A few months ago, I interviewed AJ Mak, founder of Chain of Demand, a predictive analytics company that empowers the retail industry to maximize sales and minimize inventory waste with AI-driven sales predictions. Chain of Demand just launched COVID19 Retail Response Tracker that is meant to help businesses better prepare for the upcoming quarters.
Retail Sales Forecast – USA (Source: Chain of Demand)
The game has changed and retailers need to adapt to “All-Court Retail”
As commented in previous articles like sociological perspective on Coronavirus, this threat has the potential to destabilize the pillars of Modern Life. Once the bleeding has stopped, companies will need to adapt their businesses for uncertain times. Retail will never be the same. The game has changed and retailers need to adapt to “All-Court Retail”, like Rafa Nadal did when he was King of Clay.
Coronavirus and Fashion (1/2) summarizes the short term strategy to follow during the lockdown and once stores begin to reopen again. Then, on Coronavirus and Fashion (2/2), I provided a few strategic guidelines to be used as basis for the mid-term plan in fashion retail companies, from a real-world perspective. Digitization is necessary for almost every business strategy, as I commented in the previous articles.
Digitization or fashion technologies will enable retail companies to face such a volatile world with more agility and flexibility. This includes making better decisions. Chain of Demand tracker integrates virus data into their predictive retail models to help businesses make key decisions during these uncertain times and plan for the upcoming quarters.
Cancelled Orders of Major Brands & Retailers due to Covid-19 in Millions of USD
Chain of Demand analyzes data from dozens of countries across the globe, tracking infection rates, cases data, macro-economic and demographic data to provide predictions on when countries could realistically begin to re-open and start recovering or, enter the ‘recovery phase.’
Information is Knowledge
Insights are constantly analyzed by AI (machine learning) algorithms. Retail companies are facing many concerns regarding inventory orders, demand forecast, pricing, assortment planning, amongst other. Today, more than ever before, Fashion needs Creativity and Analytics.
In many articles, I described how technology is key in retail, an industry where the customer is at the center (there are no middlemen). New generations are more digitalized and represent an important part of the demand (customers) but supply side (employees) too. Investing on digitization is not only about purchasing software but understanding the who, what, how and why of using it.
I see Technology as a tennis racquet. It´s a tool. But you also need the right players (e.g. talent&people, skills, training) and to know what style to play (business model adapted to omnichannel, right processes and organization). A tennis racquet, per se, won´t make you champion.
Retail transformation or New Retail pushes companies to strike a balance between these factors in order to succeed or survive.