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What to expect in 2019

BY Marianne Wilson

Here are a few ideas on retailers should expect in 2019 and 2020 from Michael Halula, retail-CPG sector general manager, Americas, Teradata.

• Frictionless Experience – Retailers are looking to integrate their physical and digital channels to create a single shopping experience. The challenge is to incorporate a way to integrate their interactions as the customer purchase in the store, buys additional affinity products online, selects ship to home and to track their purchase through fulfillment.

• AI Adoption – One of the most singular requests I get is how a retailer can adopt AI in their business processes ranging from supply chain, fulfillment, in-store stock replenishment, to automated personalized communications through the purchasing process. Walmart, Lowe’s and other retailers are testing robotics in-store to improve shelve replenishment/ stocking to automating the pick and pack processes.

• Last Mile/ Logistics – Every retailer is focused on the full-time process. All companies are investing, partnering or through acquisitions to enhance the cost effectiveness of fulfillment. Retailers are using BOPIS towers/ lockers (Walmart, Amazon), entering into partnerships with other retailers (Amazon & Kohl’s), and making strategic acquisitions (Walmart & Parcel). The emphasis has sparked supply chain initiatives to improve the speed to deliver while reduce the cost of goods sold.

• Acquisitions – Walmart has it in their strategy to continue acquiring other companies to speed (since 2016, the chain has made seven major acquisitions) and other retailers are aggressively exploring more acquisitions as well.

• Investments in Physical Experience – Walmart, Target, Macy’s to name a few are all investing in the store experience. Macy’s [email protected]’s pop-up store concept & their off brand Backstage stores will change the way customer’s shop with Macy’s. Target investing in a complete physical store make over (1,000 stores across the country by the end of 2020) will provide a new, exciting shopping experience.

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