Three (or Maybe Four) Key Takeaways from Analytics Unite

Three (or Maybe Four) Key Takeaways from Analytics Unite

Last week, The Parker Avery Group sponsored and participated in Consumer Goods Technology’s Analytics Unite event—a groundbreaking virtual conference that brought together around 500 retail and consumer goods professionals from a variety of different backgrounds and from around the globe. While indeed, the virtual setting was quite different from attending a live conference, the event platform provided many opportunities to connect and discuss ideas with colleagues and new contacts in a real-time albeit highly remote, capacity.

Once attendees (and sponsors) grew accustomed to navigating the virtual event platform, there were several lively exchanges of information about advanced analytics solutions and their increased necessity in a very changed world. During Parker Avery’s discussions over the 3-day virtual event, where the overall theme was “purpose-driven analytics,” we noted three key messages:

Analytics Unite 2020

1. Strong Retail and CPG Focus on Advanced Analytics

The focus on advanced analytics in retail and consumer goods/CPG is clearly high right now, especially as brands need to adjust quickly to continuous disruptions.  Brands have quickly—and some painfully—understood that local and global disruptions can dramatically shift shopping behaviors on a dime. As such, being able to quickly adjust consumer demand signals leveraging advanced analytics is essential for survival. The ability to understand shifts from physical stores to ecommerce is an easy example, as well as being able to understand demand shifts based on spiking coronavirus cases by geography.

2. Advanced Omnichannel Capabilities Are Imperative

Advanced omnichannel capabilities—supported by analytics and flawless operational execution—have become imperative. Whereas before 2020, some brands (and entire segments) were merely “tinkering” with omnichannel, over the past few months forward-thinking companies have catapulted these initiatives into overdrive. Consumers are demanding more shopping and different order fulfillment options, there is increasing pent-up frustration with continuous closures and restrictions, and patience is quickly waning—especially as we quickly approach the holidays. Retailers and consumer brands are refining and operationalizing what started out as “scrappy” omnichannel processes at the beginning of the pandemic.

Curbside pickup is a perfect example of a capability that few retailers had a year ago, and now many have gone through multiple iterations of new curbside options for consumers. An ability to better manage this dema