Data analytics

Transportation Optimization - a silver bullet to solve "last mile delivery?"

Ted Matwijec, Managing Director, ACT Operations Research – Raleigh, NC.

Learn how knowing your constraints and customer demands feeds sophisticated algorithms to provide optimal routing and balance delivery vs costs   Lately I have been seeing more and more of those brand-new Amazon Prime - Mercedes panel trucks making deliveries around my neighborhood.   Also, I have even seen the USPS delivering packages on Sunday (contracted by Amazon I am sure).  What’s going on Sunday deliveries? On demand delivery with time windows specified by a customer is becoming the consumer norm.  Remember the delivery or service call by your cable TV/Internet provider saying my service guy will be there between 8 am and noon then shows up at 11:50am.  Met their promise, but ruined your whole morning wasted sitting around! Let me assure you that customer service problem can be solved and you don’t need the resources of Amazon, UPS or Fed Ex. Amazon is clearly moving into the supply chain delivery markets much to the chagrin of FED EX and UPS to take back their “last mile” deliveries of their goods and solve this problem for the customer.    The question is how can they make the most expensive part of delivery – the “last or golden mile” to a customer profitable? From our experience in these markets, simply put, Amazon, Fed Ex, UPS and other large transportation companies have the best and brightest staff of Math, Statistical Phds that constantly hone their algorithms to minimize costs and maximize the service requirements.   When profit is measured in pennies in a transportation system – (that’s why you see the UPS guys running from each delivery back to their trucks) – the solution cannot be a spreadsheet or database or even year 2000 optimization technology. It is not rocket science, well maybe sort of, but rather advanced mathematics (think Calculus) applied to route planning optimization and fleet capacity analysis.  These transportation algorithms (remember the traveling salesman problem) have generically been around for decades, however now they are totally customized, enhanced and improved enough to cover the most minutia of system requirements – by many software companies.  I read that UPS has put 10’s of millions of dollars in R&D over the years into their algorithms to update and improve optimize their KPIs – as an example! So, why now is the “last delivery mile” more complex and expensive than ever?   The short answer, the customer is demanding it and will go other places if your company cannot provide it!   We all know how poor delivery can be written up in YELP or GOOGLE about your business – a big problem in the social media world for your marketing department.   (eg. – delivered food late for a kid’s birthday party) The good news for any retail or grocery store fleet manager is that to solve the “last mile delivery” the technology today is much less expensive and available for all size of fleets and route planners The long answer is the complexity of the business rules, constraints and requirements to execute this service.   First some examples…of customer/supplier requirement I am seeing today in our markets of retail and grocery applications - Customers: Wants confirmation of a tighter availability of their grocery delivery – eg. In the next 30 minutes Desire communications via a mobile app, email or text to the customer – about the updated arrival time. Want a positive experience to tell their friends how good their deliveries are! – We all want that on demand! Grocery/Retail Stores with their own fleets, or outsourced via 3PLs - Wants a confirmation signature the groceries have been delivered and that information is sent back to the IT system in real time, with SKU information, for example – for replenishment purposes. Wants real time updates from their drivers about location, traffic and estimated delivery window to communicate back to the customer. Wants to be able to reschedule a driver in real time for a new pickup at the store/warehouse or pick-up a returned item. So, the lengthy transportation distances between warehouses to stores is a natural issue solved by logistics teams for inventory replenishment.  Now add that complex delivery network and inventory now required “on demand” from a store location or back in the warehouse for a customer that wants it delivered this afternoon – and you get to see why the “last mile” delivery starts to become complex and expensive!  From a labor, IT system connection, communication systems, loading, unloading, time window point of view, the human brain cannot possibly manage all the variables in your network – to balance cost vs services. Lot’s of moving business costs involved to serve the customer. So, from my 30  + years in the Operations Research field, I can strongly recommend an updated math model is appropriate for route planning and optimization and is the potential strategic “silver bullet” you are looking for – to support you competing in your markets!  Of-course it is not the whole answer, you have to execute a plan, change some processes and manage the fleet – the cultural processes. Question, when was the last time you asked for your route planning algorithms to be updated in your home grown business system,  TMS or ERP system, meanwhile your points of service network has changed a lot just in the last 5 years! I have seen the market share winners in the tight margin grocery or retail store business realize that the supply chain strategy to optimize delivery to their clients from source through the delivery point is accomplished by using transportation optimization.   Managing constraints like labor, fuel costs, traffic conditions, time window, texts and emails to meet that short time window and the “last mile” requires serious modeling/computational power and IT changes. The good news is that this technology is more readily available, less expensive from providers, easier to use for your staff, and has proven real cost savings – to meet or exceed your customers expectations. How much did your optimization algorithms cut your cost in your delivery system last year? Find the hidden value in your delivery system today, using math optimization, your savings should be a min. 10%+ or more in our experience to deliver on time or earlier and impress your customers! +MORE

Personalized Wellness

ScriptSave® - WellRx

As a nation we spend over $5 trillion a year to feed our bodies.1 That’s the value of food sold each year in the United States through retail and food service including nearly 38,000 supermarkets, an estimated 150,000 convenience stores, and over one million restaurants. The U.S. food industry is immense, touching every person in the nation every day. We then spend trillions more each year taking care of ourselves. The U.S. healthcare industry is massive, projected to be over $5 trillion a year by 2025 and representing an estimated 20% of the country’s GDP.2 So we have two titanic industries that touch each consumer… and yet food and healthcare are largely disconnected. Plus, with 40,000+ unique products in a typical grocery store, the choices are overwhelming to the average consumer trying to shop for foods to appease any number of nutrition-sensitive health conditions. Personalized Wellness At ScriptSave, our vision of personalized wellness aligns managed care organizations, healthcare providers, employers, food manufacturers and retailers to improve and maintain the wellness of each individual. The power of the personalized wellness vision lies in the economic benefits provided to each member of this ecosystem. The personalized wellness food-health supply chain begins with the individual consumer, an understanding of his or her health condition, and food products beneficial to that condition. As the source of food, retailers become, in a sense, an extension of personalized healthcare, and a trusted partner in wellness for each individual. What better loyalty for a retailer than helping customers live healthier lives? Public Health Implications The implications from a public health perspective are enormous. 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug and 60% of the U.S. population is dealing with at least one chronic health condition. Our aim is to evaluate food products based on their nutritional attributes and provide insight to possible grocery alternatives that are more favorably aligned with each shopper’s personal health and wellness goals.  Our vision is no less ambitious than to improve health outcomes for millions of individuals. ScriptSave is mobilizing key participants to realize the Personalized Wellness vision. Purchase validation of beneficial products creates a powerful feedback loop Improves future recommendations Powers performance-based incentives provided by managed care organizations Helps providers drive improved outcomes Provides brand manufacturers powerful insight to shopper needs  The Rise of Artificial Intelligence It is only recently that artificial intelligence data and technologies are available to personalize, at a product level, food recommendations that are beneficial to each individual. Deconstructing nutrition information to countless data attributes enables powerful linkage between health conditions and the hundreds of thousands of food products available across the United States. What makes it all work is the ability to convey personalized food guidance to the individual via the smartphone in their hand while in the store aisle. “Food is the area consumers really want to deal with the most,” states Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, health economist for Think Health. “Nobody really wants to take medicine. People would rather project-manage health through food as prescription.”3 A recent meeting with a physician group highlighted the shortcomings of efforts to date as doctors explained patients forget nearly everything within 24 hours of leaving the office. Perhaps what is most powerful about the personalized wellness vision is that everyone across the food-healthcare supply chain benefits from improved health outcomes and quality of life for the individual. Retailers gain stronger customer relationships as they come to be viewed as true partners in wellness, and consumer goods brand manufacturers have a path to redemption from the processed foods abyss. 1 “U.S. Food Retail Industry - Statistics & Facts”, Statista, 2 Mark Hagland, “Medicare Actuaries: U.S. Healthcare Spending to Soar to $5.631 Trillion and 20.1 Percent of GDP in 2025”,, (July 18, 2016) 3 Drug Store News, Future Trends: Self care, wellness shift to drive innovation in new, emerging health segments,, (August 18, 2017) +MORE

Timing is everything and ‘your newest team member’ is right on time!

Lan Nguyen, Marketing Manager, Bossa Nova Robotics

With AI and data from your newest team member, retail work has never been easier. Bossa Nova, a leader in creating autonomous service robots for the global retail industry, tracks inventory plus store and shelf conditions in real-time. Its solution delivers data with speed and accuracy. By reducing inventory time, Bossa Nova is able to provide real-time data for stock levels with improved accuracy. So how does this translate to a financial gain for retailers? First, by automating mundane tasks, employees are happy and happy employees make a happier retail environment. You might wonder how many hours are spent on mundane tasks such as inventory audits.  There are 30,098 items in the average grocery store. A typical Target store has around 80,000 SKUs and a Walmart supercenter sells up to 120,000 items. It takes about 20 human hours to audit 10,000 products. Following this logic, an average grocery store would require over 60 hours per store,  160 hours per store for Target, and a whopping 240 hours auditing shelves at a Walmart Supercenter. It’s easy to see how grocery stores following the recommended minimum quarterly inventory schedule forfeit a high proportion of human working hours to this task. For those that audit monthly, the labor costs are even more tremendous.   Bossa Nova helps retailers automate these inventory audits and monitor shelf-conditions in parallel, scanning an 80 linear foot aisle in 90 seconds with 98% accuracy. Through automation, employee focus can be shifted to more action oriented, customer-centric tasks, while the Bossa Nova robot detects anomalies in shelf conditions, covering everything from addressing out of stock and misplaced items, to pricing, and more. This shift in employee focus to the customer directly translates to higher shopper satisfaction and increased loyalty. It is estimated that out of stocks cost retailers over $129 billion in lost sales in North America - a loss of -4% of revenue annually. (the cumulative worldwide cost of out-of-stocks for retailers has now reached over $984b) A study conducted by MIT Supply Chain Management Research determined that 78% of products that are not on the shelves (i.e out of stocks) are actually on-hand. Given this, a majority of out of stock issues can likely be resolved in-store. Inventory replenishment is critical to success, and those tasks need to occur at store level. Having the right products in the right place when consumers are looking for them (both online and in-store) allows sales to escalate and deliver a sales velocity that makes the most effective use of each square foot of space. Bossa Nova is committed to maximizing this efficiency by gathing  reliable, real-time data that delivers task oriented, actionable items. Efficient inventory control improves speed to shelf by alerting store-level associates of inventory on hand, as well as buying desks / suppliers of true OOS situations. Through computer vision implementation, retailers can accurately assess, and more importantly, address in-store conditions in real-time, across all locations. Real-time accuracy is not only important to retailers, but it is also important to your shoppers. By having accurate inventory, confidence thresholds for item availability can be increased for both in-store and online shopper inventory inquiries. In fact, 81% of shoppers do research online before visiting a physical store for what they want to buy, yet only 27% of retail sites provide store level inventory. When the robot “wheels” into your stores, you will be saving intensive labor hours and improving your store conditions with unmatched accuracy. Bossa Nova has the credibility and experience to help retail operations realize the return on investment and successfully integrate with existing platforms and systems. There are two popular sayings that really affect your bottom line: “Timing is everything”, and “Time is money”, and in business, money really is everything. While many technology companies are still working to surmount the bell learning curve of applied technology, Bossa Nova is equipped with extensive retail experience and has been trusted by operations and IT professions to successfully integrate and lead this huge step in retail automation. With accurate inventory management, you can increase your revenue potential and more accurately can forecast the future. +MORE

Discovering the Holy Grail of Retail: Online-Offline Convergence

Sena Zorlu, Instapio

Over the past years, retailers have been investing into digital transformation, creating online stores and making their brick and mortar locations smarter. On the startup side, there has been a massive growth of retail technology companies in multiple areas to improve operations, cut costs and bring in more customers. There’s no Magical Solution Today there are multiple solutions that claim online and offline convergence. These are mainly: Data Management Platforms that will tie online and mobile identities to retailer’s offline data (CRM, POS, Loyalty) to provide historical view. Mobile Attribution and Retargeting platforms that will understand when mobile users are in your stores and retarget them with timely and relevant information. iBeacons that will help you communicate with your app users in granular proximity. Guest WiFi that requires social login or email that can be tied to your CRM. It is very confusing for retailers to understand what solution to invest in when the common value proposition is the same: we will bring you the holy grail; we will connect online with offline. However, the main problem with all these technologies is that they are lab technologies. They work perfectly in controlled environments where every condition is met. Well if all your customers download your mobile application and they turn on their bluetooth and they open the application and they stand next to this sensor than the technology works. Retailers are promised an amazing connected world where they have full control of their customers yet when these solutions are installed, the results don’t come near what was promised. This is why there are so many POC’s but so little mass deployments of technologies. Retailers need to understand that today, technologies that promise to connect them to customers are still in preliminary stages of growth. This is because there are pre-conditions for these technologies to work and consumers rarely act the way we aspire them to.  The costs and efforts associated with having every customer download and not delete a mobile application are astronomical. Even when you bear the costs, app store discoverability is really difficult and consumers are app tired, looking for a reason to delete an app. When a technology is not adopted by the masses, your results will be skewed because of the small usage base. Any A/B testing or campaign on a small sample size will lead for wrong strategy. Another blocker with mobile technologies is the device manufacturers themselves. Mobile based technologies use sensors and features within the mobile phone which puts the retail industry at the mercy of the manufacturers. So when a manufacturer decides to turn off location collection from mobile applications, your investment into mobile attribution may sink overnight. Which retail technologies will win? To be able to understand what is going on in the store environment, retailers need better data generation than what exists today. In order to take real time responsive action the way ecommerce sites can do, retailers need access to real time, contextual data that can speak with existing systems they have. Mobile apps do not fill the void of collecting this data. Meaningful information can only be collected with sensory technologies that will passively collect data from a large sample. The first result of this trend has been in-store analytics. In-store analytics has presented a better picture of what is going on in the store and help understand the funnel that leads to purchases. The next wave of technology is to improve what we can do with this sensory data. Historical analytics is nice to have but will not magically save retailers. The next wave of retail technology will come as software layer that sits on top of sensory information and will affect all operations from merchandising, real time campaigns, personalization, staffing and everything else. So what can retailers do today? One thing we know for sure is that consumer behavior is rapidly changing and brick and mortar retailers must adapt to the changes demanded by customers. Retailers must be educating themselves with new technologies and changing consumer behavior. Big box stores have built lab environments to test new technologies, the easiest thing smaller retailers can do is to dedicate one store, preferably near their headquarters as their lab environment. They can be open to testing new technologies rapidly and choose best startups that can act with a real store rather than doing a fancy presentation or a demo. Retailers need to be in the conversation of emerging technologies. There are many technology startups like us who are working for the core problems that retailers are facing today. Whatever the retailer’s size may be, a lot of startups will be open to testing and working with them to solve specific industry problems. Small and medium sized retailers can become more innovative by becoming part of the solution. Building internal teams, dedicating test stores, working intimately with startups, having leadership teams advise retail tech startups are just some of the things retailers can start with that won’t require significant budgets. What we are working on At Instapio, we have been working on unifying different identities customers have to paint a clear picture of what is happening in the store and bring aggregated insight to help retailers. Our goal from the first day was to bring the automagical aspects of online to the physical world. It’s a big challenge and there is no one shot solution to create it. It requires collecting and merging of data from multiple assets, unifying different identities, making all the data talk in the same language and delivering it to the retailer in a format that can be used. This is why we are building an ecosystem around bringing all this sensory information together and make it available to talk to management systems in real time. We are working closely with the Advancing Retail platform, very excited to learn and help solve brick and mortar business challenges. +MORE

ScriptSave® WellRx

Medical Security Card Company LLC.

Discount Rx Card & Prescription Price Comparison Cost and inconvenience are the biggest reasons people don't take their prescribed medicines. ScriptSave WellRx wants to remedy that and help people enjoy better health. Start saving on your family's prescription medicines! Search for savings on prescription medicines and compare prices at pharmacies near you. With the ScriptSave® WellRx mobile app, you can find the prescription medicines your family needs at the savings you love. ScriptSave WellRx is the trusted resource that makes prescription medicines more affordable and easier to manage because ScriptSave WellRx cares about helping people stay healthy. ScriptSave WellRx is free to join. And, we're accepted nationwide at more than 62,000 pharmacies. It's easy to start saving on prescription medicines for your entire household – even pets! Simply download the ScriptSave WellRx prescription discount app to your iPhone or Android Phone, enter a drug name, and compare prices. You can open the app any time, anywhere to search for the best discount at pharmacies near you. Simply show your printed or digital prescription discount card when you go to pick up your prescription and enjoy the best possible deals on your medications. +MORE


AI Powered Promotion Optimization


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


Grab and Go Automated Commerce

Accel Robotics

We are building a ‘Grab and Go’ vision-based automated shopping system. Think about this like an Amazon Go solution for everyone else. +MORE




We provide actionable prescriptive geospatial intelligence to businesses and help them make all the right choices based on their data.  Fract is inspired by fractals – countless geometric figures that have the exact same characteristics as the whole. Fractals can be found everywhere in nature – snowflakes, clouds and even our own hearts – and are used to describe various complex, recurring natural events like crystal growth and galaxy formation. We predict and help businesses to maximize their potential based on the tiny patterns found inside the data. We believe in continuous data analysis and uncovering patterns to make use of the infinite amounts of data that increases every single hour, of every single day. +MORE


Grocery is Going Digital. The Time is Now.


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


Automation and Personalization of the Retail Store

Instapio Inc.

Instapio allows chain retailers to gain control of their business and automate customer experience standards. By using Instapio, retailers create seamless and intuitive locations that are responsive to the presence and habits of their customers.  The solution will operate as a decision making engine for each store and across the chain to measure millions of data points in real time, make decisions based on business priorities and optimize operations. Imagine a super store manager that oversees the everyday operations of all stores. +MORE


DART Displays

DART Displays

DART Displays offers a way to transform the in-store shopping experience to one that is digital and dynamic, with reporting and analytics that lead to big insights about what moves your shopper to purchase.     By leveraging DART Displays structures (both permanent and flexible) you can and will create a best in class approach for enhancing the brand experience in-store.  +MORE


Smart Gammified Customer Feedback Surveys and Analytics


Wyzerr builds artificial intelligence software for data collection and analytics that look and feel like games. The basis of Wyzerr’s platform is making it as fun, fast, and easy as possible for consumers to provide actionable feedback data, and business stakeholders to understand and use that data to make decisions in real-time. Wyzerr’s ‘Smartforms’ can capture 25 questions in under 60 seconds. Our secret sauce is the machine learning algorithms infused within the platform. Wyzerr smartforms processes feedback in real-time like a human being would, rapidly digesting the information and asking new questions as a human would in a real dialogue. It allows brands to truly understand who their customers really are. What they like, don’t like, what makes them sad, mad, and happy…all in real-time. This machine learning capability makes it possible for every customer to receive a unique feedback questionnaire. There’s no such thing as one-survey-fits-all at Wyzerr.  The data is analyzed in real-time to produce actionable insight around the clock. Instead of complex graphs and pie charts, our insight-based dashboard outputs data on a GPA scale, assigning grades (A, B, C, D, and F) for different key performance indicators. Similar to how progress reports in school advise students on what they should do to improve their grades, Wyzerr's AI component advises business stakeholders what they can do to improve their customer experience. Overtime, and with more feedback data, Wyzerr can also recommend new products and services to be developed, suggest improvements to existing products, identify new trends and upsell opportunities, and advise on the types of market messages to run. It’s essentially a technology to use customers’ feedback to support operational decisions. We offer data science in a box. +MORE


Artificial Intelligence Product, Price & Assortment Optimization

Daisy Intelligence Corporation

Use the power of A.I. to make the optimal choices clear. Measuring grocery and retail data is a highly complex and tedious task. The changing and dynamic relationships between your products and customers in addition to the effects of pricing and promotions make understanding and leveraging all this data humanly impossible. Daisy does what humans can’t. Using our focused artificial intelligence (A.I.) and proprietary mathematic solutions Daisy turns impossible big data problems into actionable decisions. We analyze very large quantities of our clients’ transaction and operational data in order to provide weekly promotional, price, and forecasting recommendations which our clients can use to grow total sales basket size, improve margins, and delight customers. Daisy provides more than tools and dashboards, instead Daisy provides you with actionable insights that are proven to help you make more profitable decisions and compete in the new world of retail. Daisy turns your underleveraged data into your most profitable asset and source of competitive advantage.  Why Daisy? Outputs are specific, actionable recommendations to core merchandising decisions – not charts or tools A.I. is self-learning and adaptive -perfect for the dynamic world of retail Outputs are optimized to bottom-line/top line performance No hardware/software to install – up and running in 30-60 days Without a doubt, Daisy has driven a meaningful lift in basket size and trips without any additional margin cost – Scott Little, CFO Earth Fare Read the case study with Earth Fare here to find out more! +MORE


Crowdsourced Picking&Delivery for eCommerce


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


Robots for Retailers

Bossa Nova Robotics

It is estimated that out-of-stocks account for -4% loss in revenue, not to mention the possible long-term effects of losing loyal shoppers. Great shelving conditions can lead to great shopping experiences. Bossa Nova is the leading developer of robots designed to provide real-time inventory data for the global retail industry. Our retail service robot autonomously tracks inventory and the true state of in-store conditions to seamlessly deliver actionable tasks benefiting retailers through efficiencies and accuracy.   Ensure implementation and maximize operational efficiencies by relying on the retail experience and expertise of Bossa Nova. Our trusted team makes it work for all retailers - helping them turn real-time data into actionable tasks and insights.  Real-Time, Accurate Inventory Data Product Availablity with Efficient/Actionable/Timely Replenishment Real-time Corrective Actions to Remedy Merchandising, Pricing and Promotion Compliance  +MORE


My Cloud Grocer Solution Guide


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


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


Swift Access

Swift IQ

Swift Access helps to unify data sources and make them accessible on-demand. Process millions of records in milliseconds to facilitate real-time decisioning and individualized marketing to take your customer experience to the next level. Big Data Storage: Harness big data and make any dataset accessible in milliseconds on-demand, even for hundreds of millions of records. We ensure high availability regardless of data size, concurrent users and demand velocity. Data Import: Upload and sync data efficiently from one or many sources via CSV, XML or our REST API. Omni-Channel: Deliver content anywhere with consistency from a single backend. Security: Data is encrypted and stored in highly secure data centers. Developer Tools: Start building apps in minutes with an interactive developer portal, sandbox, sample code in many languages and starter applications. Analytics: We store and index your usage data so you can understand how data is consumed across any channel, user, or device. On-Demand Access: Access data on-demand from any digital device via hypermedia REST APIs capable of transmitting JSON, XML, HTML [and more]. Auto Scaling: We auto allocate and optimize servers and scaling so you can focus entirely on building user experiences. Pay for usage, not peak capacity. User Management: Add any number of user internal or external users or developer using secure OAuth2.0 authentication. Global Reach: Benefit from high-speed data delivery across a high replication global content delivery network with a dedicated cache. +MORE


Gauging the Impact of Display and Brand Messaging on the Cereal Category

RetailNext Learning Labs, RetailNext, RockTenn Merchandising Displays, & CART

The goal of this project was to determine whether or not in-line display fixturing and messaging increased brand and category sales and drives acceptable ROI.     +MORE


Balance Innovations Suite of Solutions

Balance Innovations


Balance Innovations offers the only retail software platform that connects all points of your currency operations,  lowering the cost of accepting cash and increasing efficiency at all levels of the organization. It provides multi‐ layer security and effortless integration of all your devices and systems to give you an immediate, complete view  of your entire enterprise.  This comprehensive visibility enables you to understand what’s happening across your entire organization without tapping into multiple systems or reports. It puts all the information you need right in front of you –  customized to thresholds you choose – so you can be proactive in addressing issues before they become problems.   +MORE




GoSpotCheck is mobile form and execution management software that enables team leaders to improve workforce operations. Organizations can assign tasks, analyze real-time reporting, and drive action to accomplish critical goals and objectives. +MORE


Customer Demographics Analysis


DoorStat sets up proprietary sensors at pedestrian doorways or points of interest where the technology automatically analyzes foot traffic & associated demographic info for attendees through video-based, proprietary software. The software, working in real-time, will collect, analyze, and report on customer demographic information, including the gender, age, ethnicity, and mood of each customer. Because customers are passively analyzed, DoorStat collects information on more customers than would be possible through surveys, other forms of technology, or high-overhead initiatives. DoorStat data helps retailers improve customer experience, optimize staffing/operations, validate marketing efforts, identify customer/product correlations, & predict future behavior. Example Insight: between 1-4pm on June 1, location xyz had 523 customers, of which 311 were female; of those females, 36.72% were between 35-44 years old; within that age demographic, 29% were Hispanic. +MORE


BEFORE! Predictive Analytics

ACT Operations Research

1) Predict demand down to store and SKU level 2) Predict promotional campaign affect in the store, transportation and warehouse operations 3) Buy optimal quantities 4) Manage the risk associated with stock outs vs promotional campaigns and waste 5) considers assortment constraints and category efficiency 6) simulate store queuing for capacity analysis purposes and cost reduction purposes.  REVENUE, SALES & PROMOTION Revenue management and price optimization is a core-activity in any market oriented company operating in different industries (Retails, Fast Fashion, Chain Store, Car Rentals, Web Business, etc.). The goal of our suite is to provide, to the revenue managers, advanced analytics, using a unique combination and integration of predictive, optimization and simulation models. While the analytics tools are complex the results are always presented in an intuitive way. The core products included in the Revenue, Sale, Price & Promotion (RSP&P) suite are: Dynamic Price Optimizer (DPO), the multi-paradigm predictive paltform - Before! Predictive Analytics with Before! Sales Campaign -, the customers and market profiling analytics (CMP), the promotion optimization and what-if analysis platform - Before! Promo.  Before! Sales Campaign Before! Sales Campaign software addresses the needs of industries where the products and the merchandise assortments, have a fast renewal  dynamics, even during the same season, like the case of fashion and  fast-fashion channels, electronics or several web-business  Before! Promo Before!Promo, is a complete multi-paradigm analytical tool by ACTOR, developed for scaling enterprise companies. In the current competitive scenario the consumers pay high attention to the promotions, on the other hand promotions exposed retailers and vendors to higher risks in terms of image, in case of stock-out or costs in case of over-stock. When products are fresh-food or fast fashion for example, the risks become even higher.  Before! Predictive Analytics  Before! Predictive Analytics or simply Before!, is a complete multi-paradigm demand forecasting platform by ACTOR, developed for scaling enterprise companies. Before! provides you the capability to forecast the demand while gaining control of the related organization processes such as; planning, procurement, inventory optimization, store replenishments, etc..  Dynamic Price Optimization  Dynamic Price Optimization (DPO) is a capacity and revenue management software based on sophisticated analytical algorithms. It permits users to optimize the prices of products, assets and commodities over the time based on the expected demand, the competitor’s prices and other key-information like, for example, price elasticity.   +MORE



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 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

Are Grocery Retailers Chasing Shiny Objects?

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Advancing Retail

I participated in a rapid-fire panel discussion at Groceryshop this past week looking at 10 different technologies for supermarket retail. It was a lot of fun speaking with Phil Lempert, Brita Rosenheim, comparing our thoughts in a lively debate that brought up some good points for retailers to consider. Amidst the explosive growth of new innovative capabilities coming into retail, there are a number of things that seem to have been created just because technology now enables new things - not necessarily focused on solving specific issues. And we see too many retailers chasing after each new shiny object without a real plan for what they’re trying to accomplish. I think that solution providers should focus on what problems they are helping solve for the retailer, or what benefits they help create for the retailer or shopper. Broadly speaking, new capabilities should help the retailer reduce costs, improve operations, or help benefit the overall shopping experience. Customer facing capabilities ultimately should help the retailer attract new shoppers, grow the value of existing shoppers, or better retain shoppers over time.  Running a retail organization, particularly a larger organization, is a complex challenge. It is an incredibly dynamic business, high sales volumes and low profit margins, that is dependent on doing a million different things well. I’d suggest that retailers can use the same lens suggested earlier for reviewing new capabilities and starting to bring some order to the chaos of new innovation. First and foremost is a focus on the customer and understanding that retail competition has shifted from mass promotion to share-of-wallet and shopper lifetime value.  +MORE

The Promise & Peril of Retail Personalization

Gary Hawkins, Founder, CEO, Advancing Retail

As we head into Groceryshop 2019 I am struck by the number of solution providers focused on providing marketing personalization. It is safe to say that retail personalization has arrived. And yet is also safe to say that far too few retailers truly understand what’s involved with providing effective personalization and how fast capabilities are moving in this space. As supermarket retail has been dragged into the digital age, personalization has become a customer expectation, no longer a nice-to-have. And solution providers have come out of the woodwork to provide capabilities to retailers, each proclaiming the sophistication of their approach and the use of AI and machine learning.  But here’s the problem: Like any engine, the quality of personalization is dependent on the fuel it’s running on… and too many retailers are providing poor quality fuel or, even worse, lack the fuel necessary. As retail enters the Age of ‘i’ - a time of maximizing share-of-wallet and growing lifetime value of each individual customer - far too many retailers lack customer identified transaction data, the primary fuel. Looking at a list of the top 50 supermarket retailers, approximately half of them have little to no customer identified purchase data.  Beyond that, personalization is driven by customer intelligence; the more known about the customer the better. Customer intelligence is driven by attributes, attributes tagged to the customer and to the products he or she purchases. Attributes can, and should, also include location and other information that can be brought in from outside data sources. Knowing what product a customer purchases is good, knowing that the product is sugar-free and gluten-free adds that much more insight to what that customer is searching for. This is where retailers need to start to dig when evaluating different personalization capabilities. What, and how many, attributes are maintained and how they impact recommendations is key to relevancy. How those attributes are created and refreshed is also massively important. Batch cycles and customer segments are yesterday’s approach; look for automated creation of customer profile attributes and systems capable of calculating, maintaining, and ingesting hundreds and even thousands of attributes tagged to the individual shopper and products. Anyone with customer identified purchase data and a spreadsheet can quickly identify products frequently purchased by a customer. It takes more sophistication to track each product’s purchase cadence for each individual customer. And even more sophistication to understand subtle changes in customer behavior. A handful of retailers realize that contextual relevancy in marketing is more powerful than straight personalization. And to provide contextual relevancy requires deep integration with digital touchpoints like mobile and awareness of location - all in realtime. Retail marketing personalization presents the retailer with both promise and peril. Providing recommendations that are irrelevant, or simply wrong, to the shopper in today’s world holds great risk. In the digital world, irrelevant communications are spam, and a customer can easily delete your app or unsubscribe from your emails. But for those retailers who get it right, who understand the need for vast customer intelligence and realtime interaction, contextual relevancy can be massively powerful as retail competition quickly shifts to a stealth battle over each customer’s share-of-wallet and lifetime value. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 9/12/19

CART, Advancing Retail

A RETURN TO CONTEXTUAL ADVERTISING | StreetFight Gary’s Take: Programmatic marketing is facing an increasing challenge as consumers increasingly focus on privacy, governments increasingly are passing privacy regulations, and the benefits of ads based on what is known about the shopper frequently don’t produce the expected results. In its place is a return to contextual marketing; suggesting ads and other information based on what the shopper is currently looking at. For example, if a person is researching diabetes because of a recent diagnosis, a marketer may want to present information on new prescriptions or other information. Far different than providing a deal on cookies because that’s what the shopper was clicking on a few days ago. All digital marketing is facing increased scrutiny and challenges and retailers should look at growing digital engagement with their customer base as fast as possible so as to collect first party data. Reliance on second and third party data will become increasingly risky as regulation increases. STARSHIP TECHNOLOGIES CEO LEX BAYER ON FOCUS AND OPPORTUNITY IN AUTONOMOUS DELIVERY | TechCrunch Gary’s Take: Last mile delivery is a major focus for the retail industry today. There are a growing number of solution providers getting in the game, in addition to the usual players of the Post Office, UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and more. New entrants are focused on self-driving autonomous vehicles - either cars or purpose-built smaller vehicles like Starship Technologies, to deliver products. While these types of automated solutions work best in dense population areas, drones are in pilot to be used in delivering products in more remote areas.  Given the speed of innovation, retailers would do well to focus on developments in last mile delivery. As the economics shift, and automation drives down costs, delivery may become very important very quickly. BEAR ROBOTICS IS RAISING BIG BUCKS FOR ROBOTS THAT DELIVER FOOD TO RESTAURANT PATRONS | TechCrunch Gary’s Take: Robots are coming to a restaurant near you as automation helps restaurant owners address high wages, and a lack of people interested in service positions. Robots serving food, combined with tablet remote ordering have the potential to improve the efficiency of restaurant operations and may in some cases even improve the customer experience. It will be interesting to see how the technology can be applied to supermarkets increasingly offering prepared foods and meals. STARBUCKS DEVELOPING NEW STORE DEDICATED TO PICK UP AND DELIVERY ORDERS | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: The experimentation here is what’s important. There’s a general acknowledgment that things are changing and Starbucks is out in front creating what that change might look like for them and their customers. I don’t think there’s a single answer for all retailers/foodservice operators regarding pickup/delivery, but there are a variety of new things that might work depending on the operator, region and customer base. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: 5 WAYS BIG DATA CAN IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE | Ashley Lipman HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 ENERGIZER - November 14, 2019 More Events to be Announced Soon! Notify me about upcoming and new events GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas GETTING THE MOST OUT OF GROCERYSHOP | Gary Hawkins CART’s Gary Hawkins is participating in two sessions at Groceryshop. On Monday, Sept. starting at 8:45am, Rapid-Fire Review: 10 Technologies Transforming Operations will be looking at ten new technologies and getting thoughts from industry leaders. The next is on Tuesday at 9:30am where Gary will speak to Retail in the Age of ‘i’ and then lead a panel of industry execs in a discussion around Data-Driven Shopping Experiences. MINDING THE GAPS - CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 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: Innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect. Steven Johnson +MORE