Gary’s Take: Amazon had a product launch event during which it released 15 new products - more than most companies release in a year. Amidst the various products, Alexa was featured prominently as Amazon is focused on getting Alexa on as many products suitable for as many environments as possible, from  your living room to your car to the office. Thinking about what Amazon is doing, it is becoming clear that the company believes that voice is going to be the next major platform, potentially surpassing the smartphone. Lots of implications here for retailers when thinking about customer engagement and how to accomplish that in a world of voice-based computing. THIS ROBOT CAN MAKE 300 PIZZAS IN AN HOUR | Trib live Gary’s Take: The robots are coming! We’re seeing lots of activity in automating food production and the latest is from a company called Picnic. They have created a robotic pizza maker that can make 300 12-inch pizzas an hour and 180 18-inch pizzas per hour. This comes on top of Flippy, the automated burger grilling bot, salad robots, and even bread baking robots. Automation at retail in the areas of food production and maintenance (like robotic floor cleaning machines) make a lot of sense for retailers. Smart retailers will take the savings they realize from automating these types of non-customer facing jobs and reinvest in people in roles where they engage with shoppers and can build relationships.  AMAZON IS LOOKING TO INSTALL ITS GO TECHNOLOGY IN HUNDREDS OF RETAILERS BY 2020 | Business Insider Gary’s Take: So this is really interesting - Amazon is in talks to bring its Amazon Go checkout free shopping experience to movie theaters, sports venues, and other retail stores. Makes sense from Amazon’s perspective as the tech space has gained a number of companies focused on replicating Amazon’s tech to bring to traditional retailers. Those startups are receiving some serious  funding and we are seeing a growing number of deals being announced as Grabango begins work with Giant Eagle and Tesco makes an investment in Trigo Vision. While many retail execs seem to be skeptical that the technology can scale to eventually handle a full supermarket, advances in computer vision are happening fast and I believe the tech will get figured out. BEST BUY MAKES A BIG BET ON HEALTH TECH | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: I think it’s a good move for two reasons: 1. There’s a significant and growing need and 2. Technology and services can fit that need in new and innovative ways. Establishing themselves as an early entrant into the new senior tech + services market builds relationships with customers that have a high switching cost (as your data, support and knowledge will already be with Best Buy). WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: MAKING LOYALTY PROGRAMS WORK HARDER | Winsight Grocery Business RETAIL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - GLOBAL TRENDS | Thinking Heads HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019  More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “i” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon  SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas  Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future. ~Marilyn Ferguson +MORE

CART Weekly Report 10/3/19

CART, Advancing Retail

THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR U.S. DRUGSTORES | Nielsen Gary’s Take: The convergence between the massive health care and food industries in the United States continues to gain momentum and retailers and brands not paying attention will miss major opportunities and risk their shoppers moving on without them.  While supermarket retailers with in-store pharmacies are right in the middle of this convergence, drug stores are in a more challenging position. Food is increasingly being viewed and understood as medicine, putting grocery retailers in prime position. Drug stores are improving their food selections but have a long way to go. Needless to say, any retailer in the food, pharmacy, or health and nutrition space should be aware of the convergence underway and figure out how they can benefit their shoppers. THESE 18 RETAILERS HAVE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY OR LIQUIDATION IN 2019 | Business Insider Gary’s Take: Yesterday, Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, adding to a growing list of retailers closing stores and going out of business. Many of these retailers are in non-food related channels like apparel, toys, etc. but it is only a matter of time before we see an acceleration of bankruptcy filings, store closures, and acquisitions in the supermarket sector. I believe this acceleration has already started but it is occurring across the independent sector of smaller retailers where filings don’t make the news. How it shows up though is in consolidation happening at the wholesaler level as the wholesalers seek to maintain their volume through acquiring other smaller distributors. I also continue to believe that the majority of retail executives do not yet fully understand what’s coming. I hear more execs talking about change and innovation and exponential growth of technology but its almost as if they are just saying the words. Technology and all it enables is moving faster every day, and the exponential growth of computer processing power is creating industry disruptive capabilities at a growing pace.  The challenge for the retail industry is three-fold: 1) putting in place processes like the CART Innovation Program to build discovery and awareness of new capabilities, 2) train and educate your organization to be more open to innovation, doing things differently, and moving faster, and 3) develop a strategy for where you want to go and create a roadmap identifying what systems, processes, and practices need to be developed to get you there. BALANCING TECH WITH THE HUMAN TOUCH IN RETAIL | tech radar.pro Gary’s Take: That automation is transforming retail is no longer in debate. The only question is what area of retail operations are going to be automated and what retailers are going to do with the savings. I believe automating jobs that people really don’t want to do, like floor cleaning, makes a lot of sense and everyone wins. And while I believe that Amazon-Go like technology will eventually make its way to full supermarkets, I’m not sure that’s a great thing. People are social animals and shopping has been a social activity, seeing your neighbors, family, or friends at the local supermarket. Removing human interaction through automation can transform  the shopping experience to a sterile, people-free transaction but eliminates a massive opportunity for retailers to actually foster and grow relationships with their customers. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: RETAIL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE - GLOBAL TRENDS | Thinking Heads HOW TO FOSTER EMPLOYEES INTO BRAND AMBASSADORS by Andrew Hoeft, Retail Process Innovator | CEO at Pinpoint Software Solution Highlight: Date Check Pro  New Date Check Pro e-Book!  What Does it Mean to be a Community Grocer in 2020? This eBook dives into the strategies and tactics you can put into place in order to make an impact as a community grocer in 2020. HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019  More INNOVATION PROGRAM Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “i” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - October 24, 2019, 12:30-5:00pm, Portland, Oregon  SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas  Innovation, individualization and immersion are all shaping the future of retail. Savvy retailers are embracing more immersive shopping experiences, big data intelligence, and deep operations and systems integration to continue innovating their store designs in this new age of “i.” CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure ~ Albert Einstein +MORE

CART Weekly Report 9/26/19

CART, Advancing Retail

ALPHABET’S WING DRONE DELIVERY SERVICE TO LAUNCH TEST PROGRAM IN VIRGINIA | CNet Gary’s Take: In a real world example of how fast technology is moving. Alphabet (parent of Google) is launching a test program next month using drones to do home delivery in partnership with FedEx and Walgreens. It wasn’t that long ago drones even became a ’thing’ and now real world retailers like Walgreens are moving aggressively to pilot the technology in real world situations.  The drones being used in this test will fly about 100-200 feet in the air. When arriving at their destination, they will hover about 20 feet in the air and lower the package with a tether to a backyard or doorstep. The drones will be able to carry packages weighing 2-3 pounds, appropriate for a drug store like Walgreens. This is far from the only drone test; Amazon remains focused on using drones for delivery of packages and other startups have gotten into the game. This space is moving increasingly fast and is part of helping retail solve the last-mile delivery challenge. GROCERY STORES OF THE FUTURE WILL LIKELY SHARE THESE 3 IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTICS | Forbes Gary’s Take: The physical store is changing fast and nowhere is this more evident than in grocery retail. While grocery is moving online quickly, it is the center-store packaged goods that are moving the fastest. This has big implications for the physical store. - Future grocery stores will be smaller as they focus on fresh and prepared foods while packaged foods are boxed up for customer pick-up or home delivery. - Order fulfillment, even for the smallest orders, will increasingly be done on a hyperlocal level. The only way to reduce delivery costs and speed delivery time is to move fulfillment closer to shoppers. - Frictionless shopping like Amazon Go will happen. Yes, there are pain points today in trying to scale the technology to a full supermarket and recognizing fresh foods, etc. but tech is moving fast and these things will be addressed and solved. All these factors, and more, impact on store design going forward and retailers should be thinking about these as they look to the future. WILL FREE SAME-DAY DELIVERY BOOST MACY’S ONLINE SALES? | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: There’s little to be gained in playing another company’s game. I think Macy’s will have some minor wins when it comes to launching free same day delivery. And it could be worth doing. But Macy’s would find more benefit in finding themselves in terms of their core value proposition to the customer beyond what everyone else is already doing. ARE SMART CARTS A SMARTER WAY TO WALK OUT | Retail Wire Sterling’s Take: The context that these are/are not adopted under is what matters. I don’t think there’s a silver bullet tech that is the answer for everyone. The company, stores, customer base, etc. all factor in to what technology will work and be accepted. This approach will certainly be viable for some retailers. More broadly, all retailers need to rethink the checkout process as it’s ripe for disruption given tech capabilities today. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY:  ARE GROCERY RETAILERS CHASING SHINY OBJECTS? | Gary E. Hawkins HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS INNOVATION PROGRAM AT HY-VEE HEADQUARTERS - Des Moines, Iowa | November 6-7, 2019   RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 More Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun! ~Mary Lou Cook +MORE

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