Retail intelligence consists of using tools to measure and determine customer behaviour in retail chains or establishments. This information may pertain to customer visits, the relationship between price and promotion or sales, traffic in a particular aisle or the displays, and even heat zone analysis. Such information helps retailers greatly forecast sales and predict customer behaviour to further improve sales.
Given its importance, retail intelligence and analytics have emerged as a prominent field of research with many companies offering such services. This article lists some of the retail intelligence companies that hold great promise for the year 2021. The list is in no particular order.
BRIDGEi2i offers a range of data science solutions, a portfolio of AI-based services in the context of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketplace. The company claims that these services have helped its clientele influence consumer behaviour and decision, drive sales growth, get the market value for marketing spend, and enhance supply chain planning.
BRIDGEi2i offers five main solutions in the context of retail intelligence and analytics:
- Price and promotion solution: This leverages the company’s proprietary optimisation algorithm to determine pricing decisions’ effectiveness, make recommendations for actions on pricing, and provide an ideal promotion mix across categories.
- Media and trade spend optimiser: The company uses optimisation algorithms for analysing media and trade spends to determine what contributes most to sales and ROI.
- Assortment Planning: This solution helps BRIDGEi2i’s clientele in leveraging recommendation engines in analysing store-level buying patterns.
- Supply chain planning: BRIDGEi2i uses AI-based solutions for demand prediction with automated demand forecasting and intelligent alerts. Based on these alerts, the company then helps its clients to set the right inventory targets.
- Employee engagement: The AI-powered employee engagement solution from BRIDGEi2i helps HR organisations in talent acquisition, resource planning, and engagement.
The retail and the CPG industry are among the two primary industries that advanced analytics company Fractal Analytics caters to. It is much sought after in the business. Even as other companies suffered significant losses due to the pandemic, Fractal Analytics brought in a range of innovative solutions, especially for the retail sector. Some of them are:
- Providing intelligent solutions for store operations during the lockdown, such as store traffic management, early warning systems for choke points, and merchandise management for essential categories.
- Analysing data to identify hot-spots and product-browsing aisles having greater traffic
- Assistance in store level forecasts for adjusting stock up and catering for spike in consumer demand. Fractal also provided solutions for returns prediction and anomaly detection.
- Real-time monitoring of plant and machinery, along with predictive and prescriptive maintenance
- Enabling teams to make data decisions from remote working locations
Bangalore-headquartered Manthan is a leading cloud analytics company, catering specifically to consumer-facing businesses such as retail and CPG. The company uses decision sciences, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence to process decision context and respond with actionable recommendations for managing different business aspects such as marketing, merchandising store, demand and supply. Manthan recorded a 647 per cent jump in profits in FY20.
Some of its products and solutions are:
- Customer360: It is a cloud-based customer analytics platform that helps aggregate and analyse transaction, loyalty, and campaign data from conventional and digital data. This product uses descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive algorithms for the marketer to understand the customer’s purchasing behaviour.
- TargetOne: It is a cloud-based SaaS solution that provides an integrated, personalised platform for maintaining customer data and profile across all touchpoints.
- Omnichannel personalisation: Through this, Manthan targets customers with relevant communication across channels in real-time
- Vendor link: It is a supplier collaboration software that offers full life cycle support, starting from supplier discovery to display space hiring
Bangalore-based DataWeave is a technology company that provides actionable analytics to businesses. In an earlier interview with Analytics India Magazine, Karthik Bettadapura, Co-Founder and CEO, DataWeave had said, “Our purpose-built, AI-enabled data aggregation and analysis platform harnesses billions of data points from diverse web sources to provide retailers and consumer brands with key competitive insights on pricing, product assortment, and promotions in near-real-time.” These insights are used by DataWeave’s SaaS-based data visualisation platform or directly fed through the APIs into the clients’ analytics platform.
Some of the solutions provided by DataWeave include:
- Brand analytics: It helps in tracking and optimising digital drivers to enhance sales. DataWeave, under its brand analytics suite, has two services — digital shelf analytics and brand protection. With digital shelf analytics, organisations can audit their content, track availability, and perform sentiment analysis based on reviews and ratings. With brand protection, businesses can cut down violations and restrict unauthorised merchants from their online channels.
- Pricing intelligence: DataWeave helps businesses with strategic pricing decisions based on data from consumer demand and rivals’ pricing.
- Assortment Analytics: With this service, businesses can spot emerging trends, fill their assortment with in-demand products, and identify gaps in their catalogue.
- Promotional Insights: DataWeave helps businesses analyse historical patterns and data-driven insights on competitors’ campaigns for designing their promotional strategies.
The San Francisco/Mumbai-based Intelligence Node calls itself an ‘independent data powerhouse’ and offers one of the most extensive AI-driven retail datasets. It provides a comprehensive, product and pricing dataset using AI-driven algorithms. It offers cross-departmental solutions in pricing and promotion, merchandising, e-commerce, and marketing.
Some of its product offerings include:
- Incompetitor: It offers competitive benchmarking for pricing and assortment. Under this service, the Intelligence Node offers round-the-clock price and product monitoring, spotting market trends with competitive retail intelligence, and AI-based image analytics.
- Inoptimiser: It is a product from Intelligent Node for end-to-end price optimisation. It offers proprietary DeepLearning AI which combines market insights with company-wise business goals. Additionally, automated price intelligence software analyses pricing history and recommends upselling price scales.
- Infeed: It is a large retail dataset provided on custom APIs. Intelligence Node offers an AI-powered decision-making platform for setting up data teams and in-house infrastructure based on companies’ internal data.
Bangalore-headquartered Course5 Intelligence helps its client organisations in their digital transformation through analytics, market insights, and artificial intelligence. Some of its services are:
Customer analytics: Under this, Course5 intelligence provides tools for leveraging cross-platform customer data for effective insights, tracking customer engagement, customer retention and risk modelling, building intelligent campaigns, and understanding customer need. To this effect, the company leverages a range of technologies such as segmentation analysis algorithms, NLP engine, comprehensive API libraries, among others.
Market analytics: Here, Course5 Intelligence gathers input from primary research as well as those obtained from social media to generate insights on customer preferences and needs. The company offers a range of business intelligence tools such as dashboards and chatbots for delivery through multiple channels
Competitive intelligence: AI and machine learning enabled proprietary technology platforms from Course5 Intelligence helps in data mining and information synthesis across channels to get the complete view of customer, competition, and the market