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


CART Innovation - ShoptoCook…Digital Customer Connections made easy!!

John F Thompson, President and CEO, ShoptoCook, LLC

Founded in 2001, ShoptoCook delivers an interactive media platform to engage shoppers across a variety of digital media platforms. From in-store kiosks in the aisle that can print display and digital coupons, recipes, and product information, to web, mobile, e-mail and online ordering solutions, ShoptoCook’s aim is simple: deliver solutions that engage shoppers. Establishing Kiosks as an Additive means for Marketing Strategies ShoptoCook organizes and consolidates content to provide interactive and customer-driven digital media. In addition to kiosk solutions and related content, ShoptoCook provides a digital omnichannel approach to retailer customer engagement that includes the management of websites, e-mail, and SMS programs in addition to smartphone apps. Kiosks can include loyalty card printers and readers to reward repeat buyers and capture key information that can enable a wide range of options that support specific grocery business objectives. When kiosk solutions contain intuitive, easy to use screens and instructions, the need for shoppers to contact a store associate to complete transactions or get information becomes a thing of the past. Because kiosks operate automatically, grocery stores can free up human resources for other tasks—thus increasing operational efficiency while reducing costs. ShoptoCook’s kiosk allows clients to engage the shoppers at the point of decision with impactful advertising, interactive promotions and coupons. It drives traffic to center store as shoppers pick up savings from over 400 continuously updated coupons and help drive shoppers to the perimeter in search of meal ideas and solutions built around fresh. ShoptoCook’s ability to integrate all the digital and online programs into one platform enables customers to get a continuous and unified experience as they visit different stores of the same retail chain. The relevance of the content available to a user on the kiosk is influenced by previously visited stores and items purchased. Given its ability to provide multiple products and solutions—kiosk, mobile, and web—under a single platform, ShoptoCook is a cost-efficient and one-stop-shop option for retailers looking to enhance the instore experience. The ShoptoCook media center drives traffic to the center-store as shoppers pick up savings from dozens of continuously updated coupons. On the web side of things, ShoptoCook builds and maintains grocery websites for independent retailers, ad groups, agencies, and retail chains, and supports over 1,000 stores across 30+ states, with millions of views each month. Shoppers can browse the weekly ad circular, build a shopping list, plan meals, clip coupons, place an online order, sign up for e-newsletters, and stay updated on local promotions and community events. For mobile retail engagement, ShoptoCook designs sites in responsive web design (RWD), which offers easy viewing and navigation with a minimum of resizing across a wide range of devices—from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors. The company aggregates data sources, including integration with the retailer’s loyalty program, to create and deliver relevant content.  By providing an in-store loyalty portal, retailers can more effectively reach an untapped segment of shoppers. ShoptoCook’s content is entirely managed, and the customers can choose the information that they need, which translates into a seamless retailer-shopper relationship. From a retailer’s point-of-view, ShoptoCook takes on the CapEx of installing and maintaining the kiosks.  ShoptoCook’s model eliminates the CapEx, maintenance and content cost for a retailer leaving them with a fixed, budget friendly weekly management fee. The company’s solutions have been advantageous to consumer-packaged goods (CPG) and retail companies, providing them in-store marketing and national advertisement programs. CPG companies have achieved great access to independent retailers at the store level providing a single platform to reach what is generally a difficult segment to reach. Results have proven that in-store engagement works, for instance, a CPG company, leveraged ShoptoCook’s platform to launch a struggling new product line achieved a 14 percent increase in sales and a 27 percent increase in repeat customers. In another example, the company ran a targeted marketing campaign for another client who was underperforming in the packaged meat section. Taking the content from the meat supplier, ShoptoCook was able to advertise high-value coupons across the client’s social media network, yielding a 21 percent net increase in sales in a five month period. With a critical focus on aggregating data points from online searches and print media into a single database, ShoptoCook is working at increasing the effectiveness of the engagement programs, thereby strengthening the loyalty and relationship with the consumer.   Check us out in the CART Technology Pavilion and let us show how ShoptoCook can enhance your digital efforts.   VIDEO: Find Bargains and New Recipes for the Brands You Already Buy with Shop to Cook -The Coupon Kiosk     +MORE

Five Predictions for Retail Transformation in 2019

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

As we begin 2019, tomorrow is no longer going to resemble today. The pace of tech-fueled innovation continues to grow, bringing with it increasing change across the supply chain and greater impact on traditional retail operations and models. 2019 is going to be a year of even greater change. Here are five key areas to watch this year: Frictionless shopping: The Amazon Go store with its cashier-less shopping experience has gotten the industry’s attention and this year we will see a great deal of activity in this space. There are several tech companies working to bring similar capabilities to the retail industry along with cost-effectively scaling the technology to work in traditional supermarkets. I believe the proliferation of retailers’ mobile apps having some kind of self-shopping capability - the shopper scanning their products as they shop using their smartphone and then an expedited payment process - is an interim step to a completely frictionless shopping environment. The whole idea of the Amazon Go store is to make buying products as easy as possible; the shopper having to use their app to scan and pay makes it easier to buy but not as easy as just walking in, picking up what you want, and walking out. Automated fulfillment: Kroger’s partnership with Ocado to build and operate twenty automated grocery eComm fulfillment centers is on track. We are seeing several other retailers enter into agreements with Takeoff Technologies to build mini automated fulfillment centers that can sit in the backroom, automatically fulfilling high-velocity packaged goods ordered online. Walmart is working with a partner to build an automated fulfillment center that is designed to sit alongside their stores, fulfilling high-volume products. In 2019 we are going to see even more activity in this space as other retailers will be forced to follow these leaders as automation brings efficiency and lower fulfillment costs, opening up a productivity gap. We will be seeing other technology providers step into this space as the market expands. Automated delivery: Kroger’s partnership with Nuro to use automated, driverless delivery vehicles to deliver online orders to the shopper’s home is already in pilot. Udelv and other solutions will be gaining more interest as retailers begin to focus more attention on the final mile delivery. While many retailers have signed deals with Instacart or Shipt to handle actual delivery, we’re going to see growing interest in Uber and other services to handle deliveries and fast growing interest in automated solutions like Nuro and Udelv in search of cost efficiencies. Health & Wellness gets personal: The wearables market is growing fast as Apple’s Watch and similar devices provide even more functionality to monitor key health indicators in realtime. The explosion in health data coming from these wearables will become increasingly tied to food guidance, helping the individual understand what specific food products to purchase and consume based upon the individual’s health condition and realtime data. As an example, Dexcom recently released a device that provides realtime glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. The ability to use knowledge of an individual’s glucose levels at that specific time - for example, while they are standing in front of the shelf - will inform guidance to beneficial foods. This movement is already underway as the massive food and healthcare industries converge, driven by Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, PillPack, and other activity in healthcare. Kroger’s Opt-UP app enables the shopper to easily understand the quality of the foods they are buying and easily filter the store’s product selection based upon the shopper’s interests, needs, and preferences. Look for a lot more activity around this space in the coming year. Melding of digital and physical retail: While most industry activity has been focused around eCommerce and automation of fulfillment and delivery of orders, I believe we are going to see growing attention to the melding of digital and physical shopping. This encompasses bringing augmented reality into the store and shopping experience; we’ll also see growing activity in virtual reality shopping as VR tech gets better and cheaper. Digital signage will spread across the store and get smarter, not only using demographic info to present messaging relevant to the person standing in front of the screen, but engagement will be far more personalized. Kroger’s new shelf Edge system is moving in this direction, lighting up as a shopper moves down the aisle to call out relevant products. Obviously there are many more areas where technology is going to transform retail but these are five key areas to watch. Each of these fundamentally changes the game: Frictionless shopping and automating fulfillment and delivery remove significant costs and will put growing pressure on competing retailers as companies using these technologies scale deployments.  Personalization will move quickly, not just in marketing but in linking an Individual shopper’s health to her favorite store’s product assortment, guiding the shopper to products to improve her wellbeing.  Lastly, shopping is about to become far more interesting and truly immersive as technology really begins to impact the shopping experience, whether you are in the brick & mortar store or sitting at home. +MORE

Pseudo Customer Centricity: Fool’s Gold

Gary Hawkins on Winsight Grocery Business, CART

Retailers must employ a customer-first philosophy into organizational culture Many regional retailers are (at last!) intent on becoming customer-centric, more than a decade after The Kroger Co. led the way and more than two decades after early loyalty pioneers proved the value of a true customer focus. But too many retailers believe that customer centricity can simply be bolted on to their organizations without realizing that true customer centricity is far more involved. Like the intrepid gold miners of the 1840s, these retailers awaken to the realization that what they’ve taken for retail gold is in actuality a false promise, seduced by the fools gold of pseudo customer centricity. I can recount meetings with senior executives from well-known retailers who espouse their customer centricity efforts; spending massive sums on consultants and solutions powered by a decade’s old approach based on customer segments integrated to the retailer’s category planning processes, and even personalized offers to shoppers. Countless of these retailers remain anchored in a product-focused world, even those who tout using technology to discover what products should be put on offer to their customers rather than starting with a vendor-funded offer pool.  True disciples of customer centricity deeply embed a customer-first philosophy into their organizational culture, extending it to every part of the enterprise. These companies realize that providing savings on products relevant to the shopper is only the beginning. Leading companies such as Amazon and Kroger are investing heavily in taking customer centricity to the next level: comprehensive, seamless user experiences across channels and devices, integrating personalized product recommendations with an understanding of the individual shopper’s specific health conditions, and laying the technology foundation for immersive shopping experiences melding the physical and digital worlds. Customer first disciples understand the dynamic flow of customers and their shopping behavior over time, putting in place capabilities and processes attuned to providing contextual relevancy inside and outside the store. And personalization—driven by past purchases and recommendation algorithms—is fast evolving to what I think of as strategic hyper-personalization, leveraging vast intelligence about each individual shopper to power a mix of recommendations to win the shopping trip, grow baskets, maximize retention, and foster customer advocacy—one customer at a time, in real time. Many regional retailers are based in more rural areas where company executives believe their shoppers are less tech savvy, relieving pressure on digital imperatives. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone in 2018, with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Pew also calls out that in 2018, 89% of Americans use the internet. Location is no longer a proxy for customer technology illiteracy.  This year, Amazon is projected to realize over $258 billion in U.S. retail sales, an estimated 49% of all online retail spending in the United States. With this kind of penetration, and the ability to ship products anywhere overnight, traditional supermarket retailers would do well to remember that their shoppers are increasingly expecting (demanding!) the seamless and comprehensive user experience provided by Amazon, and increasingly by Kroger and Walmart. Yet, too many retailers remain mired in digital purgatory, constrained by capability silos and the inability to bring piecemeal capabilities together in a seamless fashion for shoppers.  Lastly, many seasoned grocery executives have spent their careers being rewarded for following, letting someone else bring innovation to market and only following when it has been proven successful. Years ago IT executives would buy IBM, even if it wasn’t the best choice, but because it was the "safe" choice. This practice continues today as retailers sign deals with "established" providers because they believe it is the safe choice, failing to understand that today’s environment rewards fresh, forward-looking thinking. Retail executives need to look beyond yesterday’s approach to customer centricity to capabilities and platforms that actually position the retailer for future success. The cost of failing to provide a seamless shopping experience, for failing to provide true individual shopper personalization, and failing to provide real time contextual relevancy, can rapidly obliterate any savings or security from yesterday’s "proven" approach. Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive and the originator of Amazon Fresh, in a recent interviewspeaking to the challenges retailers face today, especially a reliance on past practices, says it all: “What seems safe is actually destructive. That’s a recipe for longer term disaster.” This article originally appeared on Winsight Grocery Business and can be viewed here +MORE

The Top Five Ways Retailers Benefit from Industry Trade Shows

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Clarion UX

When was the last time you attended a retail or food and beverage trade show? If you have to pause to think of the answer – or know immediately that the answer is, “Never” – then it might be time to find a show or expo near you. Trade shows are the best places for those within the industry to get out of their stores and network; find new products and stay abreast of the cutting edge technology offerings; and gain invaluable education in the areas you need it most. In short, even if you spend time every day trying to stay current, you could never see it all – or know what to search for. There is no better place than a trade show … from seeing new products, meeting new people, becoming educated on a new way to engage your customers, or finding out about technology … this is the place to find what you don’t know!   Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a trade show this year: Network with Decision Makers When you think of networking, perhaps the typical “mixer” scenario comes to mind with people you don’t know awkwardly milling about a bar or restaurant, trying to strike up conversations with random people in the hopes that you might be able to benefit one another in some way. Networking at a trade show couldn’t be any more different. As an attendee, you can specifically find exhibitors with the products you seek; attend educational sessions that pertain to topics you are interested in, therefore attracting other audience members who share the same challenges; and be assured that your peers in the same industry as you are seeking similar solutions as you.  And you might even run into a colleague you haven’t seen in years! Find New Products and Foods You subscribe to industry periodicals and get Google Alerts in your inbox every day, but have you seen that new robot that identifies out of stock items and potential slip and fall hazards? Have you read about leveraging data to establish loyalty and trust with food delivery customers? A trade show is the perfect venue to scope out all that is new in the retail world from tech products to new foods and services – all in one place – to help you use technology to create a seamless customer experience. As you look for new technology innovation to keep you competitive, you may find the perfect partner for online ordering, rapid delivery, or rapid checkout through customer’s smartphones.  No matter what you want to go to a trade show to find, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by discovering even more than you thought along the aisles. See New Trends in Action Are vegan offerings a must-have? Should you offer chef demonstrations to showcase meal ideas? Are international flavors high on consumer’s minds? What chef dishes are they trying replicate at home? Be on the front line of this year’s and next year’s trends so you can bank on what your customers will be looking for in the near future. You’ll walk away with new products and great ideas you can implement immediately in your store operations. You may even realize that you are on the verge of creating an entirely different trend yourself that has yet to appear on the market – good information that you can capitalize on in the year to come. Receive Best in Class Education If school is a distant memory – or perhaps you learned hands-on in a family business and worked your way up the ranks – one of the best perks of most trade shows is the educational content provided to attendees and exhibitors alike. Whether you’re interested in operational excellence, developing your workforce, building bigger baskets, or sessions dedicated to those hot new tech trends we previously mentioned, trade shows like The NGA Show (presented by the National Grocers Association) in San Diego this coming February will have you covered on all fronts. What’s more, you can connect with presenting industry specialists to gain even more valuable insight into the topics that interest you most. Gain Immediate, Actionable Ideas The bottom line … your time is valuable and you want to spend any time out of your store obtaining the cream of the crop ideas - from new products, growth strategies and tech trends. Hear what the experts have to share, sample emerging products, uncover new technology, and refresh your enthusiasm for the business. You’ll walk away with a plan to bring all of these new ideas and initiatives into your store operation to drive profits, growth and innovation.   No matter where you are in your retail career, a trade show will no doubt provide you with opportunities, education and inspiration as you progress in the business. Interested in learning more? Check out the upcoming NGA show: National Grocers Association Show, San Diego, CA, February 24-27, 2019,  Each year, The NGA Show brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  Given today’s ever-changing marketplace and evolving advancements in innovation occurring in the food retail industry, The NGA Show is a must-attend event, providing over 40 educational workshops, an expo floor featuring innovative and game-changing products and solutions and countless networking opportunities.  Registration is open at – early bird registration rates in effect through December 10, 2018.  +MORE

NGA Show 2019: The Epicenter of Grocery Industry Innovation

CART, Advancing Retail

In a special event leading up to the opening of the new NGA Show 2019, CART will bring together unique education, an impressive line up of speakers, and cutting edge innovation to make San Diego the epicenter of grocery industry innovation during Feb. 24-27, 2019. With a focus on regional retailers and dynamic independent operators, the CART team will present an innovation tour de force designed to help attendees not only stay in the game but help them win. CART is coming together with leading retailers through-out the industry to provide attendees a new worldview for the future of retail where transformation and disruption are the new normal: iRetail. Focused on five ‘i’s, iRetail will give attending executives a framework for evaluating their existing capabilities and provide a roadmap to closing the innovation gap. In a time of declining and disappearing industry events, the NGA Show has become a beacon of light for the industry as it has grown each year, even outgrowing its longtime home in Las Vegas, spurring the move to San Diego this coming February. CART has had a long time partnership with NGA and is taking the relationship to a new level this year, building on the success of CART’s Innovation Event at last year’s show.  Make sure to put Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on your calendar and plan to attend the CART special event at the new NGA Show! +MORE

Technology's Profound Impact on the Supermarket Industry

Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

Often cited as the one of the greatest catalyst of change within the retail grocery industry, technology is an area that independent supermarket operators must understand, and embrace.  Technology continues to have a profound impact, where virtually every detail of the supermarket industry is being touched by new solutions and platforms. I see three technology threads, each entwined with the other. One is the explosion of mobile applications and programs that are turning grocery shoppers into high information consumers. According to Pew research, smart phone adoption among Americans has more than doubled since 2011. Not only are shoppers becoming more sophisticated, but they are using technology as a way to gain more information, transparency, and convenience. At the touch of a mobile screen, consumers can instantly access to updated information on locally sourced perishables, competitive promotions, price checks and recipe ingredient lists. In turn, this migration to the digital space is shaping customer relationships with retailers. Today’s shopper does not want to be talked to but instead wants to be a part of the conversation. Consumer product manufacturers and marketers make up a second technology thread. By analyzing large chunks of customer data and retail sales, manufacturers, retailers and service suppliers are exploring innovative ways to touch their target audiences. Big data though can be vast and hard to harness. Whether it’s social media, a mobile payment system, or loyalty programs, technology can effectively create many new opportunities for savvy retailers to learn about and to connect with their shoppers to better serve their needs. A good place to see and learn about a number of these innovative solutions is right here at The third thread is in the store itself, where technology is increasingly employed to improve overall store productivity to program more effective lighting, to boost checkout efficiency, to track shopper traffic flows to improve layout and sales per square foot, or to offer customers immediate cost savings via real time wifi connections as they shop. A great, and very recent, example of this is Sedano's Supermarkets launch of a “robotic supermarket,” which entails an automated fulfillment center where AI-enabled robots will assemble full supermarket orders of up to 60 items. While the landscape is quickly evolving, many independent grocers are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies to engage with their shoppers, find efficiencies, and reach new and existing customers where, how, and when they want. Independents have been making their move into digital. They are hiring dedicated staff, dedicating marketing budgets to digital initiatives, more effectively leveraging social media platforms, and integrating the latest technologies into their business strategies.  With the dramatic pace in which new apps and tech solutions are coming on to the market, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but technology will play a defining role in the supermarket industry.  Those retailers that are on the forefront of implementing new technology and embrace the hyper-connected, tech-savvy consumer are positioning themselves for success. I’m one who is convinced that these threads will weave into a pattern of rising sales and profits. And that’s why the 2019 NGA Show will kick-off with a new educational event, spearheaded by our partners at CART, entitled “iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry.” The event is designed to give supermarket operators a framework for navigating fast-paced innovation while maintaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future. Despite increased competition from all angles, it is an exciting time for the supermarket industry – and we at NGA are bullish about what the future holds for the independent grocers! Known as the true entrepreneurs of the industry, independents are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles, and are finding innovative ways to respond to changing consumer preferences, which is something they’ve always been good at given their close ties to their communities and the consumers they serve. +MORE

Pace of Innovation -- Shattering the Status Quo

Gary Hawkins, CART

Retailers are shellshocked by the increasing pace of technology fueled innovation that is transforming and disrupting the industry. It seems not a week goes by that we don’t read about yet another new competitor entering the grocery space or some new innovation being rolled out by an existing competitor. Case in point: Kroger’s recent announcement that it is deploying its Shop, Scan, and Bag self-shopping solution at 400+ stores. This in response to Amazon’s cashier-less Go store pilot and Walmart’s similar self-shopping solution. Supermarket retailers are challenged on several fronts relative to innovation. It is nearly impossible for a retailer to be aware of all the new innovation entering the market. As an example, CART reviews an estimated 100 new solutions each month. Beyond awareness though is the challenge of deciding what areas to focus on (supply chain, distribution, marketing, store operations, etc.) and deciding what specific solution to pilot. And then having to decide what new capabilities to deploy across operating stores. Having efficient operations, quality foods, and great pricing and service is simply the cost of entry to supermarket retail. The new battleground is innovation. This is a new world for retailers to navigate. As an example, we see too many retailers implementing different digital capabilities in a piecemeal fashion rather than working towards a cohesive and comprehensive platform. The self-shopping capability mentioned earlier is a great example. Some retailers are trying to implement this kind of capability through a third-party app or a separate app rather than bundling it into one mobile app for their customers. Shoppers are after an omni-channel, seamless experience, not being forced to interact with different apps or systems to do business with a retailer. CART is here to help. We’re able to leverage our strong retail experience, industry knowledge, and unique insight to new capabilities and innovation flowing into the market to help retailers understand where they are today relative to their competitors and best-in-class retailers. Developing an innovation roadmap is important to help in prioritizing what new innovation to focus on and to create a foundation capable of adapting to new capabilities and technologies as they come into the market. +MORE

Improving Retail Profitability with A.I. Tech: Spotlight on Daisy Intelligence Corporation

Bill Bishop, Brick meets Click

You may not know Gary Saarenvirta, but if you are in retail today you should take the opportunity to benefit from his knowledge and passion. Gary is on a mission to bring the powerful information technology capabilities he learned in the aerospace industry and at IBM to retailing. The result is Daisy Intelligence Corp., a software-as-service provider that’s making it possible for grocery retailers (and other businesses) of all sizes to use artificial intelligence tools for optimized decision-making in order to increase profits. As retailers and merchandisers, your business is selling, and the competition is fiercer than ever.  In the future, growth will mostly likely stem from the ability to use your data in new ways, and the power of A.I. services like those offered by Daisy can improve your business results, despite what will prove to be a yet another challenging year ahead. This post is part of our Spotlight series and is sponsored by Daisy Intelligence Corp.  BMC: Most retailers are familiar with predictive analytics, how is artificial intelligence different?  Gary Saarenvirta: When we discuss traditional predictive analytics – like regression and other forecasting tools – we are talking about solutions that look to the past for answers. This tends to evaluate only subsets of data to draw inferences about historical activity. The problem with this is approach is that it ignores the related actions and ripple effects.  The “predictions” it produces are defined entirely on events that have occurred in the past.  Any “learning” that occurs happens only when new experiments are conducted, i.e., you can learn only as fast as time. Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, creates a model of the retail environment that connects a retailer’s actions (promotions, prices, inventory, purchasing, real estate) to market results, taking into account the “ripple effects” caused by the actions. This allows A.I. to evaluate future outcomes, even if there is no historical precedent – in effect, A.I. can simulate the future. First, it uses 100 percent of the retailer’s historical data to learn what it can – it then takes the analysis to the next level by simulating a mix of previously known and new, untried actions to find the many different ways the future may unfold, choosing the optimal sequence of actions that achieve the best long-term outcome. As a consequence of this ability to simulate, an A.I. system can learn years of retail in one day, limited only by computing power. A.I. directly answers the question, “What actions should I take to maximize long term revenue/profit?”  The A.I. approach is comprehensive and a balance of historical and future-focused. While A.I. isn’t new, the good news is that in recent years, these A.I. capabilities are now accessible to businesses of all sizes – not just big corporations and government entities – because the power of computing has increased dramatically at the same time the cost has come down. BMC: So how does Daisy use A.I. produce/generate results for retailers? GS: Promotion optimization is one of many areas where A.I. offers significant and immediate improvements to profitability. Daisy uses A.I. to help retailers: Select the right products for promotion Set the right price for promoted products Forecast demand (sales) Promotions are complicated. For example, when you put Coke on promotion, you can expect to sell more Coke, but then there are ripple effects. For example, while selling more Coke increases the sales of related products like salty snacks, it’s also likely to cannibalize Pepsi sales for that week, and probably next week’s Coke sales due to forward buying.  So, where do you stand in the end?  Is the increase in related (non-promoted) products large enough to cover the cost of the promotion?  How big is the drag from cannibalization and forward buying?  What’s the impact on other categories? Daisy can use A.I. to simulate all of the ripple effects, so you can look at the whole picture and you’re able to gauge the long-term benefits and consequences, not just the immediate effect. In contrast, traditional analytics tend to be more narrowly focused and concentrated on the short term – it gives you the answer that sells the most of the promoted product for the next week. We’ve used these capabilities to create a metric we call Net Promotional Effect or “NPE.” The NPE captures and accounts for all of those plusses and minuses, and then allows us to rank every SKU in the store based on its contribution to NPE.  BMC: What makes this NPE metric distinctive from other metrics retailer currently use? GS:The NPE enables retailers to analyze results beyond the direct effect on weekly sales numbers and determine how all of the effects of the promotions are contributing (or not) to achieving the overall goals of the business. In effect, measuring NPE lets you look more broadly to see whether a promotion is taking you to a loss leader or an increase in basket size, profitability, sales, or margin. This is all about improvement and efficiencies – A.I. makes it possible for a retailer to increase NPE with no additional investment in price or margins, and in some cases it actually allows you to increase NPE with less margin investment. It also makes the grinding, week-after-week process of promotion planning far more efficient, so more energy can be put into marketing and merchandising instead of trying to find the right data and pull useful information out of it.  BMC: What differentiates Daisy in the minds of the retailers you work with? GS: Unlike a lot of analytics solutions, there’s no hardware to purchase, no software licensing agreement (and updates) to pay for, no complicated system integration, and no personnel training required. We take the retailer’s sales history and we do the work. We take the responsibility, instead of putting it back on the retailer. The most important deliverable Daisy produces is a set of detailed recommendations that will grow the business’s profits and sales. In terms of what makes us different, the retailers we work with especially appreciate two things:  First, our business model. We’re a software service business – this means we do the heavy lifting, and if we don’t deliver, then you don’t keep paying us. Second, the cost is reasonable – a fair charge based on the value we create. BMC: What is your background? What motivated you to start Daisy Intelligence? GS: Early in my career, I learned about computational fluid dynamics and massively parallel computing applied to massive volumes of data with millions of variables while studying for a Master’s degree in Aerospace. I was exposed to sophisticated machine learning techniques like neural networks, classification trees, and association rule mining at IBM. When I moved over to business, I was shocked to see how little use was being made of the math and science I was familiar with. I saw a gap. Businesses – especially in environments that are hugely complex and changing all the time like retail – needed better tools to solve their problems. I started Daisy to help everyone realize the promise of information technology to make the world more efficient, lower the cost of living for everyone, and along the way make businesses more profitable.  People like to joke that something “isn’t rocket science,” but when it comes to meeting challenges like evaluating the true ROI of promotion choices, it is actually a lot like rocket science. The thing is, now retailers of all sizes can benefit (and profit) from applying the same kind of analysis methods that rocket scientists use. BMC: Customer-centricity is a big focus for retailers these days. How can Daisy help them? GS: My view on this is a little bit on the maverick side. I believe customer-centricity actually starts with products. Transaction data is actually the most direct way customers “talk” to retailers. The reason a customer goes to the store starts with the product, and the key is giving them the products they want to buy. It’s the interplay between these two – products and customers – that’s the key to customer-centricity. It’s got to be both, and Daisy’s A.I. capabilities marry these two essential elements. That transaction data is what tells the retailer a) what products customers want to buy, and b) the patterns in which they prefer to purchase them. BMC: Daisy’s impact is particularly powerful in fresh and perishables. Why do you place so much emphasis on these departments? GS: Perishables are important, mainly because they trigger the weekly visits to the store – typically much more so than non-perishable products. For the customer, produce and meat are usually the core reasons for the trip, so it makes sense to build a promotional plan around those categories. Perishables also give retailers more freedom to do what’s right for the customer, so to speak,because they aren’t affected as much by supplier payments that are earned if a retailer promotes in a certain way, even if it actually runs counter to the retailer’s self-interest. We help retailers achieve better results with the right mix of promotions – with or without supplier payments – and perishables are a key part of this.  BMC: Aside from improving promotional effectiveness, what other challenges do you see A.I. helping grocers to overcome in the next year or two? GS: We’re working on developing A.I. solutions to improve profitability in three additional areas: Tailoring the assortment: Identifying which items to offer and how much space to allocate to each category and department. Improving the merchandising layout by improving the positioning of products in the traffic flow, determining the best distance between complementary products, and/or where key categories should be in the traffic pattern. Evaluating real estate site selection.  LOOKING AHEAD  BMC: If you are retailer or merchandiser, growth can come in 2018 from using your data in new ways and the power of A.I. services like those Daisy offers can help you improve business results +MORE


Smart Market

Smart.Market is an innovative marketing tool; using Patent Pending technology to deliver cost effective, highly customized offers to each household within a user defined Custom Trade Zone. Our platform, enables advertisers to message their shoppers via print and digital methods, with or without an installed loyalty program. Clients can also use their existing customer data to upsell and influence increased purchases based on a combination of relevant and highly personalized offers that are tailored to EACH household...THEN Smart.Market provides detailed response analytics to show the performance of each messaging campaign. Further, advertisers finally have a real time mapping tool that shows them their shoppers, and most importantly, how many other shoppers in the market look just like them. The process is simple, powerful, and delivers results.  +MORE




Pirc is reinventing one of the most important, if not the most important, pre-shop experiences for consumers of household/grocery goods – the weekly sales circular ($15B spend, 290B prints/yr). With 95% of all US commerce transactions occurring in-store, and the weekly circular driving a core % of those transactions, the circular has unbelievably received little to no real innovation – until now. While digital circulars are not new, Pirc is uniquely positioned to personalize and aggregate multi-store circulars and coupons, and ultimately create a Big Data brand engagement and promotion platform that scales. Today, Pirc delivers to consumers a weekly “Pircular”, or personalized circular, full of all the in-store weekly sales and coupons they actually want. At scale, we will have a database of consumers and their favorite brands which will give us a platform on which to build a more efficient, innovative marketing channel; also helping to displace the 70% of total marketing budget retailers spend on circulars today. We plan to monetize this service at scale primarily via an AdWords-type model, starting with native ad placements by brands and retailers. +MORE


Analytical and Direct Marketing Data Solutions


Reverse Append: Whether your goal is to increase revenue, improve customer engagement, or decrease costs - you need accurate contact or marketing data for your customers or prospects. From a ten digit phone number, Speedeon Data’s Reverse Phone Append solution provides your contact center, POS network or marketing team with most up-to-date name, address, email or demographic data - in real time or in batch mode.  Movers: If your goal is to reach customers or prospects when they are most receptive to your brand and responsive to your offers, Speedeon Data offers premover and new mover solutions that enable you to target relevant, timely and measurable communications throughout the lucrative mover cycle.    Optimization: Whether you need to improve direct mail ROI, increase email delivery rates, or improve contact center KPI’s, Data Optimization facilitates more effective utilization of data, resulting in improved top-line results and reduced costs. Demographic and modeled data overlays are available to further enhance insight and data utilization. Data Append: When it comes to your direct marketing programs - greater insight, increased engagement, and better results, begin with current and accurate contact and marketing data. For the data you need but don’t have, data append solutions provide the most up-to-date name, mail and email address, telephone and demographic data on your customers and prospects.    Data Hygiene: Monthly data decay rates average 2.5% and can have a negative impact the effectiveness of your direct marketing programs. Not only does poor data quality decrease top line results and increase bottom line costs, incorrect and out-of-date customer data diminishes customer engagement and satisfaction, it ultimately decreases customer retention and lifetime value. The cornerstone of an effective strategy to achieve and maintain high quality contact data is the adherence to on-going data hygiene. Speedeon Data offers industry-leading data hygiene solutions that enable your company to significantly improve its contact data quality.   Data Modeling: An effective data modeling strategy is your road map to greater customer insight and actionable marketing strategies. A data-driven marketing plan will keep your programs on the road to increased top-line performance and reduced bottom line costs. The most effective data models are those whose design, implementation and outcome uniquely address your specific objectives. Whether you want to improve response rates, increase cart size, reduce costs, acquire more customers, or have some other goal in mind, Speedeon Data will work with you to clearly define your objectives, develop an appropriate data model, and ensure that your model results are data driven. +MORE


Mail Advertising


Direct Mail: While the specifics may vary from product to product, our primary goal remains the same: To help you maximize your return on your advertising investment. Begin by reviewing our direct mail options below, then easily compare products.  Get in touch with us and one of our highly trained Sales Associates will help you find the product solutions that best meet your goals. Solo Mail: Maximize advertising dollars, save time and money, and gain high readership and response with a mailing devoted to your message ONLY. Shared Mail: Save on postage and reach more households at a favorable CPM by mailing your printed pieces with offers from other merchants in a single package. +MORE


Marketing Services and Customer Interaction Experts

Harte Hanks

From getting into the hearts and minds of consumers to delivering award-winning creative campaigns, we offer a full spectrum of multichannel marketing services that turn browsers into buyers and customers into brand advocates. We’re driven by data, focused on results and dedicated to helping you make customers smile—while boosting your bottom line. +MORE


Outdoor Advertising

Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.

Bulletins: Bulletins are the largest and among the most impactful standard-sized OOH media formats. Digital Billboards: The most timely OOH medium, digital billboards offer static messages that rotate every several seconds. Posters: This format is often used as a full market coverage medium for reach and frequency. Junior Posters: Junior posters are often used for their proximity to retail outlets where they can stimulate sales. Premiere Panels: Visually striking, vinyl-wrapped display that allows for long term positioning in desirable areas of a market. Premiere Squares: Highly visible and impactful display utilizes a single-sheet vinyl face with increased creative possibilities. Spectaculars: Large and elaborate, non-standard & custom-designed. Designed to gain maximum attention with eye-catching special effects. Wallscapes: Custom designed for long-term exposure, wall murals often become landmarks in a city. Newsracks: Targets pedestrians and vehicular traffic in densely populated city centers. Transit Shelters: Reach metropolitan audiences with visibility to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Airports: Target a steady flow of decision-makers and premium audiences through their most common gathering place: the airport. Bus: Used to achieve pedestrian and vehicular exposure by affording the size and color resolution of a billboard as well as the market penetration of a moving bus. Commuter Rail: A variety of advertising opportunities that are used to reach commuters in major markets. High frequency due to daily passenger use. Mobile Billboards: Used to reach motorists and pedestrians. Mobility enables exposure at any time or place the advertiser may choose. Connect Mobile Platform: Uniting mobile devices and outdoor advertising to engage consumers with brands. +MORE


Commercial Printing

Quad Graphics Inc.

Whether you’re looking to connect your message more effectively across channels, increase sales through better communication, or reduce your workflow and distribution costs, we have the solutions to help your business succeed. Connect More: Integrate print with digital channels in a meaningful way that connects with customers when and where they want to engage, increasing brand loyalty and enthusiasm. Sell More: Create innovative marketing solutions that help you better target and optimize your communications to stand out, inspire your customers and deliver results. Save More: Improve production, workflow and logistics processes through cost-effective solutions that increase efficiency and generate higher response at a lower cost. +MORE


reach | optimize

reach influence

A solution that enables retailers to evaluate the effectiveness of weekly ads at the individual product level. The reporting, analytics, and price optimization functionality will help to improve advertising spend, promotional pricing, and top- and bottom-line performance. +MORE



ShoptoCook, Inc.

We Make It Easier - Your Digital Customer Connection - Solutions to Shop, Save, & Search - Online, Mobile, and In-Store - ShoptoCook is your one-stop-shop for customer-facing digital technology.  In-Store Connect with customers in the aisle, cart in hand. The ShoptoCook “media center”, drives traffic to center store as shoppers pick up savings from over 400 continuously updated coupons. Or, for the meal planner, help drive shoppers to the perimeter in search of meal ideas built around fresh. Either way, Digital drives Dollars! Print or Digital COUPON access to hundreds of CPG coupons and exclusive store offers Meal planning ideas with over 8,000 recipes Easy access to weekly ad circular & shopping list Access loyalty programs for value added offers Extend merchandising strategies into the aisle: Customize your own deals Incentivize engagement Expand loyalty offers Promote new products with information and offers Capture shopper feedback Web ShoptoCook builds and maintains grocery websites for independent retailers, ad groups, agencies, and retail chains across the United States.  ShoptoCook supports over 1,000 stores across 30+ states, with millions of views each month. Shoppers quickly browse the weekly ad circular; build a shopping list, plan meals, clip coupons, place an on-line order, sign up for eNewsletters, and keep current on local promotions and community events. Local content builds relevancy making the site feel like it belongs to the community; an important asset for every Independent Retailer.  Showcase your company and your marketing message Every site customized to align with your marketing and merchandising efforts All sites optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile Connect seamlessly with all social media Interactive ad circular extends access to all digital displays (Hint: Shift from print to digital and pocket the difference, it's time!) Coupon feature provides easy access for meal planners, ahead of their trip. Feature local and relevant content Full sites or plug-ins  Mobile Mobile traffic currently represents 35% of total web site activity for the average Independent Grocery Retailer and growing. ShoptoCook designs sites in responsive web design (RWD) which offers easy viewing and navigation with a minimum of resizing across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors). With this new technology, the distinction between a web site and a mobile becomes less significant. RWD lowers cost and increases response time to design and technology changes. When a stand alone mobile application is desired, ShoptoCook can do that too! Your choice; at home, on-the-go, or instore; solutions for every time and place. Easy viewing of content, formatted specifically for every type of phone display Consistent look and feel across all devices New content, new phones, new strategy? Everything updated simultaneously - multiple displays, single point of contact for all interactive needs Integrated or stand alone applications - whatever your need, ShoptoCook is your digital resource today and into the future. Reduce anxiety, focus on business, and let us keep you on the edge of customer facing technology!  ​Coupons Many shoppers do not plan ahead of a shopping trip, and others do not have time to visit their Retailer’s web site prior to every store visit. For many shoppers, the ShoptoCook Kiosk is more convenient than either web or mobile to access digital coupons. Hundreds of printable coupons in-the-aisle. Interactive coupon center on the web. Create your own coupons and deploy them to you website or in-store.  Newsletters Email campaigns and eBlasts drive traffic to the web and in-store by providing timely, relevant content every shopper is interested in including the weekly ad, recipes, coupons and special store offers. The ShoptoCook Newsletter application handles simple email blasts to more complex newsletters featuring custom banners, coupons, recipes, and promotions. The expanded content results in some of the industry’s highest open and click through rates confirming shoppers appreciate the content. Graphic design is based on the weekly ad circular or holiday theme for the week. Robust email campaigns are designed to create incentives for collecting email addresses via contests and special offers for signing up. “Clean” email address are critical and if not managed properly can lead to mass rejections. Emails are run through a cleaning process to reduce risk and improve open rates.  Recipes Engaging content helps make meal planning and trip management in the aisle a little easier. The recipe database contains 13,582 recipes with new content entered daily. Recipes come from trusted sources including Marketing Boards, Brands, and Councils. Every recipe includes a high resolution photo of the finished product. The updated recipe database is deployed to websites each week based on new additions, seasonal and holiday updates. Each recipe is manually reviewed by a team of “foodies” and associated with up to 1,000 unique tags to aid in searching and ingredient associations. Recipes are a major investment at ShoptoCook!  Brand Advertising Deliver your brand message at the Point-of-Decision Making, in-store, in-the-aisle, to engaged shoppers, cart-in-hand, prepared to purchase, where 78% of decisions are made! Move product, period. Introduce new items. Capture shopper email addresses. Repurpose your digital assets into the aisle! Recipes, videos, promotional deals, games, everything digital. +MORE


Solutions for Brands


MyWebGrocer Media: Reach consumers at the point of decision and put your brand in front of the largest digital audience 100% focused on groceries.  Marketing Solutions: Our native content and tools, weekly sales information, diverse grocery audiences, and valuable data about online grocery shopping habits is what makes us stand out. Marketing solutions help your brand stand out on grocery retailer sites, and many of these approaches can be applied across the web when you need additional reach and want to support broader shopper marketing initiatives.  Data & Insights: We help our advertisers to understand the value of reaching digitall engaged shoppers, and learn about online behavior that can inform media strategy. MWG offers a variety of studies to gauge campaign impact, provider a 360 degree view of consumer behavior.  Audience Extension: Identify preferred geographic, demographic or purcahse intent user segments, and MyWebGrocer's media optimization team will target consumers across the web to drive retailer engagement and product awareness. Leverage the full complement of MWG dynamic ads, circulars content, brand destinations and audience data & insights. Maximum reach, maximum awareness and measurable impact to in-store sales.  +MORE


Omni-channel E-Commerce Platform


VIC's E-Commerce and Shopping Trip Planning platform brings everything together under one integrated web site so you can offer your shoppers real time access to shop your stores, manage loyalty accounts, clip digital coupons, view circulars and create shopping lists. It creates a shopping destination that is tailored to your brand, your systems and partners so you can differentiate. You can upsell, cross-sell and personalize your website with intelligent targeting and content. Your employees can fulfill online orders with live in-store fulfillment tailored to their jobs. The platform extends to stores with seamlessly integrated kiosks and digital signage for true omni-channel capabilities to drive in-store purchasing decisions. Additionally with email, text, voice and location based technologies, it delivers marketing tools to reach shoppers or let shoppers reach you no matter where they are. You can drive your own digital strategy no matter what the current and future competition is, with complete enterprise customization around your market, strengths, and marketing message. +MORE


Ad Planner Module

BRdata Software Solutions

The BRdata Ad Planner module is an advanced merchandiser planning tool. Drill-down to specific categories to set sales and promotions. Improve category performance by easily projecting total gross margin for Ads, then view actual sales based on POS sales movement from the stores. Actual sales data is then available to review for the next time a category is run in an Ad. +MORE


Label Printing Solutions

Lone Peak Labeling Systems

We are your one stop shop for Label Printing Solutions.Lone Peak Labeling Systems specializes in equipment and custom made labels designed to provide you with easy, flexible and professional labeling solutions. We provide you with high quality multi-colored labels with total flexibility on fonts, graphics & design. We design custom labels and software packages that have been customized to fit the client’s needs. We provide installation and training as well as ongoing technical support for all the systems we carry. +MORE


Supermarket & Retail Labels

Specialty Printing LLC

Specialty Printing is one of the few pressure sensitive label manufacturers that supplies labels, and other packaging products to Grocery stores on a national basis. Virtually every major grocery chain purchases labels from Specialty.Specialty Printing can provide an ideal solution for your specific needs and requirements. From Custom Designed Labels that help sell your product, Stock Weigh Scale Labels, Coupon Labels, Pharmaceutical & Prescription Fulfillment Labels, and Gourmet Recipe Labels. +MORE


MWG Marketing Services


MyWebGrocer provides the most technologically advanced grocery solutions today. Our offerings include planning & shopping platforms, mobile & social tools, along with digital circulars, recipes, shopping lists, coupons, and store location services. Having a great online destination is just one piece of the puzzle - engaging with your customers and getting them to your site is another. MWG Marketing Services provides a suite of tools and services to broadcast your content and promotions across the web through multiple digital channels, build interactive destination pages, and keep the conversation alive with personalized messaging. +MORE


Solutions for Retailers


Online Grocery Shopping: MyWebGrocer provides the most technologically advanced grocery solutions today. Our offerings include planning & shopping platforms, mobile & social tools, along with digital circulars, recipes, shopping lists, coupons, and store location services. Planning Tools: Seamless mobile and online integration links together interactive store locators, digital circulars, online recipes, coupons and shopping lists. Our planning tools help customers shop, plan and save money wherever they are, whenever they want. Marketing Services: Having a great online destination is just one piece of the puzzle - engaging with your customers and getting them to your site is another. Marketing Services complements the Planning and Shopping Environments with a suite of tools and services to broadcast your content and promotions across the web through mutiple digital channels, build interactive destination pages, and keep the conversation alive with personalized messaging.  Professional Services: MyWebGrocer offers a suite of Professional Services that builds on and expands our digital capabilities to deliver IT enabled solutions to the retailer in the grocery store marketplace.  Ad Platform: Reach consumers at the point of decision and put your brand in front of the largest audience 100% focused on groceries. My WebGrocer works with 130 retailers, representing 10,000+ stores. Advertisers on our network recognize and benefit from the ability to influence consumers in planning and purchase mode.  +MORE


Experience Manager


Adobe Experience Manager helps you create, manage, and optimize digital customer experiences across every channel, including web, mobile apps, digital forms, and communities. With the ability to deliver next-generation experiences across both online and in-person interactions, you can increase demand and build lasting brand loyalty. +MORE


Augmented Reality Platform

Inglobel Technologies

Creating and monitoring Augmented marketing campaigns has never been so easy. Bring your printed materials to life with Augmented Reality and make them accessible with a click. +MORE


Grocery store signs, supplies, and custom printing.

Printing and supplying stores with everything from custom shelf signs to large format outdoor vinyl banners. Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or if we can help provide a service or product you don't see displayed on our site. We look forward to working with you and are more than happy to help! +MORE


Retail Decor Specialists


Product Catalog: Our selection of stock products are guaranteed to help you stand out in the marketplace. Our standard products include: Check Stand Lights, Gooseneck Bars, Navigational Signage, Aisle End Caps and Product Bins. Our stock products will bring an increased sense of pride and excitement to your store. An addition or update with these key décor pieces will help improve the overall image of your store, allowing you to better connect with your customers. You can also view our portfolio and case studies portfolio. Store In A Box: “Store In A Box” is the perfect solution if you want to keep your store remodel simple and inexpensive. Our “Store In A Box” packages are pre-designed décor options you can install yourself, saving you time and money. With 6 different packages to choose from, you are sure to find something that fits your unique brand and style. Custom Design & Services: We recognize the importance of standing out from your competition, which is why we are always researching new ideas to bring you fresh, relevant and memorable designs. We will take you through a pre-design process and development procedure to ensure that you receive high-quality, custom décor that will reflect your unique story. +MORE