Do you see AI and the cloud solving many of retail’s challenges around inventory visibility, unified commerce and underutilization of data? Where do you see the biggest near-term versus long-term benefits of the technologies?

Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments:

I’ve been talking about the benefits of utilizing multiple data sources since I had a full head of hair. Multiple data sources that include not only syndicated and POS data, but demographic and other internal data sets help to tell a much more insightful story that hopefully leads to actionable recommendations. As was stated by Microsoft’s Global Retail Strategy Director, “the explosion of data has enabled retailers to combine sales data with data sets that include demographics, weather, economic indicators, social media and more “to quickly determine the impact of external influencers on specific categories, SKUs and stores.”
Many companies have access to this data but have not been willing to do what it takes to bring them together. We have found that the ones that do, whether internally or with our help, reap the rewards.

AI and the cloud will most definitely go a long way to streamlining this process, but it will most definitely not have an “Easy Button.” It will still take planning and a push from senior leadership to drive it over the goal line.

Why not provide complete and total visibility? There is nothing more frustrating for the shopper when the item they want to purchase is not available or, even worse, when a retailer makes it look like it is available. Trust is everything.

Read the entire article from RetailWire: