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[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Read the original article published on PR Newswire here. PRESS RELEASE: Retalon Announces Breakthrough Application of Deep Learning Technology in Business Specific Predictive Analytics Retalon introduces "Progressive Learning", a methodology that makes the process of training of Neural Nets 80% more resistant to the bad data. TORONTO, March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Retalon, an award-winning AI & Predictive Analytics software provider announced a new approach to the training of Neural Nets, named Progressive Learning. Traditionally data used to train neural net models is less than perfect, resulting in errors and biases. This is not a new problem, as bad data has always been an issue, independently of what technology was used. With Neural Nets, however, the idea was that the Neural Nets will at least partially replace data scientists in the data preparation process. The same way a good Data Scientist can look at the data and say: "it doesn't seem to be right", a properly trained Neural Net was hoped to do the same. Retalon has developed a new process that allows NN to start training on the trustful data first, gradually learning from less perfect data. The new approach also affects the initialization step. Retalon Progressive Learning technology offers...

Is there a retail bubble? It's a tough time for retailers, but also a time that presents great opportunities. In the past, retailers with the largest size and quantity of physical locations dominated the retail landscape. This resulted in retail brands competing for real estate space and large quantities of brick-and-mortar locations being developed. Unfortunately, as brick-and-mortar shopping decreases in popularity, those retailers have been forced into store closures and bankruptcies. This has resulted in large volumes of physical retail locations sitting unoccupied and completely empty. What was once the driving force behind the development of the retail bubble, has now burst. What Defines a Retail Bubble? Simply put, a bubble is an economic phenomenon where the price of a particular asset (commodity, real estate, financial stock, or even the entire market) exceeds the actual value by a large margin. This market distortion can happen for any number of reasons, including bad policy, consumer hype, and risky institutional behavior. A retail bubble, then, is a value bubble that impacts the retail sector -- everything from retail company stocks and real estate holdings to the price of commodities in inventory. Although the world is well into its post-2020 economic recovery, there is...

Why is Seasonal Demand Forecasting important? Traditionally retailers have relied on past sales history to make predictions for future demand. Though this strategy has its limitations, it can work for staple inventory with consistent sales, like toothpaste or bread.  The volatile nature of seasonal inventory leaves traditional methods of forecasting ineffective, and in fact, harmful. Without an effective method to predict seasonal demand retailers will always run out of stock and lose sales or be forced to mark down products at the end of the season. That’s why it’s important for all retailers to understand what seasonal demand forecasting is, why it's so challenging and how retailers in 2021 are overcoming these challenges to increase their bottom line. What is Seasonal Demand Forecasting? Simply put, seasonal demand forecasting is a type of advanced demand forecasting that takes into account the many complex variables of predicting the performance of seasonal products (non-evergreen products). It’s easy to understand evergreen products, these products have a steady pattern of sales from month to month and year to year.  Seasonal products, on the other hand, either have disproportionately high spikes in demand or only sell during particular periods of time. The lifecycles of such inventory can range from a few...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Written by Mark Krupnik, CEO at Retalon. Read the original article published on Forbes here.   There are some who believe that sustainable supply chains that lead to a greener planet can only exist at the expense of the business. As if it were some sort of “can’t have the cake and eat it too” type of deal. This is a misconception. In a 2018 report, Gartner, Inc. stated that “As organizations declare long-term environmental sustainability as a key priority, translating boardroom objectives into supply chain projects can be challenging.” While optimizing a retail supply chain for efficiency and reduction of waste requires careful planning and consideration, machine learning and predictive analytics technology have changed the rules of the game.   The Retail Sustainability Problem The retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) supply chain sector has been abruptly disrupted by the global pandemic. While retailers were already undergoing a digital transformation, worldwide Covid-19-related restrictions have greatly accelerated this evolution. Consumers expect to seamlessly interact with brands and retailers across multiple channels, such as brick-and-mortar, social media and e-commerce. And retailers are rushing to offer new fulfillment options, like “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPIS), curbside pickups, cashless checkouts, drop-shipping, mobile shopping and...

What are retail dashboards? Retail dashboards display the state of a retailer’s business in a visual, at-a-glance format designed to help retailers track and improve key elements of retail performance. With the help of dashboards, retail employees can make faster, better decisions that align with the retailer’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to streamline business processes. Dashboards are also often referred to as business intelligence software, data visualization tools, or analytics dashboards. Regardless of what they're called in your business, they share the same ultimate goal; to give you up-to-date performance numbers for your most important KPIs. Let’s look at how retailers use dashboards, why they improve business performance, and why leading retailers are replacing their traditional dashboards with forward-looking advanced analytics solutions. Retail dashboards examples: Retailers that successfully implement dashboards do not take a one size fits all approach. Instead, they create dashboards for every business function and every level of their organization. Here are five commonly-used retail dashboards examples: Store performance dashboards Store performance dashboards give retail managers instant updates of metrics such as foot traffic, sales per employee, and attachment rates to help them supervise their store’s daily operations. Promotion planning and optimization dashboards Using promotion-specific dashboards to monitor metrics such as in-stock percentages and promotion...

How is retail digital transformation changing the industry? Retail digital transformation has fundamentally changed the way retail works, from the structure of internal operations to customers’ expectations of the retail experience. Although e-commerce gets all of the attention, the past two decades of technological change have transformed every aspect of the retail business -- from planning, inventory, pricing, and promotions -- all the way down to customer service and the in-store experience. And fortunately, the rise of online channels has not completely condemned brick-and-mortar retail to the history books. In fact, retailers that successfully adopt appropriate technologies (and are able to flexibly assimilate to change), find they can harness the digital transformation to see their brick-and-mortar businesses thrive. The top ways digital transformation is changing retail 1. Advanced analytics & retail AI Retail has always been a data-driven business, but the scale of today’s retail data environment is unparalleled (as will be tomorrow's). More and more data is gathered using new technology, including inventory systems, customer behaviour systems, product and store performance, and even weather reporting. This flood of data must then be processed for hundreds of thousands of SKUs to generate actionable information in real-time. Even with an army of analysts, the sheer volume of...

Everything you need to know about product clustering/grouping Product clustering (or grouping) is an increasingly common technique that leading retailers use to manage their planning, inventory, pricing, promotions, and markdowns. It is an effective way to think about assortment. This approach offers retailers a smart way to scale operations and can be incredibly cost-efficient when used correctly.  (psst! Jump to the end to see product cluster examples.) Definition of product clustering / grouping Product clusters are groups of products that share similar attributes. Products can be clustered in different ways (and for different purposes). They can be clustered by type, shape, occasion, materials, features, price, style, design, color, size, family, brand, function, and more. Doing so allows retailers infinite flexibility to "slice-and-dice" their assortment, analyze performance, and optimize everything from inventory to pricing. And clustering isn't just limited to products. Large retailers may also cluster their stores, warehouses, DCs, manufacturers, vendors, etc.. Furthermore, retailers can create more advanced clusters like “a group of products that share an attribute and also belong to a select group of stores”. Most commonly, retailers use geographical clusters to better account for demographics, distribution cost, climate, and other relevant factors to their business.. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. While product...

Omnichannel order fulfillment that drives customer experience (and boosts profits) Consumer expectations have evolved in the digital age, and retailers are now offering a multitude of flexible order delivery methods such as “Buy online, pick up in-store”, “curbside pickup”, “order in store, deliver home” and more.  Although the trend towards omnichannel fulfillment is not new, the pandemic changed many retailers’ business models almost overnight, and these changes are not going away.  The new business model demands a holistic approach to omnichannel fulfillment that considers new expectations of speed and convenience that customers have developed while keeping costs low.  Maintaining margins within business constraints while efficiently providing order fulfillment to customers is a tall order, especially considering each customer purchase requires a real-time fulfillment decision within a shifting context of inventory, demand, returns, delivery times, and shipping costs. What is omnichannel order fulfillment in retail? In retail, omnichannel fulfillment is the process of getting products to customers across many different channels (delivery from DC, drop-shipping, in-store pickup, contactless pick-up, etc.).  To understand what omnichannel fulfillment is in greater detail, we need to contrast it to traditional methods of fulfillment. At its most basic, order fulfillment is the combination of steps required to get products into the hands of customers....

What is a retail markdown strategy? A retail markdown strategy is a plan that describes when and how certain products should go on markdown. Having a markdown strategy is important because, all too often, markdowns are a kneejerk reaction to end-of-life inventories. And since most markdowns are not planned for in advance (or at least accounted for in the pre-season planning stages), they frequently drain profits considerably more than they have to. Unsurprisingly, many retailers treat "markdowns" like a dirty word (and last resort). But markdowns are an important part of a pricing continuum, and can be used strategically to minimize inventories and maximize profits. An effective retail markdown strategy must be part of that product’s overall product lifecycle strategy. But how do you plan pricing for the thousands of SKUs in your assortment? We will look at five proven markdown strategies, why they sometimes fail, and how modern retail analytics lets you develop effective markdown plans that clear inventory while maximizing margins. But first, let's agree on what we even mean by "markdowns." What are markdowns in retail? A markdown is a permanent price decrease for a product that is at the end of its lifecycle (or "seasonality"). Markdowns are used to temporarily increase demand for low-demand products, ideally...

Everything you need to know about product assortment strategy Creating a product assortment strategy is necessary for retailers to have a holistic, long-view plan of their business. But this is easier said than done. There are a variety of critical tasks that are competing for a retailer's attention, including inventory levels, budgets, allocation, etc. -- with variety and assortment of merchandise often taking a backseat to more immediate concerns. But your assortment strategy is your identity. It needs to be relevant to the current (and upcoming trends), as well as sensitive to the unique geo0demographics of your channels and locations. And it needs to fit into your retail planning process to ensure you're still hitting your financial and inventory targets. How can retailers stay on top of this complexity? Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of assortment planning, let's first get on the same page about what we mean when we say "assortment strategy." What is a product assortment strategy? In retail, assortment refers to the entire catalogue of products and variations that a retailer carries on their physical (and digital) shelves. Assortment is a bit like a retailer's finger print -- no two retailers have the same exact assortment. So a product assortment strategy is the plan...