Another NRF Big Show came and went faster than a New York minute! As always, the Mi9 Retail team walked away feeling reinvigorated by the hundreds of meaningful conversations we had with new and old connections in the retail, consulting, and analyst communities. We know the show can feel like information overload, so here’s our take on the trends shaping retail in 2020 and beyond.

OMNICHANNEL IS THE NEW NORMAL

Retailers acknowledge that their organizational and technological silos are holding them back from achieving omnichannel success and profitability. Removing these barriers is no longer optional, yet the majority of large retailers continue to grapple with complicated IT infrastructures composed of 100+ disparate systems that have been cobbled together over time to achieve “unified” commerce. Consequently, they are struggling with latency, excess labor costs, and reduced business agility. Mi9 Retail enables retailers to execute on their omnichannel strategies with a modern unified commerce platform that facilitates interoperability between systems and channels, eradicates isolated business processes, eliminates data silos, and delivers a single source of truth.

COLLECTING DATA ISN’T ENOUGH

All retailers are collecting data, but few are unifying data across all systems and using it effectively to drive recommendations, generate precise forecasts, deliver localized assortments, and respond to changing buying behaviors. In Satya Nadella’s opening keynote, he stressed the importance of retaking control of data and repurposing it for better use to cut costs and innovate. “Data is only useful if you in real-time can predict something better, can automate something better, or gain an insight. Those are the outcomes you want to drive data. That is the true measure of your success with data,” he stated. Retailers echoed this sentiment in our booth as they expressed their dire need for our unified commerce platform that utilizes a common data model to power the benefits of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

MERCHANDISE PLANNING SOFTWARE REIGNS OVER SPREADSHEETS

Dead stock has become the silent killer of retailers, costing the US retail industry $50 billion annually. For the average retailer, dead stock accounts for 20-30 percent of inventory, which has significant ramifications because it ties up valuable working capital that could be used to purchase new revenue-generating stock. In most cases, Excel spreadsheets and disparate systems are to blame. To mitigate poor forecasting outcomes, retailers are replacing spreadsheets with the Mi9 Retail Merchandise Optimization Platform that enables better buying decisions upfront, identifies slow-moving stock before it’s too late, generates precise demand forecasts, automates replenishment, and optimizes inventory continuously pre-season and in-season.

RETAILERS SET THEIR SIGHTS ON CLOUD

Retailers are rapidly shifting from on-premise deployment models to more flexible, scalable cloud models to remain competitive and reduce their total cost of ownership. The cloud enables unprecedented agility and flexibility to evolve with consumer demands and allows for innovation efforts to take off. As the first retail technology provider to embed AI and machine learning technologies from Google Cloud into our platform, retailers were especially interested in our cloud offering and latest innovative capabilities.

GROCERS GO DIGITAL

Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Kroger continue to make aggressive investments in their e-commerce strategies, and traditional grocers are urgently expanding their digital capabilities to grab market share and prevent obsolescence. We’re seeing more grocers move away from third-party services such as Instacart in order to gain control of customer data and the relationship with customers. While online sales for grocery are anticipated to double over the next two years, grocers are struggling to execute digital strategies that turn a profit. Mi9 Retail is making profitable growth possible for leading grocers with a cloud-native, microservices-based digital commerce platform that has been finely honed to address the common challenges of online grocery shopping and order fulfillment.

Thanks for connecting with us at the show! If we didn’t get a chance to meet or you’d like to continue the conversation, contact us at info@mi9retail.com.

About Mi9 Retail
Mi9 Retail is rearchitecting the business of retail with a cloud-native Unified Commerce Platform that facilitates automation, optimization, and data-driven decisions throughout the Plan-to-Sell process.

PLAN smarter with a merchandise optimization platform that unifies, automates, and streamlines the end-to-end planning process through the use of a common data model and sophisticated data science techniques.
MANAGE better with a real-time enterprise-wide view of inventory and customer data across all channels.
SELL more with a selling optimization platform that saves the sale, fulfills orders profitably, and personalizes the customer experience in-store, online, anywhere, anytime.