Retailers are tackling pressing issues, from wavering customer loyalty to finding the next channel or platform they need to sell on. But leadership teams still need to keep an eye on strategies for long-term, profitable growth. To juggle long- and short-term priorities, executives must address key questions, including:
- How can we prepare for shifts in customer behaviors?
- Which new geographies and channels should we prioritize for long-term growth?
- How can we optimize product development and merchandising to better cater to customer needs?
- What technologies will improve customer intimacy and engender loyalty?
- Are we providing data and automating processes to make teams efficient and effective?
Retail TouchPoints interviewed experts in supply chain, brand strategy, commerce, and global expansion with an emphasis on building business stability and profitability. These innovators and thought leaders offered their perspectives on how retailers can set a foundation for long-term success.
Unsurprisingly, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) were hot topics in these conversations. We asked our experts how they see automation and AI helping retailers gain cost efficiencies and maximize the power of their people and technologies, especially as they aim to grow their businesses. Here’s a roundup of their answers:
Uncovering New AI Opportunities
AI Opportunity: Supply Chain & Fulfillment
“In terms of supply chain and operations, I see increasing use of predictive analytics for demand planning and identifying efficiencies to cut down on supply chain costs and delivery times.”
– Andrea Lisbona, founder and CEO, Touchland
AI Opportunity: Product Development
“When you’re implementing things like digital product creation, there’s a lot of automation that can help the brand. You can also incorporate automation within PLM. There are so many ways we can leverage technology to drive a better customer experience and also a better employee experience.”
– Liza Amlani, founder and CEO, Retail Strategy Group
AI Opportunity: Merchandising & Assortment Planning
“Merchandising is a very tedious, manual process. Automation can support that, enabling staff to focus on more strategic activities. AI might also be applied to some areas, but I think it’s really important in cases where strategic AI is applied that a human is still responsible for that, because that’s where retail is an art.”
– Melissa Minkow, Director of Retail Strategy, CI&T
AI Opportunity: Agility & Innovation
“With automation, don’t try to do everything at once — just start and build it along the way. What do you want to see? What do you want to do? You can always go back and build new automations to accomplish what you need.”
– Mark Chuberka, IT Administrator, BirdRock Brands
Download the report to get additional insights on how values, product innovation, in-store experiences and data-driven marketing can support your long-term growth goals.