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Zach Simpson on shifts in category management, artificial intelligence and making career changes
Nov 19, 2020 | By
What you will learn from this podcast: • Zach's career journey from baseball to Walmart to his own company and HIVERY. Zach shares his insights into the lack of advancement of retail technology during this journey in category management. • Zach explores the "snowflake" effect of product categories and space; how each store is so different (as a snowflake), yet when it comes to space assortment, the retail industry continues treating each store and their SKU supply the same. • Why Zach, after over 11 years at Walmart with titles like Frozen Food Senior Buyer, Merchandising Director, and VP of Beverages Merchandising decided to "jump ship" to HIVERY, a young AI startup? • Zach provides a sneak preview of product innovation at HIVERY; and how customers play a critical role in this process. •. Zach dives into key problem sets faced by a wide retail segment from wholesale networks to traditional grocery stores in space, assortment, and category scenario planning. • Lastly, Zach gives career advice and shares his insights into personal and professional development, innovating from within and facilitating change.Read More >
Why Food Retailers Need To Embrace AI
Nov 08, 2020
Why Food Retailers Need To Embrace AI? In this Lost in the Supermarket episode, Phil Lempert talks with Jason Hosking, CEO & Co-Founder of HIVERY, The worlds first category management optimization solution.
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Tim Rowland on retail robotics and the future of senses
Nov 04, 2020
What you will learn from this podcast: • Why getting the right product at the right price and in the right amount is becoming more and more difficult for both CPG manufacturers and retailers. Listen to how Badger Technologies and robotics are solving this through "seeing". • Tim explores the concept of "hidden products" - products that are not "shown" in the correct manner on shelves - as well as "hidden price promotions". Promotions are often delayed due to the slow process of getting the actual new sales tag on the shelf or the reverse, with sale promotion tags hung for too long and appearing out of date. With robotic technologies like Badger, old challenges can be addressed effectively. • How robotics can not only assess the status of products on the shelf and price promotion compliance but also help grocery stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets assess floors for spills and hazardous conditions. This helps both shoppers and retail staff encouraging visits and ensuring stores are both clean and safe. • More interestingly, some larger supermarkets and discount stores are using robotics to assess promotional display compliance in aisles ensuring that every marketing dollar is spent accordingly. Display compliance gives CPG manufacturers an "eye" on what is happening in-store and potentially issues contractual penalties for retailers' non-compliance. • Tim also covers the challenges in having robots in supermarket stores and implications of human traffic and their advantages: an ability to scan 40,000 individual store products, responding to hazardous conditions, promotional compliance - all in around 3 hours! • Will robots replace supermarket workers? Tim shares his views on robots and the human labour force; you will be surprised with his insight. • We close with a fascinating view of future robotics in retail stores. Can robots sense "freshness" and ensure our fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy are about to expire?
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Future of retail, category management and AI (video)
Oct 30, 2020 | By
Expert food industry analyst and journalist, Phil Lempert, has a candid conversation with HIVERY's CEO, Jason Hosking, on future of retail, category management and AI. Watch this episode of Lost in the Supermarket... watch video
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How an Aussie analytics start-up is helping retailers with ROI
Oct 29, 2020 | By
HIVERY is taking data science to the next level by adding an additional layer with prescriptive analysis – what should happen – removing human effort to understand the data, as well as human bias that sways future decision-making....read more
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HIVERY featured on Austrade's "Australian Digital Innovation on the Rise'
Oct 23, 2020 | By
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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Dr Katrijn Gielens on the disruptive transformation of retail and strategies to adapt
Oct 19, 2020
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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HIVERY to present at Databricks APAC Industry Leadership Forum
Oct 14, 2020 | By
Retail World Magazine
On Thursday 15 October, Technical Officer at HIVERY, Andy McQuarrie and co-founder, Matt Robards will be speaking at the Databricks APAC Industry Leadership Forums. Backed by The Coca-Cola Company, CSIRO and Blackbird Ventures, HIVERY is pioneering hyper-local retailing.... read more
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The Supermarket Guru - Four (4) shifts in supermarket space that is going to change retail forever
Oct 01, 2020 | By
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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