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May 30, 2017

The New Challenge For Retailers: Delivering Online Convenience With In-Store Personalization

Posted by Aniket Maindarkar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:20 AM

The New Challenge For Retailers: Delivering Online Convenience With In-Store Personalization

I recently caught up with Anna, a regional manager of a leading retail brand. Over coffee, our conversation steered towards the mounting pressure on retailers to focus on extracting insights to improve in-store experiences for customers. Today's shoppers - the millennials, aging baby boomers and the general affluent population - seek personalization, convenience, accessibility as well as 'shareable' experiences'. It is common knowledge that retailers need to know their customers as individuals, not by segments or even by micro-segments, to provide truly personalized service. One example is Under Armour, the popular fitness and sportswear brand. They created a host of apps, MapMyFitness to track every run, walk, hike, and gym session of a user. Endomondo motivates a user and enables them to reach their goals. And to back this up they also have MyFitnessPal, a food diary and nutrition tracker. With thousands of fitness-conscious users of these apps, Under Armour gathers huge quantities of data on their users habits and wellness lifecycle to personalize their offerings to each apparel customer.

Anna had a question: 'How do we focus on customers while addressing operational challenges?' Let me share what I told her.

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March 22, 2017

Smart Technology For Sustainable Food Practices

Posted by Aniket Maindarkar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:20 AM

Smart Technology For Sustainable Food Practices

In the food services and logistics industry, it's all about quality, flavor and delivery: customers want their food fast and natural. Advances in technology are altering the farm-to-table journey and the food experience. As Peter Diamandis points out, an average American meal travels 1,500 miles before being consumed. With discerning customers watching their carbon footprint, interest is deepening on where food is grown, how it travels and when it is processed. The way forward is to make sustainability central to food production, adopt automation and robots for cost-efficiency and shift towards smart machinery for efficient farming.

All the goodness of nature

The food industry can be a high risk, low reward business. Unpredictable weather, challenges in food logistics, perishability of food, and transient trends contribute to a perfect storm. Could an innovative enterprise convert these factors of uncertainty into a sustainable food business?

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