Extending the boundaries of possible
“Imagination is more important than knowledge for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
I always found this quote from Albert Einstein mind opening. A theoretical physicist, someone who devoted his life to the expansion of our knowledge of the universe, so adamant about the notion that to be able to truly innovate and outgrow the boundaries of our current knowledge, one has to have the power of imagination! It sounds so simple, but the reality is that it implies thinking outside of what’s deemed possible, which couldn’t be more fitting with what we’ve been working hard to do at Inovretail since our inception.
From Business Intelligence to Predictive Intelligence
Back in 2010, when we set ourselves into this new journey, our goal was to build an analytical platform in a domain whose data hadn’t truly been explored – measure Customer Experience impacts on sales performance. The assumption was simple (or so we thought): Customer Purchase Behaviours are influenced by, amongst other things, in store atmosphere, weather conditions and promotional activities, highly quantifiable elements with years of recorded history known to impact sales conversion, basket profiles and customer footfall. Retailers were clearly missing out the opportunity to leverage this information to improve business performance. This level of customer understanding through data was found in the online retail ecosystem for some time but unheard of in the offline retail. We wanted to drive the transformation from traditional Business Intelligence (BI) techniques to advanced analytics techniques (Predictive) so we started working on new advanced analytical platforms, Smart Measure and Seeplus, designed to measure and predict these impacts and relay them back to the Retailer so he could make the appropriate adjustments in time.
Data has to be Actionable
Sensors and other products can only help Retailers in a part of the journey; they need someone or “something” to interpret the massive surge of structured and unstructured data that flows through them and translate it into knowledge. Not just more knowledge, but a different type of knowledge. Actionable Knowledge. Actionable Data is about the future of your customer. It’s about anticipating and predicting his shopping patterns and behaviours! Through the use of advanced mathematical algorithms, strategically applied to Retailers Data, we can now accurately forecast, cluster, associate and target clients, in accordance with their patterned and predictable behaviours, in order to dramatically improve their experience and Retailers revenue! So, in other words, we can help the Retailer to take action on data, with direct implication in the performance of the business.
Advanced Analytics – present with a future
Retail Analytics is an exciting space to be, not only a fast growing Industry set to be USD5B by 2020 and growing an average of 18% a year, but also a domain where new technological advances occur at very fast pace. This transformation is happening not just in Retail. It is interesting to note that the global Predictive Analytics Market is set to be almost USD10B in the same time frame. Moreover, new software delivery paradigms such as SaaS, have introduced a new set of expectations regarding speed of product delivery and pricing models which were ground shaking for the B2B ecosystem. According to IDC research, SaaS delivery will significantly outpace traditional software product delivery, growing nearly five times faster than the traditional software market and is set to surpass $112.8 billion by 2019. These figures consubstantiate our belief that there is a huge growth opportunity for Smart Measure in this particular delivery model, as it promotes a different decision making process, faster and less corporate, more business focused and less IT, in effect, democratizing the access to these tools. However, it is a highly competitive environment, with paradigms changing sometimes faster than we can process them and everyone claiming to deliver innovation. In fact, constant waves of new technologies are being introduced into the Market as we speak, reshaping the boundaries of what is possible to do. So, the question remains: how can we be heard and seen in the midst of all the noise and mist of buzzwords?
First, have a very clear mission. Ours, to democratize Retail Intelligence, delivering recurring value through products used directly by the client.
Secondly, build sound growth foundations. Ours are centred on 3 pillars: Product Centricity, Delivery Scalability and Customer Success (recurrence).
Thirdly, engage with strategic partners to provide and augment the tools to execute our ambitious growth vision. Ours, Sonae IM.
As we enter our second growth stage, challenges will be different. It’s not about surviving but more about thriving and that requires a new toolset. Better product, faster delivery, new sales approach and continuous customer engagement are focus areas. We are quite excited about the possibilities the future holds, we believe the market is ready, our solutions address real problems and we have found the right growth partners. Our competition is now global, but so is our market, so we remain strong in our vision to transform InovRetail into an international player in the Retail Analytics arena.
Stay tuned as we keep sharing our experiences!