Retail tech stack, Inventory Management, and Retail Hygge - Weekly Snacks #86

Happy New Year! In this first Weekly Snacks edition for 2024 we’ll show you the best ads and campaigns at the moment, retail trends and technology to keep an eye on, and opinions from experts that will help you.

Campaign corner

Shopping and Supercharging. New stay-at-home dad? Amazon Prime’s got you covered. In their new ad, Amazon shows the journey of a new dad who’s over-caffeinated to help him get through the day. Amazon helps him shop and stream his favorite shows to ensure he is supercharged for a new day. 

Meeting the family. Nothing’s as scary and exciting as meeting the family of your loved one. What is they don’t like you? What if you don’t fit in? Well, Coca-Cola beverages are there to help. In the new ad, Coca-Cola focuses on a crazy, loud, and fun family that gets to meet “the new guy”. All Coca-Cola products are features to show that there’s a beverage for everyone in the family. 

Retail technology

Retail tech stack. The rise of e-commerce and the need for omnichannel retail solutions have shifted IT from a background to a crucial role in retail operations. Retailers face challenges in integrating new technologies with legacy systems, leading to a push for a unified-commerce strategy. This involves overhauling existing tech stacks, with a focus on cloud infrastructure and SaaS solutions, while balancing the divergent needs of IT and store managers. As technology evolves, retailers must address the looming issues of outdated hardware and changing compliance standards.

Personalized experience. Matt O'Grady, the U.S. executive of Dunnhumby, emphasizes the importance of understanding shopper behavior at a granular level in the rapidly evolving grocery industry. While advocating for technology-driven solutions, O'Grady also values the traditional, personalized shopping experience. Dunnhumby, known for its retail data analysis, aids retailers in tailoring their strategies to enhance customer engagement and sales. O'Grady, with his background in executive roles at 12th Street Measurement and Nielsen, is impressed by the rapid adoption of retail media by grocers and believes in the enduring importance of personalized experiences, both in-store and online, to maintain customer loyalty and connection.

Expert opinions

Classic brands. Considering the shift toward data-driven shelf configurations in supermarkets, how does this trend intersect with the role of traditional marketing and consumer psychology, and what long-term implications might this have on the retail landscape? This was the topic of a RetailWire discussion where various retail experts shared their thoughts on. Here’s what Neil Saunders mentioned: 

Inventory management. What other research approaches could enhance the robustness of AI-driven predictive models in retail, especially incorporating sales data, customer behavior, social media trends, and external factors like weather? How will AI impact the evolution of the retail landscape, particularly in terms of inventory placement for online and in-store orders and variety of stock? Various retail experts shared their opinions on this topic from Retail Wire’s discussion. Here’s what Mark Ryski mentioned: 

In other news…

Holiday trends. The 2023 holiday season presented new challenges for retailers, with a decline in holiday hiring and some companies resorting to layoffs to cut costs. Economic uncertainty and higher prices influenced consumer spending, leading retailers to employ nostalgia in marketing campaigns to encourage purchases. Despite inflation, many consumers continued to spend, but were more selective, particularly in larger purchase categories. Retailers responded with early and deeper holiday promotions, and Black Friday sales were surprisingly strong, with consumers showing a keen interest in discounts.

Retail hygge. The concept of 'hygge', emphasizing coziness and contentment, has gained popularity in U.S. holiday marketing, with retailers promoting products that embody this Scandinavian idea. Despite its non-materialistic roots, hygge has been commercialized, especially during the festive season, blurring the line between genuine emotional warmth and consumerism. Retailers leverage the hygge theme to sell products that supposedly enhance this cozy experience, though the true essence of hygge is about simple joys and personal connections, not material goods.

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