Retail Mavericks Podcast

Retail Mavericks is HIVERY’s official podcast channel showcasing discussions on AI, technology, culture, innovation, and the future of retailing. It features our team of experts, academics, business leaders, and maverick thinkers in the retail, customer package goods and category management.

At HIVERY, we are passionate about bringing to life new thinking, ideas and the technology behind them. We believe this can help change attitudes, lives, and ultimately the world.

  • Host, producer and editor

Milena Salmon

  • Creator and director

Franki Chamaki, HIVERY’s Co-founder and Head of Marketing & Design

  • Academia-focused episodes feature co-host

Dr Alvaro Flores, Mathematician and Data Scientist at HIVERY

If you like what you hear, subscribe on your favourite platform

podcasts

Dr Katrijn Gielens on the disruptive transformation of retail and strategies to adapt

Oct 19, 2020 | By

Dr Katrijn Gielens

In this podcast episode we explore: • What "convenience" means in retail in the digital era (and pandemic). Gone are the days when convenience was about pre-packaged "TV dinners"; today the scope of convenience is expanded to searching for the right products, getting the right price, and having them delivered to your door - right here, right now. • The issues around retailing, especially around assortment planning. How can you introduce new products while balancing existing and considering new retail experiences, services and space? • Great strategies for retailers to consider to navigate these unprecedented times. • Hyper-personalisation and whether it is legal when it comes to prices. • What does assortment planning mean? A large assortment range can bring large diverse groups to your store. However, you then face the challenge to decide what assortment and how much of it is needed. You need to curate the store carefully. You don't want your consumers to experience "choice overload" nor out of stocks. Dr. Gielens covers the balancing act of attracting traffic into the store (large assortment to attract) and initiating conversation (right assortment to buy). The key word you will hear in this podcast is "curate". This is why leveraging new technologies such as AI can help retailers put the right assortment in their stores. • Lastly, Dr. Gielens shared some good resources for further reading.
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podcasts
Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru®, on the impending supermarket trends and post-COVID-19 world
Sep 24, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about: • Emerging trends in the supermarkets: in light COVID-19, what will stay and what will change? How would masks, curbside pickup, online shopping, and home delivery change the supermarket experience? What should retailers and supermarkets focus on to generate the revenue needed to continue to operate? Will large assortment offerings still be around? • 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 the average American goes once a week, in and out as quickly as possible. Given the average American consumer spends $5,400 per year* on unanticipated and impulse purchases, what does the new consumer shopping behavior mean to retailers? • What technology are retailers and supermarkets investing in today? How will "space" in the post-COVID-19 world begin to be leveraged? Will we see more ghost supermarkets: stores transfer existing spaces only to fulfill online orders? • How hard is it for CPGs to get their products on supermarket shelves as space and range are being re-examined completely? With the category "resets" happening just twice a year, the future of product availability and variety is at risk. Phil believes 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 optimizing space and assortment at a store-specific level is going to be even more critical. • How can retailers thrive in the new normal? Phil shares powerful insights into what retailers and supermarkets should do to prepare, especially around assortment planning. Spoiler alert! Zip Code assortment specific recommendations. "Gone are the days of the same assortment in all stores." • Is the category advisory under threat? Will it still be around? Phil believes retailers are no longer relying on CPGs for category planning. Instead, they are turning to science and technology as it becomes smarter and more accessible. • Finally, Phil covers his predictions on what changes to expect in the supermarket and other retail spaces: from aging truck driver force to product and store consolidation to indoor farming... Connect with Phil Lempert: Supermarket Guru Farm, Food, Facts podcast Lost in the Supermarket podcast Facebook Live
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podcasts
Josh Flannery on becoming an entrepreneur, entering the Japanese market, and drinking sake, yes sake
Aug 20, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about: • Josh gives amazing insights into what it takes to expand a startup to Japan. The importance of starting off with proof points in your own country, improving your offering, and only then going outside of your home country. It's the same approach HIVERY took when it was founded in 2015. In fact, it was around late 2017 when HIVERY started to get traction in Japan and then opened up an office in late 2018. As Josh put it, "build credibility locally...", then go overseas. • Josh provides tips on how to leverage credibility via simple tools of 'case studies'. Case studies are real stories about how your solution helps a specific customer in a specific industry overcome their problems by using your solution. It generally covers the challenge a customer faced, your approach to addressing the challenge, and the results. Generally speaking, at HIVERY we like to start with media release followed by case studies. It's a good way to build awareness before moving a potential customer down the pipeline of the buyer's journey when releasing the case study. Josh provides a tip in developing a case study to ensure it's localised to the Japanese market. • Localisation of products and services is critical to getting traction in an overseas market. Josh talks about the aspect of going 'local'. HIVERY's vending solution, HIVERY Enhance, had to be customised to cater to the Japanese vending machine market, including developing new algorithms to consider the impact of hot and cold beverages. • According to Josh, there are three important things to consider when entering the Japanese market (and applicable to most Asia-based counties): 1)Learn the market well, 2)Partner where possible, and 3)Customize your offering. • Josh also shares important tips to young entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures, including 1)How to create a killer pitch, 2)The difference between types of accelerator programs, 3)How much equity should you give up, and more. • Along the way we will learn more about Josh's career from UNSW innovation programs to NSW Government to Rainmaking Japan. Josh shares his perspective on working with the government. He addresses the reasoning behind a common preconception of the government being "slow"; it is about reducing one thing: risk to all parties. • Lastly, and more interestingly, we get into the fascinating world of Sake - a Japanese drink that is made by fermenting rice. Josh is actually an expert. Resources: You can read the book chapter "What Makes a Global Business Model?" co-authored by the host, Milena Salmon here: shorturl.at/vV346
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podcasts
Flora Delaney on seven timeless retail principles and latest changes in category management
Jul 15, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about: • Who is Flora Delaney, and why is she most sought after by consumer package brands (CPGs) and retailers? • Seven principles that every CPG and retailer needs to know. This is a powerful framework to allow you to think about different dimensions of retailing. • The value of curating assortment for stores. This is not just about giving customers what they want. It's about providing a store experience that engages, delights and fosters revisits. As Flora says, "Riches are in the niches." This means giving customers what they want in that specific store in that specific time. • Flora deep dives into the "war for customers" between CPGs and retailers. Who really "owns" the customer? Who owns the relationship between the two? Will we see CPGs going after customers more directly using online and offline delivery channels? Can they delight and surprise customers? • How to drive more out of category assortment optimising between the core brands vs surprise & delight brands? While core brands generate store traffic, surprise & delight brands can foster impulse buying (because they are unplanned) and increase shoppers' baskets. • What is happening with AI in retail and category management? Flora shares her view and why "cluster" assortment segmentation just does not work. Each store is unique and should be treated that way to surprise and delight shoppers. • Given her background, Flora also explores space management and believes there is a huge opportunity to bring innovation. For nothing has evolved since the era of Y2K and any innovation has been "incrementalism" rather than disruptive and revolutionary. It is one of the reasons why Flora agreed to be on the podcast. She thinks what HIVERY is doing will evolve the industry for the better. At HIVERY, merchandising, space management and promotion sit at the core of how we help our retailers and CPGs clients. Using artificial intelligence and operation research, we help our customers with unprecedented hyper-local retailing advantages.
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podcasts
Melinda Wienand on revenue management, the power of analytics and the future of trade promotion
Jul 13, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about: How it is important to partner with stakeholders such as sales teams to show them the power of new analytics and its ability to transform the business and relationships. New trends in the food and retail industry: personalisation, convenience, and digitalisation. How understanding your customer at a granular level while leveraging data with analytics can help determine product resilience in unprecedented times. Learn what led to Mel’s decision to look for a better way in trade promotion creation and the birth of HIVERY Promote: 3-year research & development partnership. Learn what it’s like working in a relatively new field of Revenue Management; juggling time vs stakeholders’ needs all the while determining the ideal promotional strategy. Mel shares how she was often limited in time to explore different promotional scenarios to determine the best action to take. She explains, how the moment you agreed on an “ideal scenario”, the model’s results would become obsolete. In the pursuit of finding a better way, Mel and her team needed to master two fundamental things: 1)ensure the price demand elasticity model kept learning with live data (so it would never become obsolete), and 2) allow the team to run many more scenarios more rapidly. What is the difference between the old school way of creating trade promotion calendars vs the new way? With the ‘old school way’, you would not only need to forecast the “demand elasticity” of a promotional group but also determine the revenue impact of that proposed promotional calendar. Due to the labour-intensive nature of creating each calendar, the team would often see the impact of a promotional calendar through a single lens (i.e supplier or retailer) rather than three lenses simultaneously (supplier, retailer and shopper). Moreover, a team would also need to ensure that the calendar was executable in trade with all the important constraints being considered as well as concisely communicate it to all stakeholders involved. This is very hard to do following the ‘old school way’ of trade promotional calendar creation process. Mel talks about three things that make HIVERY Promote different from other solutions in the market: 1) dynamic price elasticity modeling or often called the “dynamic demand forecasting engine”, 2) prescriptive promotional calendar engine that optimises for custom KPIs, and 3) simple-to-use interface. While mathematics is important to the business, Mel talks about how our ability to easily explain the results to stakeholders is equally critical. Often times people’s concern over AI is not its recommendations BUT the lack of ability to understand why such recommendations were made. Finally, Mel kindly provides thoughtful career advice on how people can get into this fascinating and emerging area called “Revenue Management”; hint: background in say sales or finance are key pathways to getting into this field. Learn more of about HIVERY Promote
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podcasts
David Kenney on business scaling, the importance of mentorship and how it all relates to HIVERY
Jun 10, 2020
What do comedian Eddie Murphy and David Kenney have in common? Check out this episode of Retail Mavericks podcast to find out. In this podcast episode you can learn about: • What makes a mentor? More importantly, what makes a good mentor? Hint: Better questions and encouraging “third-level” thinking. • What makes a good mentee and what did David really think of HIVERY founders in his initial chats? What makes HIVERY different given David has 20,000+ conversations in his career? • David talks about an important step in scaling up a business: building the team and why a collaborative approach with brutal honesty is essential for effective long-term relationships. • How a “flywheel of feedback”, while powerful, can only be achieved through one thing. Find out what that one thing is and how just 5 words can make you think differently. • Finally, David shares a few important tips for business owners to consider.
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podcasts
Toby Walsh with Retail Mavericks 1 of 2
May 25, 2020
In episode 1 of 2 we cover: What do killer robots and autonomous cars have in common? What problems can AI be used to solve? Ethical engineering: understanding the ethical dimensions of AI, what are they? Why should we care about them? Think about this: there will be a time in the future when AI will make decisions that we humans just cannot understand, so having Transparency & Explainability built into algorithms is going to be important, right? Maybe. Challenges we face in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Do we need to add another “A” to AI? Why ‘autonomous’ is the basis of AI’s future. What is the future and relationship between AI and humanity? Are things such as universal basic income and taxing robots the way to go? Meet Dr Toby Walsh: Toby is a leading global expert in artificial intelligence (AI). He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales. Toby has served as Scientific Director of NICTA, Australia’s Centre of Excellence for ICT Research, and leads a research group at Data61 (the lab from which Hivery originated). Toby was named by The Australian newspaper as a “rock star” of Australia’s digital revolution and included in their list of the 100 most important digital innovators in Australia. In 2015, Professor Walsh helped launch an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’ that was signed by more than 20,000 AI researchers and high profile scientists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Steve Wozniak, and Elon Musk. He has since been invited by Human Rights Watch to talk at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva. Professor Walsh has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI, and Fellow of the European Association for AI. He has won the Humboldt Award and the NSW Premier’s Prize for Engineering and ICT. He has written a popular book about AI, ‘Android Dreams: The Past, Present and Future of AI‘. His Twitter account, @TobyWalsh was voted one of the top ten to keep abreast of developments in AI. His blog, The Future of AI, attracts tens of thousands of readers every month. You can also purchase his recent book titled ‘2062: The World that AI Made’.
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podcasts
Toby Walsh with Retail Mavericks 2 of 2
May 25, 2020
In episode 2 of 2 we cover: How AI is currently being used in everyday tasks: from voice assistance and recommendations for movies and books to routing and logistics. How can businesses, especially retailers and CPGs, find the balance between using AI to maximise sales and give consumers what they desire vs ethical considerations? For example, if an AI model learns you like sugary drinks from your purchase history, what are the ethical (and health) implications for implementing such recommendations? Should we intervene? How transparent should AI recommendations be? How can we build more desirable feedback loops for both retailers and consumers? Learn about The 4 Ds of AI/robotization – Dull, Dirty, Dangerous, and Difficult – and what they mean. With the onset of The 4 Ds, we explore what skills employers (and even parents) need to start helping and encouraging their people (kids) to develop in the future? You can learn more about the 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Toby shares a simple triangle framework starting with: Data skills and data literacy (i.e. Presentation Skills, Data Visualization, Python–Statistical Programming); Emotional intelligence (the key ingredient for working with people); and Creativity. We also look at what the education system needs to do to help shape this new thinking and facilitate new skills creation for our younger citizens. Discover what Finland is already doing to educate its citizens, with 10% of their population already educated in AI. Finland’s goal is to educate at least 1% of European citizens by 2021. Join over 410,000 other people learning about the basics of AI. Toby highlights that the more we understand AI, the less we will see it as “black magic”, and the better decisions we will make. Finally, we share a few insights on how a business should start with thinking about leveraging AI, including whether to buy or build and the importance of investing in your people. This episode is a part of academia-focused series featuring your usual host Milena Salmon and guest co-host Dr Alvaro Flores, Mathematician and Data Scientist at HIVERY. You can listen to Alvaro’s podcast on his PhD and HIVERY transforming promotional calendars here. Resources: Toby Walsh: The AI future is here and what this means for education Elements of AI How can you stop killer robots | Toby Walsh | TEDxBerlin Toby Walsh: Computers making life or death decisions AI and Ethics | Toby Walsh | TEDxBlighStreet Toby’s Books: 2062: The World that AI Made Android Dreams: The Past, Present and Future of Artificial Intelligence
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podcasts
Roy Cooke on scaling a business and KPI hierarchy
May 04, 2020
In this podcast episode you can learn about: Common mistakes when scaling a business from a team of 25 to 30 or more. Roy talks about what to expect and what to look out for, including setting up the right management, right metrics and right sales team. As a business leader, find out what you need to do to engage and redirect the company’s attention; big hint: Data has a better idea. Determine which KPI matter. The often forgotten significance of “unit economics” – the direct revenues and costs associated with a specific product or business model. This is a basic measure but often missed as companies, new or established, scale getting lost in vanity metrics. Measuring unit economics allows business leaders to make better decisions, from agreeing to “proof of concept” to winning a new customer and comparing it to the opportunity cost of developing your product roadmap. Why is it important to get different perspectives, including speaking to other founders, investors, and advisers before making a strategic decision? What does it mean to be “decisive”? How the effective management of natural biases and irrational thinking makes better business decisions. First, determine a wide range of options, then assess the validity of the assumptions behind them. Lastly, Roy covers the use of “strategic partnerships” and why the earlier you establish them, the better. HIVERY, for instance, had a natural strategic partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and Data61/CSIRO (as investors). Leading to the scaling and expansion of both the number of locations (USA and Japan) as well as a wider range of new products.
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