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Latest blog posts from Hivery
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Coresight Research Retail-Tech Landscape Report

Jul 31, 2021 | By

Coresight Research

Coresight Research Retail-Tech Landscape comprises selected startups globally that can help retailers improve their digital offerings and the overall customer experience. The landscape report spotlights innovators that are disrupting the retail industry in various categories. Download: Coresight's Retail-Tech Landscapes Report (no registration required) If you liked this report, you may also like: Coresight Research full report: The Age of Precision Category Management: Hyper-Localized Assortment Optimization Using Advanced Technologies Coresight Research X HIVERY webinar: Deborah Weinswig, CEO & Founder of Coresight Research, and HIVERY’s VP, Client Services, NA, Steve Weir, and Director of Customer Success, Zach Simpson explore how retailers & CPG companies are using advanced technologies in machine learning and data science to simulate merchandising strategies and find incremental value. Coresight Research X HIVERY webinar's key summary takeout (no registration required) Retail-Tech Landscape: Retailers’ Technology Shopping List for Holiday 2021 contents: Five Key Trends in Retail Technology for Holiday 2021 Retail-Tech Landscape: Retailers’ Technology Shopping List for Holiday 2021—Infographic Retail-Tech Landscape: Retailers’ Technology Shopping List for Holiday 2021, by Category Product Assortment and Merchandising E-Commerce Fulfillment Digital Commerce Management Product Discovery & Personalization Returns and Cost Reduction
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Summary: Coresight Research x HIVERY: The Age of Precision Category Management and The Power of Retail Simulation & Optimization
Jul 28, 2021 | By

Coresight Research

On May 12, 2021, Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, hosted an online event in conjunction with HIVERY, provider of an artificial intelligence (AI) and data science (DS)-powered solution that harnesses store-level data for category management optimization, enabling precision in category management and localized assortment. Learn how HIVERY is pioneering hyper-local retailing, and offers simulation & optimization solutions to a growing number of retail and CPG clients in North America.  In this free report, Coresight presents three key insights from the event, which explored the age of precision category management. The full report is available for free and can be accessed by registering details here. Click here to watch the full on-demand webinar or download the summary.
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HIVERY climbs to rank 77 from 82 in The Financial Times Asia-Pacific High Growth top 500 Companies of 2021
Apr 14, 2021 | By

HIVERY

The Financial Times (FT), in cooperation with international data partner, Statista and its sister publication, Nikkei Asia, has released its third edition of the FT High-Growth Companies Asia-Pacific ranking. Our team is honoured to announce that HIVERY has once again made it to this prestigious list – climbing 5 points from last year to position 77, ranking us amongst the top companies in the region. We are pleased to be included in this latest FT ranking, which celebrates 500 companies in the Asia-Pacific region that have achieved the highest compound annual growth in revenue between 2016 and 2019. This is mostly powered by our HIVERY Curate solution - transforming category management with hyper optimized assortments for our global retailers and CPG companies. This also comes with the news of Gartner Research naming HIVERY Curate in their annual retail assortment optimisation industry guide. Maxine Kelly, FT Editor, shared that many countries in Asia-Pacific continue to struggle due to the effects of last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, along with further challenges around inequality, unemployment and gaps in social welfare. She has noted, though, that these 500 companies are well-prepared to overcome such crises, being in a strong position to take their organisations to even greater heights. “This gives them enough momentum or resilience to survive — or, in the case of some tech start-ups, to thrive.”  We’re proud to embody these attributes both this year and going forward. At HIVERY, we aim to take full advantage of our ongoing growth and blaze new trails – not just to accomplish breakthroughs for our business, but also to help our clients generate impressive returns from their retail shelf space investment through the power of AI in category management. Using the world’s most advanced machine learning and operations research techniques, we will consistently empower global FMCGs, CPGs and retailers to make more informed decisions that will enhance customers’ shopping experiences, optimise shelf space utilisation and maximise profits.   Hyperlocal retailing, our solution that offers simultaneous localization and optimization of product mix, space and promotion/price at the individual store level, will guarantee that data has a better idea to help you succeed. If you would like to know more about this solution and our other products, contact us here. We’d love to hear from you.  We wish to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped us get this far and thank you our incredibly talented team of scientists, engineers and designers are all overjoyed to know that we are creating a positive impact.
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Win or retain category captaincy: How AI can augment category management with a two-sided “Protect & Grow” strategy
Mar 23, 2021 | By

Heather Martin

Category management is a highly competitive exercise in today’s face-paced retail environment, with each company seeking to increase their brands’ category market share and leadership presence through innovation and superior category strategy.  Rarely are brands distributed according to their fair share of space at any given retailer, especially when assortment is optimized using a top-down approach that leverages averages of averages to push assortment into space available at each store. Even a small percentage of growth or loss can equate to millions of dollars. Therefore, it is equally important for all brands and Consumer Packaged Good Companies (CPGs) to protect & grow shelf space, regardless of whether they are below or beyond fair share.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ideal tool to optimize assortment from the bottom up, looking at each store individually and using this analysis to determine the right assortment for each store or cluster. This approach allows CPGs to protect and grow revenue by maximising retail space investment, all while uncovering growth opportunities for the category and improving the retailer / CPG strategic relationship. Sound too good to be true? Here’s how. Two-Prong Strategy: Protect & Grow category assortment  Category management and retail sectors have always been dynamic, and every (Points of Distribution) POD is fought for in every relay. Direct to consumer brands and new innovation are fighting for the same space you are, with less on the line. To cope with the evolving competition amongst brands, HIVERY Curate helps CPGs identify the right strategy based on a predictive analysis of the most granular of data points through the two-prong “protect and grow” strategy: Protect - Defending your category share & strategic value to your retailer At HIVERY, we are often asked what happens if the AI recommends reducing a CPG’s space - and usually this question comes from CPGs whose brands are well distributed and at (or above) a fair share of space. The answer is simple. With store-level assortment analysis taking into account store specific cannibalization, category advisors and non-advisors alike can protect their relationship and space by: Uncovering growth for their brand, optimizing existing space and recommending SKU rationalization of products whose demand will transfer within the brand portfolio. This newly created space allows for increasing holding power to reduce out of stocks, or swapping lower-performing products for those ‘sleeper products’ that will drive brand growth. Quantifying the value of each business and brand strategies through rapid SKU stimulation and seeing the impact before executing. AI can, in fact, provide data driven, revenue-quantified recommendations to execute the strategies. This levels up the conversation with the retailer in ways not possible today and ensures the strategies are executable in store and predicted to drive category growth. Identifying growth for their retailer, even within existing clusters which protects the strategic relationship and everything that comes with it.   Once existing space is protected, brands beyond their fair share can fight for additional space through new innovation, and HIVERY Curate can predict the success of the launch while pinpointing the best stores to launch in. Grow – Capturing more category sales and space AI-powered algorithms are able to optimize assortment at the store level by determining the unique ‘data fingerprint’ of each store, and leveraging this to identify the assortment needs of each specific store. Even when executed at a cluster level, using this bottom up analysis to identify what to add, remove or retain uncovers new opportunities for both brands and retailers.  Where brands are below their fair share of space and expanded distribution would grow not only your brand but also the category, HIVERY Curate’s AI optimization provides specific recommendations on where to expand points of distribution (PODs), it identifies which SKUs to expand, and quantifies the revenue impact to the retailer. And, because HIVERY Curate’s optimization is aware of the actual space on the shelf, the AI often identifies room for additional facings or SKUs just by knowing how many inches are available. Case Study: the two-pronged approach in action Working with a large multinational company across two categories at a single retailer, HIVERY Curate was used to identify and implement this two-pronged strategy. In one category where our CPG client had significant distribution, Curate identified growth for the category and a risk of reduced PODs to the CPG. With this information, our customer’s brand and sales teams have an opportunity to identify protective portfolio strategies, simulate their impact on the category and their revenue and use this data-driven story to propose their programs to the retailer. In another category where private label products have significant distribution, HIVERY Curate identified an opportunity for our CPG client to grow the category by also growing their distribution - a true win/win for all parties!  Backed by the power of machine learning and proprietary algorithms developed over 5 years, together with  an in-depth operations research method (often called applied mathematics)  within HIVERY Curate, the CPG client was able to effectively plan and distribute optimal product assortments for each retail store. As expected, the financial benefit was significant. Across both categories, HIVERY Curate identified a $16M revenue growth opportunity for the CPG Client. The next generation of category management solution With the constant battle between category leaders and non-category leaders, the brands that are able to protect and grow their market share are the ones that survive and thrive. HIVERY Curate offers businesses an efficient way to do this. As an intuitive AI-powered and user-friendly tool, it equips businesses with effective and compliant planograms that deliver the best results from physical retail space investment.  In the end, it’s not just about earning more slices of the pie, but rather about growing the pie itself. HIVERY Curate delivers accurate, effective and executable store-specific recommendations to improve and ensure the growth of the whole category. How can HIVERY help you?    HIVERY is the pioneer of hyper-local retailing – combining artificial intelligence, machine learning, optimization and design to help CPGs and retailers generate an increased return on physical retail space investment.     To learn more about me or schedule a chat, please visit my page here    
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HIVERY featured on Austrade's "Australian Digital Innovation on the Rise'
Oct 23, 2020 | By

Austrade

Exports of Australian digital tech are expected to triple by 2030 and HIVERY is part of this. Australia’s tech startup and innovation ecosystem is rapidly growing, attracting global attention and increasing venture capital funding, HIVERY has certainty experience this. Learn about this sector's rapid growth in Austrade's new Australian Digital Innovation Report. The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency. Download now or visit Austrade site for more information
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The Supermarket Guru - Four (4) shifts in supermarket space that is going to change retail forever
Oct 01, 2020 | By

HIVERY

Recognized as “The Supermarket Guru”, Phil Lempert is one of America’s leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail and supermarket landscape. Phil brought us up to date with the ways the pandemic has been altering consumers’ shopping behavior and how these changes have been shifting both the retail, supermarketing and consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors. What is the current state of retailers and supermarkets? Since the onset of COVID-19 crisis, things have been far from usual for retailers and supermarkets. For one, Phil emphasized that physical distancing, health protocols and safety measures have been limiting stores in providing a pleasant shopping experience for consumers.  “We’ve gone from having a very pleasant experience where supermarkets built themselves to be experiential, to this. No one right now can present a terrific experience. From food carts, self-service bars to salad bars - everything they’ve been doing to provide an inviting shopping experience is now out the window.” Phil also mentioned how customers have become more concerned about their health. Due to the rising cases of COVID-19, many people now resort to the “new normal” online shopping, curbside pickup and delivery. As expected, these come with serious implications for retailers.  “Pre-COVID-19, the average American went 2.2 times a week to buy groceries and spent around 22 mins on every shopping trip. Now, however, the average American just goes once a week, in and out as quickly as possible. To make stores more efficient, we will see many retailers reducing their number of skews on supermarket shelves. You can also expect online ordering, store fulfilment, in-store pickup and delivery to become popular approaches. As a result, a lot of stores will be decreasing their sizes.” How do these recent events affect product assortment and shelf space? The pandemic has brought significant changes to the formats and operations of retailers and supermarkets. It is expected, then, that variations around shelf space and product assortment will also arise. Phil delved into how these retail spaces will be leveraged today and in the post-COVID-19 world: 1. A limited supply of certain commodities A lot of grocers are worried about the possibility of a second phase of the pandemic. Aside from the health implications, they want to figure out how it will affect the supply chain.  Phil explained, “When the pandemic began, Americans had experienced not having certain products on supermarkets’ shelves for the first time. They are wondering if it will happen again and the thought scares them. As such, they were buying everything they could – that is, hoarding.” The limited supply, then, has left some shelves empty for months. For instance, Clorox’s disinfectant wipes will not be able to stock up until mid-2021. So, to provide people with alternatives, retailers must modify the product variations they offer. 2. Reconfiguration of stores as “ghost supermarkets”  Phil highlighted why there is a major reconfiguration of stores right now.  “Stores are being limited to 20-30% occupancy, which takes a toll on their bottom line. To keep the operations going, we are now seeing ghost supermarkets that focus mainly on delivery.” He also believes that while the online assortment range can cater for over 40 thousand products, physical stores will see a reduction to 20 or even 15 thousand products. This means that a smaller assortment at a store-specific level must be optimized to gain profits. 3. Difficulty in attracting retailers’ attention with new products “The whole new product introduction system is under evaluation as retailers start to cut products and space,” Phil stated. With category "resets" happening just twice a year and now this limited launch of new products, it’s anticipated that there may be less variety of products available going forward. 4. Unpredictable demand that limits retailers  Who would’ve thought that the demand for products related to the cold and flu season like medicines and vitamins would rise all year round? The unprecedented effects of COVID-19 have restricted retailers’ ability to predict which products will become a hit and which ones will fall flat. Phil said, “The way it usually works is you will build promotions and collaterals 2-3 months ahead. But because of our uncertain conditions, I don’t even know one retailer who can guarantee what kind of products will be on their store shelves 2-3 months from now.” How can retailers thrive in the new normal, then? Phil shared some powerful insights to guide supermarkets and retailers in overcoming the current challenges of the industry, especially around assortment planning. First, he advised retailers to thoroughly know and understand their customer base. Phil also put importance on zip code assortment specific recommendations. “They have to know the kinds of food their customers want. They have to know about the demographics and health conditions. If your store is located in Florida with older Americans and higher cases of diabetes, you need to stock differently from a New York store with a younger population.” He further emphasized the need for assortment planning at the individual store level. "Gone are the days of the same assortment in all stores. That hasn’t happened for a long time - and frankly, it shouldn’t happen. When I go into the supermarket, I want to feel that the store knows me and has the right products for me. I don’t want to have to go to 3 or 5 stores to shop around, especially at this time of COVID.” Phil also mentioned how retailers today are becoming less reliant on CPGs for category planning. Instead, they have been utilizing science and technology to make smarter decisions. For him, this is something that must be maintained. “Typically, the category manager is not an employee of the retailer, but the manufacturer. This person is usually from the biggest brand in that particular category. Obviously, you can see some conflicts with that. But that’s changing a bit. More and more retailers are now hiring their own category managers and using software like HIVERY to evaluate properly what products are put on, what shelves and where. We are seeing science becoming more involved, so it’s not about gut feeling anymore.” What are the expected changes in the supermarket and other retail spaces post-COVID? As our interview with Phil comes to an end, he discussed some of his predictions on the possible changes that might arise in the field of retail after the pandemic. His main points include: There will be more evident consolidation – Earlier this year, supermarkets bought smaller retailers to take advantage of consumers’ hoarding. Recently, however, we are seeing volumes go down - leading to the majority of these stores closing. Aging truck driver force will affect the supply chain – There are not enough trucks to get supplies. Autonomous vehicles, indoor farming and local production are the most viable solutions. Increased prices of imported products from Europe – This is because the US has not been exporting and importing a lot of products from European countries like before. Phil concluded the discussion by challenging retailers. He asked them to identify and better understand what shoppers would want tomorrow.  “How can we get into the head, heart and soul of shoppers? How can we be predictive? How can we get a much better success rate when we bring new products?” If you like this blog, listern to the podcast with Phil Lempert's podcast on this topic How can HIVERY help you?  HIVERY is the pioneer of hyper-local retailing – combining artificial intelligence, optimization and design to help CPGs and retailers generate an increased return on physical retail space investment.   HIVERY Curate, is the world’s first truly hyper-local category management solution, offering the simultaneous optimization of assortment and space at store-specific level. More information about HIVERY Curate and other HIVERY solutions.
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Future of Category Management: New capabilities needed to remain competitive, relevant and indispensable
Aug 27, 2020 | By

HIVERY

We often hear that the future of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and retail sectors begins with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and that technology is disrupting the industry today.  But how exactly can AI shift category management? How can it improve different stores with different requirements? To help you learn about how AI is optimizing your shelf space utilization, here is everything you need to know about it. What makes AI powerful? AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is augmenting “domain expertise” in every industry.  This isn’t a surprise anymore considering that we’re getting glimpses of AI around us – from digital payment advisers in banking and chatbots in customer service, to highly accurate forecasting in the logistics of different companies. However, what makes AI relevant to various fields and industries is not just the increased efficiencies it provides, but more of its capacity to open up next-level solutions to different challenges.  In fact, some of AI’s advantages include: Growing data sets – 90% of the data we have in this world has been created in the last two years. There’s too much data, variables and noise far beyond what humans can process. Through AI, we can utilize these growing data sets to get more helpful insights efficiently. Unlimited capacity – Humans have 86 billion neurons, while machines have unlimited capacity. This makes AI more adept at detecting complex patterns. Speed and agility – AI is capable of generating actionable insights in minutes, rather than months. Because of this, it’s more reliable when testing various hypotheses. New, creative thought – While humans like us have biases that hinder us from identifying creative thought, AI is good at learning from previous actions and developing its own insight or creative strategies. Check out this video from an ex-Autodesk executive on how AI has improved their ability to think and imagine. This example in industrial design however this is happening in category management today. Planograms creation software or category management software is being reset. How about AI in category management? Breakthroughs in technology have paved the way for AI in retail. Advanced machine learning methods like “Deep Learning” algorithms allow category managers to uncover large amounts of data and simulate various assortment scenarios that can help determine the right shelf space utilization, enhance customers’ experience and maximize profitability.  For instance, if we instruct AI to maximize revenue, it will then analyze all granular data points out there – from macro-space level to individual store levels. Once category managers proceed to introduce constraints and rules such as limitations in prices, seasonal shopping behavior and location factors, AI will also consider these in optimizing revenue. What’s powerful about AI in category management is that it focuses on enhancing the human element, not eliminating it. The approach works by combining human insight and strategy to AI’s unrivaled and unlimited capacity in order to identify the best space allocation and product assortment for any retail business. An example of AI in category management is HIVERY Curate. HIVERY Curate is a category management tool which utilizes AI techniques and operations research to achieve space and assortment optimization for CPG companies and retailers. It generates compliant planograms for different convenience retail outlets, while taking into account the merchandising rules and constraints at a national, channel or store level. HIVERY Curate runs multiple assortment scenarios in a span of a few minutes to help category managers like you see the impact of each possible decision in real-time. Despite being a smart AI-driven category management application, HIVERY Curate is intuitive and user-friendly, to ensure users will get the most benefit with minimal training.   So, what does this imply for category management in general? It means that there will be an 80% reduction in Planogram drawing time. Category managers can also spend less time on data collection, analysis and planning, which then allows you to pay more attention to things you’d prefer to do, like critical thinking, strategizing and implementing. With AI tools such as HIVERY Curate, category managers can become more like category consultants - delivering more accurate recommendations that are beneficial in driving business growth. Case study: how AI is impacting Category Management Contrary to what most people expect, AI enables more than just labor savings. It provides operational, financial and strategic value for both suppliers and their retailers. In fact, one of our partners achieved the following benefits through the AI-driven HIVERY Curate: $50M incremental annual sales from its one retailer, and $150M sales over 3 years Points Of Distributions (POD) becoming #1 in the category Awarded as “Sales Driver of the Year” Back in 2016, some of this customer’s retailers had cut category PODs by 22% and promotional support by 50%. Fortunately, through AI technology, they were still able to curate the perfect assortment in each store and consistently grow their PODs, including their category. This was made possible even though the rest of the market in that category had declined. It’s also important to take note that our customer had been able to achieve the same positive results in 2017 and 2018 - the times when PODs and promotions fell flat compared to 2016 numbers. All of these points prove that AI plays (and will continue to play) a big part in growing retail and CPG businesses How can HIVERY help you? HIVERY is the pioneer of hyper-local retailing, combining artificial intelligence, optimization and design to help CPGs and retailers generate an increased return on physical retail space investment.  Our product, HIVERY Curate, is the world’s first truly hyper-local category management solution, offering the simultaneous optimization of assortment and space for each unique store. It’s powerful and continuously learning AI-driven engine optimizes generates rapid category strategies, insights and actions to take around product assortments, space and planograms generation. More information about HIVERY Curate and other HIVERY solutions
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Four (4) industry shifts that retailers like Walmart and Kroger are experimenting with that will impact category management roles in the future
Aug 26, 2020 | By

HIVERY

Retailers nowadays are facing challenges in the form of trend shifts, behavioural changes and technological advancements. This is why a commitment to continuous renewal and transformation is a must to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, it’s also important for retailers to ramp up their processes, teams and relationships. To help you understand the true implications of our industry’s current trends, here are some insights around how retailers are responding. How do retailers respond to the waves of change? For retailers to hit their target and remain relevant to consumers, they must proactively adapt to the changes and innovations in the industry. The following approaches are some of the strategies they implement to keep their business up and running amidst the evolving retail landscape. 1. Dealing with the competitive squeeze Discount stores like Aldi are invading the US market, increasing retail competition. Traditional grocers like Walmart have been able to observe that there is almost a 10% difference between their gross and net operating margins to those comparable discount grocers – leaving them under pressure to compete. In addition to this, retailers have to consider the impact of Amazon and their kind of infinite assortment offering that customers nowadays are beginning to expect. And while physical retailers continue to invest in in-store experiences, better product mix which may provide lower returns in the short run, the hope that they remain relevant to customers in the long run. In fact, Kroger into expanded into restaurant business with Kitchen 1883 and private-label clothing line. Nevertheless, labor is a major factor they can continuously utilize in the short term to alleviate margin pressure. For example, Walmart is starting to renovate their stores by eliminating the need for humans to operate cash registers on the front-end, instead automating their check-out process as well as streamline operations with robots. According to Forbes story, Walmart will bring on board thousands of robots in nearly 5,000 of its 11,348 stores. However the “New Retail” capabilities consumers require of retailers (e.g. Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, etc.) are all putting additional a strain on in-store operating models. 2. Facilitating the role of space It can’t be denied that labor is impacting the utilization of retailers’ spaces.  As such, category managers are being faced with various decisions about how retail stores can be outlined in the best ways. For example: Labor vs holding power vs assortment – if you have more days of supply, you don’t need to stock frequently. However, having more days of supply also means you’ll be pushing assortment out of your stores. Floor (space for customer) vs backroom vs fulfilment – Where should your store’s square footage be allocated? In the case of Walmart, they have been increasing their backroom space in order to provide fulfilment that will not interfere with their customers’ shopping experience.  Because the range of assortment is becoming more compressed than ever, the bottom line here lies in the need for retailers to coordinate with powerful, innovative brands and partners. To move forward rapidly, retailers must have great partners to collaborate with. 3. Working with a digital merchant We are anticipating fewer, focused merchants nowadays because of the current trends we are seeing in the industry.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are disrupting the supply chain, modular planograming and merchandising - eliminating the need for more people in those jobs. In fact, Walmart had a huge layoff only recently. That was one of their largest in years. The inclusion of things like “Negotiation Chat-Bots” such as Pactum or Skype Mafia and companies like RangeMe who also becoming more revolutionary in managing what is brought and stocked in their stores. These ordering bots can essentially automate ordering;  eliminating the need for “category managers” or influence from CPG suppliers. hey serve as a good way to understand different products and manufacturers in the market, while allowing for more efficient communications.  Additionally, buyer-less line reviews and assortments are now being facilitated via technology. You can only imagine how important it is for merchants to evolve their skills to remain relevant and strategic. 4. Understanding the importance of an advisors’ evolution Optimizing the retail process involves having fewer heads who carry greater scope of responsibilities. Most often, retailers make such adjustments with their category management teams.  For one, being equipped with an in-house data science team means category managers like you can get helpful insights that will allow you to understand algorithms and systems well.  Meanwhile, planogram operators must go beyond their roles to become strategic consultants. It means being able to leverage processes and strategy to draw specific planograms within minutes, rather than months. To do this, they have to master the 4 Ps of merchandising: placement, products, promotion and price. What does this mean to category managers like you, then? It means embracing technology to enhance your store’s processes, without isolating relationships and access. This also involves understanding that both roles of humans and technology are important – retailers needing AI and automation to accelerate their operations, while having thought leader partners to get optimized analysis and results. The opportunity to differentiate has never been greater - so don’t waste this chance by resisting change. How can HIVERY help you? HIVERY is the pioneer of hyper-local retailing, combining artificial intelligence, optimization and design to help CPGs and retailers generate an increased return on physical retail space investment.  Our product, HIVERY Curate, is the world’s first truly hyper-local category management solution, offering the simultaneous optimization of assortment and space for each unique store. It’s powerful and continuously learning AI-driven engine optimizes generates rapid category strategies, insights and actions to take around product assortments, space and planograms generation. More information about HIVERY Curate and other HIVERY solutions
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Eight (8) retail trends every category management professional needs to know.
Aug 24, 2020 | By

HIVERY

Is your current category management strategy still relevant? Are you wondering if your retail shelf space investment is making significant returns, given that we’re facing an unprecedented pandemic today? In an already crowded retail industry, we know that you don’t want to get left behind the innovations, initiatives and progressive changes your competitors and industry leaders are doing. To help your business navigate these shifts happening in your field, we have compiled different trends affecting the Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) environment. What are the relevant changes happening in retail? Part of your job as a Category Manager is being aware of the different trends that are occurring in the industry. Understanding these kinds of insights will help you organize the right product assortment and optimize shelf space to earn higher profits for your overall business.  There are the eight (8) retail trends every category management professionals need to know: 1. Increasing retail competition Recently, there have been changes in the retail landscape. Discount stores like Aldi are invading the US market. In fact, this grocer aims to become the third-largest US retailer with 2,500 stores by the end of 2022. Aside from that, online retail has become more prevalent than ever. It has been happening for quite some time, but the convenience it provides, and the impacts of COVID-19 have fast-tracked its growth. This trend will surely modify the CPG brand - so you must also be ready to adjust in your category strategy.  2. Emerging new brands and categories Almost 30,000 new consumer products are being launched every year. With these new entrants in the market, some products will eventually have to go. Nevertheless, it’s also important to take note that these kinds of product innovations aren’t always a guaranteed success – 80% of them often fail to penetrate the market. The trick to solving this problem is having the right technology that can predict what goods would positively influence shelf space. 3. Rationalizing Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) Due to the effects of the pandemic, retailers and manufacturers have been eliminating their ‘little to no scale’ brands.  For instance, Coca Cola has announced that it will kill 400 of its “zombie brands” which make up only 2% of its total revenue. Mondelez is planning to do the same by removing a quarter of its snack products, mostly comprised of individual product varieties. After removing these items, what will now happen to the spaces they will vacate? This is something you must consider. 4. Changing shopper behavior The remote school and work set up we are currently experiencing is affecting consumers’ shopping behavior. Because most people are at home, they now tend to shop online instead of buying directly from the stores. Seasonal category buying is also changing. Back-to-school shopping is expected to decrease this year, while the demand for products related to cold and flu season like medicines and vitamins are predicted to rise all year round. However, when structuring your plans, it is also important to take note that the situation may not totally change back to what it was before. 5. Changing consumer behavior Virtual is the new normal. Research by the consulting firm McKinsey showed that an estimated $250 billion in healthcare spending could shift to virtual care models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to this, consumers have become more concerned with their health. From being reactive patients, their focus now is becoming more proactive consumers to protect themselves against illnesses. 6. Evolving store formats As a response to the ever-changing shopper behavior and growing competition, retail stores have been evolving, too. For one, you can probably observe a lot of retailers opening more stores but decreasing their sizes. This is because online ordering, store fulfilment, in-store pickup and delivery have become far more popular approaches.  With all these changes in store formats, expect significant variations around how shelf space and product assortment will be optimized. 7. Accelerating COVID-19 trends Due to the effects of the pandemic, some previously flat or declining categories are now growing. Home-confined buying has led customers to purchase more essential supplies like frozen foods and beverages. Many people have also been trying new brands and product variations because their usual goods tend to run out of stock. 8. Emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancements Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been disrupting several industries like healthcare, customer service and banking. The retail and CPG industry, though, is predicted to be its next frontier. Through breakthroughs in technology and machine learning, retailers and suppliers are expected to get more accurate information on how to optimize product assortment and shelf space.  To enhance retailers and suppliers’ internal processes and organizational structure, the possibility of running various category management scenarios in a short amount of time is also anticipated. Let’s have a quick recap.  The trends that have been predicted well into the future are actually happening right now. To succeed in the retail and CPG industry, you should think of them not as dire circumstances but rather as opportunities for growth that can drive your business forward. Now is the time to re-organize and think differently. Just remember to keep these important points in mind when developing your new and improved category management strategy: Major trends in retail that you need to know now. New competition - Retail competition is increasing with a shift to discounters and online shopping. New format - Store formats are changing in response to changing shopper and consumer behavior. New trends - Category winners and losers are emerging because COVID-19 is accelerating these trends. New normal - The future will be the new normal – likely a blend of what is now and what used to be. New technologies - AI will disrupt the CPG and Retail industries by changing and improving processes. How can HIVERY help you? HIVERY is the pioneer of hyper-local retailing, combining artificial intelligence, optimization and design to help CPGs and retailers generate an increased return on physical retail space investment.  Our product, HIVERY Curate, is the world’s first truly hyper-local category management solution, offering the simultaneous optimization of assortment and space for each unique store. It’s powerful and continuously learning AI-driven engine optimizes generates rapid category strategies, insights and actions to take around product assortments, space and planograms generation. More information about HIVERY Curate and other HIVERY solutions
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