Welcome to the digital revolution: We live in a digital age during which technology is helping to support just about everything we do. We’re connected, virtually, through our devices and electronics. And, we have a world of information at our disposal, at the click of a mouse or touch of a screen. It’s resulted in a consumer that’s more empowered today than at any time previous.

Throw physical distancing and stay-at-home orders into the mix and you suddenly have a consumer that’s empowered enough to order everything they need from the comfort of their own home. Online shopping was popular in the U.S. before the pandemic but has increased significantly across many categories in the last few months. What’s more is that intent to shop online is also increasing. According to a recent McKinsey & Company survey, most categories have seen more than 10% growth in their online customer base during the pandemic — and many customers say they plan to keep shopping online even when stores open up.

As consumers changed up their shopping habits, many have also abandoned their brand loyalty in the process — 25% tried out a new private label brand and 80% intend to continue using it once the crisis is over.

But as technology changes consumer behaviour and the business environment, it also presents businesses with boundless opportunities to leverage tools that can help transform the way they develop and execute strategies, and grow their operations and bottom lines.

Predict the unpredictable

Through the power of artificial intelligence supported by machine learning, today’s data management services can assist businesses in navigating the challenges and unpredictability of changing markets and consumer behaviour. Retail data solutions like those developed by Storecheck provide this capability, and so much more, enabling consumer packaged goods companies with the data that’s most important to their success, informing decision-making and providing a view into future needs and opportunities.

The technology arms businesses with a holistic view of their activities as well, providing the capability to share the data and analytics with departments across the entire business. What results is a highly informed team of field reps with a clear vision and understanding of their objectives, an elevation of cross-functional chemistry, and much needed support for senior leaders to allow them to drive more effective outcomes for their businesses.

What’s most impressive about retail execution management software like Storecheck’s, however, is the fact that all of the potential of the data and analytics that it provides is harnessed on one platform. Everything is centralized, feeding into singular, comprehensive reporting that removes the challenges and pitfalls of human error commonly associated with the manual consolidation of data. It also helps to relieve team members of these time-draining procedures, freeing them up to focus on more meaningful activities like strategy and execution.

AI-informed strategies

Because these AI solutions for retail are supported and informed by machine learning, the evolution of the business intelligence that it generates is ongoing, continuously adding to the data-points it leverages and increasing the accuracy of forecasting and predictions. It complements the talent of forecasting and marketing teams, equipping them with critical information they require to develop meaningful and effective strategies and campaigns on which the continued success of many businesses depend.

In the hyper-competitive retail and consumer packaged goods industries, any upper-hand that a business can leverage is going to be more crucial than ever as we continue to wade through the murk of the current global pandemic and beyond. The ability to keep up with consumer behaviour and evolving tastes and preferences will also be brought into sharper focus. By utilizing data harmonization tools, businesses can realize the potential advantages and capabilities and begin capitalizing on previously unseen opportunities. And, by doing so, they’ll help transform their operations and place themselves firmly on the path toward continued success and growth.

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