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Groceryshop 2019: Day 3 Insights – Algorithms and Data Steal the Show

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Coresight Research

Key Points

The Coresight Research team is in Las Vegas this week attending and participating in the Groceryshop 2019 conference, which runs September 15-18. In this report, we share our insights from the third day of the conference, which include:

  • Data has become a crucial part of the value chain.
  • Companies should look beyond just consumer data.
  • US retailers should look to rapid the innovation happening overseas for inspiration.

The Coresight Research team is in Las Vegas this week, attending and participating in the Groceryshop 2019 conference, which runs September 15-18. The conference brings together over 3,000 attendees and more than 200 speakers talking about the transformation of the retail industry, shifts in consumer behavior and innovations that are helping retailers keep up with fast-changing consumer expectations.

Key themes this year include the transformation of retail across convenience stores, supermarkets and e-commerce, and changes in production and distribution processes in CPG across multiple verticals. Participants are also talking about the rapid shifts in how today’s consumer discovers, shops and buys; how they use new technologies; innovative retail business models; and, the latest trends in consumer behavior, preferences and expectations.

Below we note key insights from the third day of Groceryshop 2019.

Operational Efficiency is Increasingly Data Driven

Data has become a crucial part of the value chain, but the structure of many companies remains the same despite the changing environment around them. To adapt and drive efficiencies in today’s fast-changing retail technology landscape, companies need a dedicated data analytics team. Leading retailers are changing recruiting processes to focus more on talent with a data analytics background.

The proliferation of technology has given companies the ability to collect massive amounts of information about customers, operations, inventory – everything. But the volume of data is so huge interpreting is a challenge – let alone ensuring its accuracy. Executives and leaders need to better understand the data within the company, and these data analytics teams are the key to turning the waves of big data coming people into actionable insights.

That said, many expressed the view that it is better to risk taking action based on imperfect data, instead of waiting for the perfect data set that may never come.

Companies should test, iterate and develop new products and services to better understand their consumers. In doing, companies should also pay close attention to privacy concerns to ensure they walk the fine line between effective personalization and what could be perceived as collecting too much personal information.

From left to right, Justin Honaman, VP of Analytics, Data & Digital Transformation at Georgia-Pacific; Gabe Mattingly, VP of Ecommerce at Bayer; Chris Adams, VP of Category Management Services at Retail Business Services; and, Tony Ward, Managing Director of Retail & Consumer Products Strategy at Kurt Salmon/Accenture.
Source: Coresight Research

 

Creating Amazing Data-Driven Shopping Experiences

Retailers are leveraging technology to personalize customers’ shopping experiences like never before, leveraging sophisticated algorithms and data analytics. But many retailers only draw from only five data points, which tends to generate average results.

Companies need to consider more than just consumer data, connecting demographics, life stage, lifestyle, social media and other lifestyle indicators to truly understand customers and predict behavior. In addition to more subtle patterns data analytics can discern based on certain data points, there is also a lot of low-hanging fruit to make recommendations during various stages in life, or events such as starting a new diet or having a children.

Highlights from Keynote Sessions

John Furner, CEO of Sam’s Club, shared the following:

  1. Identifying core customers should be the first step before developing new technologies.
  2. Consumers across all generations are looking for more information than ever before.
  3. The current state of consumers remains healthy. People continue to buy at the middle and trade up.
  4. Retailers should leverage data to understand when sales shifts are driven a change of assortment – or by the consumers themselves.
  5. The pace of innovation in China is faster than ever seen.

Stuart Landesberg, Cofounder and CEO of environment-friendly home product company Grove Collaborative, shared that trust and curation go hand-in-hand with customer acquisition. The curation process must include hard science, analyzing ingredients, packaging etc.

Farhan Siddiqi, Chief Digital Officer at Ahold Delhaize, shared the following insights:

  1. Everything is connected and automation is happening in various functions.
  2. Retailers should innovate in logistics first to test the waters.
  3. Due to the cost associated with the pick and deliver model, finding efficiency is the key for retailer logistics.
  4. Algorithms are the invisible intelligence that will transform retail.
  5. Data, especially clean data, is extremely important but filtering through the noise is time consuming.
  6. To execute a data strategy effectively, companies sometimes need a cultural transformation first.

 

Zia Daniell Wigder speaking to Farhan Siddiqi.
Source: Coresight Research

 

Deep Dive: Groundbreaking International Grocery Offerings

Zia Daniell Wigder, Chief Global Content Officer at Shoptalk, shared the following insights:

  1. The fresh grocery sector in China recorded $730 billion in sales last year; that’s bigger than the US market.
  2. There is enormous interest in food safety in China.
  3. In Japan, robots are sometimes viewed and treated as friendly colleagues with spirits in them rather than as a job-stealing threat.
  4. France has become the center of AI innovation in Europe and invented the drive-thru grocery shop concept.

See our previous coverage for Groceryshop 2019 here:

Groceryshop 2019: Day 1 Insights – Emerging Technology Spotlight

Groceryshop 2019: Day 2 Insights – Artificial Intelligence, Personalization and Growth Channels

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